Monday, February 27, 2012

Blame it on Bath: The Truth about the Duke

The second in Caroline Linden's new Truth about the Duke series, Blame it on Bath is the story of Lord Captain Gerard de Lacey, the youngest offspring of the late Duke of Durham. All three ducal sons  are entangled in what has come to be known as the Durham Dilemma, a situation which may find all three declared bastards and destitute. Each brother sets off on a mission to find and dismiss the rumor that their parents' marriage was illegal and their father was a bigamist.  Edward, the middle de Lacey, had his story told in the recently reviewed, One Night in London. 

Gerard is home on bereavement leave from the Peninsula Wars, and is determined to use his time to track down the blackmailer threatening his family and his livelihood. He finds himself propositioned into marriage by the widow Lady Katherine Howe. A merchant's daughter who married a viscount, Katherine is starved for attention and affection and finds herself still in love with Gerard, years after a chance encounter on a rainy country road.  She needs this marriage in order to extricate herself from the expectation of a match to her dead husband's heir. Lacking any self-confidence, Kate sees Gerard as her ticket out of the quandary heavily promoted by her formidable mother. Fortunately for her, Gerard needs an heiress to marry in order to guarantee his income should the Durham Dilemma resolve itself against the De Lacey's. And so, after much thought, he agrees to the marriage.

I loved this book because Gerard himself is so very lovable. He's the quintessential romance hero. Despite an arranged marriage, he tries to make a go of it and when faced with Kate's insecurity complex, he takes his time to coax her (both in bed and out) from her shell. She begins to truly believe in herself for the first time in her life and in return, earns Gerard's love for herself as well.  The blackmail story becomes the backdrop for this beautiful love story set in Bath.

Blame it on Bath is out on February 28, 2011. I look forward to reading elder brother and heir, Charles' story. I've found that this novel is incrementally better than the previous one. If that continues to be the case,  the last in this series will surely not disappoint, especially since Charles has the furthest to go to redemption.