HOW TO DECEIVE A DUKE
When Rose Lynton runs away instead of going through with an arranged marriage to the Devil Duke of Temberlay, her sister Meg steps in to fill the role of the blushing bride. She's harbored a secret crush on Nicholas Hartley and is not past helping her family by doing the duty her sister would not. A soldier and hero, when Nicholas' older brother dies in a duel, he comes home to do his duty to his family and marry. Yet, the morning after, he realizes it's not Rose he married, it's the hoyden of the family. He soon gets over his anger as he realizes he's not all that upset because Meg is definitely a beauty and someone he's very attracted to. However, there are others who were in on his brother's demise and will stop at nothing to finish off Nicholas.
This first part of this book is great, with the characters being used and manipulated, yet still are able to find some kind of peace between them. What hovers between is a series of misunderstandings, jealousies and non-communication that really has no place in this story. Nicholas has a mistress when he marries, but does not let Meg know that he's gotten rid of her, which causes Meg lots of heartbreak. There is also the insecurities that Meg has felt all her life, being the only red head in a family of blonde sisters. She's bright, bold and head strong, but yet she feels inferior and Nicholas does little to reassure her. Then there is the thread of his brother dying in a duel that was supposed to have stemmed from something Nicholas did. Then what could have been a pure character driven romance, turns into a conspiracy story, yet it changed again into something entirely at the end as Nicholas rides back off to battle. I felt that the first part of the book was written with an entirely different ending in mind, then something happened to cause the author to switch endings and wrapped up in a dark mire.
Reviewed by: Jennifer Jones