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Heiress for Hire (A Duke's Heiress Romance)

by Madeline Hunter

Series: Duke's Heiress (book 1)

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Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
I received an ARC of this book through the Goodreads giveaway.

Cute story, the sex scenes were tasteful but passionate (warning: the story includes explicit sex), likeable characters (even the minor characters held my interest) -- I wouldn't call this a "historical novel" because nothing about the story or the writing grounded it in any place or time. It could just as easily have been set in 1920s New York (just change the name of the streets and plazas, change the fashions and the titles, and -- voilà! -- you have another novel titled Heiress for Hire. Even the cover art is too generic to ground the story in place or time. For the most part it was well-written, with just a little bit of the point-of-view head-hopping which romance novels are notorious for. Not too many information dumps, and at least they are brought on subtly. The characters are intelligent and figure things out right after the reader does -- the characters are not made out to be Too Stupid To Live, in fact, they are quite intelligent. The suspense in the story doesn't depend on some ridiculous misunderstanding, but rather, an actual mystery. For all that the novel has no historical grounding, I liked it.

I'm sure the next books in the series will also be intelligent and fun to read.

~bint
  bintarab | Aug 7, 2020 |
Mysteries develop!

An eccentric bachelor duke is dead and family expectations are not met.
Minerva Hepplewhite, a woman with secrets, inherits a small fortune from said Duke. A man unknown to her. It's in her interests to investigate the circumstances around the Duke's death to ensure that her secrets aren't revealed, otherwise the suspicions about his death might fall upon her.
This woman who investigates secrets meets with another more experienced investigator.
Chase Radnor, a man used to secrets, nephew to the eccentric Duke Hollinburgh, investigates his death for his own reasons, and on behalf of the home secretary, Robert Peel.
Of course Chase and Minerva come into contact--in a most unexpected way.
Of course that contact has an underlying frisson of sexual energy.
Minerva however wants nothing to do with men, given her experience at her dead husband's hands.
There are some interesting characters that feel like they might grow into more.
Minerva's small adopted family circle for one. Her cook / housekeeper Beth and son Jeremy. Chase's valet and sometime agent (or so he claims) Briggs. Chases's various relatives, the grasping and the frustrated. All have a story.
In the end we don't know who killed the Duke. Will future works in the series reveal that? In part that doesn't matter. What is important is Chase and Minerva's story and their road to emotional healing. A chancy technique leaving us hanging, but it works.
It seems the death of the Duke will be an organizing theme for future books in the series. An interesting hook!

A Kensington Books ARC via NetGalley ( )
  eyes.2c | Apr 29, 2020 |
I received an ARC of this book to read through NetGalley in exchange for a fair review. Heiress for Hire is the first book in Madeline Hunters enchanting new series Duke’s Heiresses. When Minerva Hepplewhite discovers that the has been made an heiress by a Duke who passed away mysteriously, it’s a bit of a shock, because she never met the Duke and she caught the bearer of the news Chase Radnor sneaking around her home, knocked him out and tied him up. Chase has been asked by the crown to investigate his uncle's death quietly and by his cousin, the new Duke to find the heiresses who have inherited from the duke’s estate. Minerva, too, decides to investigate the duke’s death because she has already been falsely accused of murdering her husband, and she doesn’t wish to be accused again. What begins as a reluctant partnership grows into something more as they seek to find the answers to the mystery surrounding the Duke’s death. I enjoyed this story very much and look forward to reading the rest of the series. Medium Steam. Publishing Date April 28, 2020. #HeiressForHire #MadelineHunter #NetGalley #HistoricalRomance #bookstagram #KensingtonBooks ( )
  nmgski | Apr 28, 2020 |
Series: Duke’s Heiress #1
Publication Date: 4/28/20
Number of Pages: 304

This was a very nice introduction and set-up for an interesting new series. There is an overarching mystery in the series – who murdered the duke. We meet the duke’s siblings and his nephews and learn enough about each of them to wonder if they could possibly be the murderer. We learn even more about Nicholas and Kevin who I assume will be the heroes in the upcoming books – I really liked both of them. I think the author handled the mystery of the duke’s death very nicely and didn’t let it overpower the romance. The book is well written, the characters are fully developed and relatable, the mystery is nicely plotted, and the romance is sweet and very believable between two people who are shaped by their pasts. The story starts off a bit slow but soon gets ramped up. It also nicely sets up the remaining books in the series and I will be excited to see what the author has in store for our next hero and heroine.

Chase Radnor, the nephew of the Duke of Hollinburgh, isn’t having a particularly good evening. It certainly isn’t going as he planned! He had planned to break into the house and find evidence against the occupant – instead, he is trussed up, bleeding, and has a big knot on his head. He is the one being interrogated. How had that happened? It had all started with his uncle’s will – nobody in the family received anything, and three totally unknown women received very large bequests. Needless to say, that didn’t sit well with the family. Chase, who is an investigator, is tasked with tracking down these women, finding their relationship with the duke – and, maybe discrediting them – and maybe, just maybe, finding out whether they had a hand in the duke’s death. He found the first woman, Minerva Hepplewhite, broke into her home to look for evidence against her – and now here he sits, totally at her mercy.

Minerva cannot believe what this intruder into her home is telling her. She is an heiress because she has been left ten thousand pounds AND a lucrative partnership in an investment. While this bequest would solve most of her problems, she’s never met this duke – nor any other duke. Not only that, with the duke’s death being suspicious, but she’d also be a very likely suspect if they dug into her past.

As Chase continues with his investigation, Minerva starts her own, and they often end up at the same places. As they are thrown together more and more often, there is a lustful attraction added to the mix. Kisses soon lead to other things, but Chase knows it can’t lead to anything further because of Minerva’s past. She’ll never marry again – she has told him so, and after hearing her story, he doesn’t blame her. Can he convince her? Can she learn to trust again? You’ll just have to read the book to see.

This is definitely a book I can recommend. I loved the characters, the writing, and the mystery. I can’t wait to read the next book.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. ( )
  BarbaraRogers | Apr 25, 2020 |
Good book with a nice blend of romance and mystery. It opens with a bang as Minerva catches Chase breaking into her house. No shrinking violet, Minerva promptly renders him unconscious long enough to tie him up before interrogating him. She is stunned and somewhat disbelieving to find out that she has inherited a great deal of money from a duke she has never met. Besides telling her about the inheritance, Chase also wants to find out if she had anything to do with his uncle's suspicious death.

I liked both Minerva and Chase. Minerva is strong, intelligent, and stubborn. She has a sharp wit and isn't afraid to use it. She also has secrets that led her to change her name and move to London to start a new life. That former life has left her wary of men and determined to live life on her terms. She is ready to open Miss Hepplewhite's Office of Discreet Inquiries. Chase is the nephew of a duke, but also a self-made man. He has a reputation as an excellent private investigator, at which point the Home Office asks him to quietly investigate his uncle's death.

I enjoyed the development of the relationship between Minerva and Chase. The sparks are there from the moment they met, though both fight hard against them. Minerva and Chase cross paths several times as each investigates the death of the duke. Eventually, they decide to work together, though neither is entirely forthcoming about everything they learn. There are times that Minerva's stubborn independence bothers Chase, but he also admires her persistence and intelligence. The more time they spend together, the closer they become, and the more their attraction heats up. There is a scene where Minerva is injured, and Chase's protectiveness is aroused. I enjoyed the back-and-forth between them as Minerva fought against his protectiveness. As their feelings for each other grow, Minerva must decide if she can trust Chase with her heart. I liked that there was no big blowup between them, just a steady growth and then admission of their feelings. I liked their big moment at the end, especially the honest look at the differences between them and how they would handle them.

The mystery of the story was good. Chase's uncle died under mysterious circumstances that he is charged with investigating. There is also the mystery of the three unknown women who received large bequests, cutting out the family members. The women must be found but also investigated. The duke's family members do not react well to their loss of what they think they deserve. Is it possible that one of them murdered the duke? The family dynamics were very interesting, and I look forward to seeing more of them in the next book. I liked seeing how Chase's methodical methods and Minerva's more unorthodox ones complemented each other as they pursue their investigation. The conclusion was unexpected but leaves the matter open for the rest of the series. ( )
  scoutmomskf | Apr 19, 2020 |
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