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The Way to a Duke's Heart by Caroline Linden
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Caroline Linden's `One Night in London: The Truth About the Duke' started the journey which is known to all of us as the Durham Dilemma. This series has a very unique premise that Ms. Linden came up with. All three stories are designed to reveal one big secret and tell us the truth about the old Duke of Durham's secret marriage that was never annulled, before he married his Duchess and the mother of his three sons, his heir Charles, Lord Gresham, Edward de Lacey, the spare and Captain Gerard de Lacey, the hero.

All three were shocked to learn that some sixty years ago the Duke had been married and then parted ways with the woman never bothering to get a divorce, an annulment or even make sure that that woman is still living or dead, before he marries again.

As the brothers start the search for answers to their future, they are destined to meet women that will make their life interesting, exciting and ultimately very happy to enter that state that all men at one time or another think of `mouse trap'.

Edward's story is first, followed by `Blame it on Bath' with Gerard's and now we come to the end of the series and Charles' story. From the previous two books we get the feeling that Charlie is one of those men that really doesn't give a damn for anyone but his own self. He never answered his late father's summons to his death bed and outwardly shows no concern about finding out who is behind the `illegitimacy' claim and blackmail. All Charlie seems to want to do is `party'.

However, in this book, we meet the man that's not so easy to define; man who for the past decade did everything in his power to distance himself from his father, from the responsibility of taking over not just the title, but all that it stands for, all that he's been thought it entails to be the next Duke of Durham; man who hides behind the persona of the most debauched rake of the ton, yet deep down...and for the rest of my review, please visit me at [...] Thanks so much.

Melanie for Romantic Crush Junkies Reviews eZine ( )
  bookworm2bookworm | Mar 30, 2017 |
Five plus stars! Caroline Linden has pulled off a hat trick – all three volumes of The Truth About the Duke series are first rate.

The series revolves around the de Lacey brothers – Charlie, the indolent, rakish heir; Edward, the dutiful, serious-minded son; and Gerard, the devil-may-care veteran of the Napoleonic wars. Their father, the Duke of Durham, has left a death-bed confession detailing his youthful marriage to an actress, which means that the duke’s marriage to the brothers’ mother may have been bigamous and that the brothers are in fact penniless bastards. A blackmailer was plaguing the duke with anonymous letters in the year before his death, and the mystery running through the series involves their efforts to find out the truth about the duke. Edward first takes charge, as he always has, and hires lawyers to investigate the facts and fight it out before Parliament ([b:One Night in London|11315200|One Night in London (The Truth About the Duke #1)|Caroline Linden|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1327928210s/11315200.jpg|16243181]). Gerard ([b:Blame It on Bath|11785877|Blame It on Bath (The Truth About the Duke, #2)|Caroline Linden|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1321941455s/11785877.jpg|16737939]) gallops off to find and kill the blackmailer. Along the way, they meet and marry their wives, settling down in domestic bliss and leaving Charlie to finally solve the mystery and claim his title.

I must pause here to compliment the author on her masterful first chapter of this book. She tells the entire backstory, as well as the moving story of Charlie’s growing up, in this chapter, and it is brilliantly done. Too often, a series author starts out with an info dump designed to catch up the reader who may not have read the earlier volumes. At the other extreme, there is a paucity of information, which leaves the frustrated reader wondering “who?” or “what?” Ms. Linden avoids both extremes here, and by the end of the first chapter the reader is fully engaged in the story. (As a result, this book works very well as a stand alone, but the entire series is so delightful that I recommend reading it in order.)

Left with no other option, Charlie sobers up and reluctantly sets out to find and confront the blackmailer. He’s not too optimistic, though, as he’s never really accomplished anything worthwhile. Mainly he’s devoted himself to living up to his father’s opinion of him as a worthless fribble.

Charlie’s pursuit takes him to the York Hotel in Bath, where he accidentally learns that Tessa Neville, a fellow guest, is somehow connected to Hiram Scott, the suspected blackmailer. A suspicious Charlie uses his considerable charm to inveigle Tessa’s elderly companion and thereby meet Tessa. Tessa has no use for Charlie; she views him as just another arrogant, useless, pampered aristocrat. Tessa, a widow in her late twenties, is an unusual woman, who applies her common sense and business acumen to managing her viscount brother’s affairs. She has come to Bath to investigate a proposed canal, run by Hiram Scott, in which her brother is considering investing, and she has no time or inclination to become captivated by Charlie. He, on the other hand, becomes captivated by her, even as he remains wary that she may somehow be involved in the blackmail scheme.

Charlie follows Tessa to the village of Frome, where he feigns an interest in the canal in order to meet Hiram Scott. Gradually, Charlie and Tessa become friends, then allies, and finally lovers. But all does not go smoothly, and both Charlie and Tessa must weather some rough patches before finding their HEA. Charlie learns that he needs a woman like Tessa, who will stand by him and bring out the best in him, and Tessa needs a confident man like Charlie who will respect her intelligence and let her make the most of her talents. Theirs is a wonderful, romantic partnership.

Does Charlie find the answers he needs to retain his title? I won’t spoil the ending, but I will say that Ms. Linden devises a clever, believable series of twists that satisfactorily resolve the mystery.

I have only two criticisms. The first third or so of this book drags on a bit too long. I became quite impatient for something to happen by the time Charlie and Tessa got to Frome. Second, after a few days in Frome, Tessa does something so unexpected and shocking that my jaw literally dropped. There is simply no explanation for her behavior, no interior monologue that would have explained her motivation for such a rash and uncharacteristic act. These are mere bumps along the way, however, and I still give this book a five-star rating.

Heartfelt thanks to Avon and Edleweiss for the chance to read an ARC of this book. ( )
  LadyWesley | Sep 25, 2013 |
HE WAY TO A DUKE'S HEART by Caroline Linden is an exciting Regency historical romance. Book #4 of "The Truth About The Duke",but can be read as a stand alone. See, "I Love the Earl","Blame It on Bath", and "One Night In London". Another great story by this author. The eldest Durham brother, Charles de Lacey, Lord Gresham, is about to meet his match,in Tessa Neville. While, looking for the blackmailer who holds the secret to his scandalous father's past, he finds intrigue,secrets,passion,acceptance, the truth of his father's deathbed confession and love. A Fast paced,action packed,passion filled tale of a father's love for his children, his secret that could destroy them all, and the love of a lifetime. A great conclusion to the Durham brother's troubles. The truth will set them all free....If you enjoy romance,deception,Regency historical, and the story of four siblings whose father leave a deathbed confession you will enjoy "The Truth About The Duke" series. Ms. Linden pulls the reader into the story and hold them captivated with her engaging characters and interesting plots. Received for an honest review from the publisher and Above The Treeline. Details can be found at the author's website,Avon Books,an imprint of Harper Collins Publishing,and My Book Addiction and More.

RATING: 4.5

HEAT RATING: MILD

REVIEWED BY: AprilR, My Book Addiction and More/My Book Addiction ( )
  MyBookAddiction | Nov 17, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0062025341, Mass Market Paperback)

Charles de Lacey, Lord Gresham, is running out of time, running from his responsibilities, and running from love.

Destined to be a duke, Charles de Lacey has led a life of decadent pleasure, free of any care for propriety or responsibility. It comes as a terrible shock to learn that he might be stripped of everything, thanks to his father's scandalous past. He has no choice but to find the blackmailer who would ruin him—and his only link to the villain is a woman who may be part of the plot…

To save his fortune and title, he vows he'll stop at nothing—in fact, he's all too eager to unravel the beautiful, tart-tongued Tessa Neville. She intrigues him and tempts him like no other lady ever has. With only his heart to guide him, and keenly aware that his entire future is at stake, Charles must decide: is she the woman of his dreams, or an enemy in disguise?

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:53 -0400)

When a blackmailer threatens to take away everything that he has, Charles de Lacey, who has led a life of decadent pleasure, will stop at nothing to save his fortune and title even if it means seducing Tessa Neville who could be the woman of his dreams or an enemy in disguise.… (more)

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