Review: What a Gentleman Wants (Reece Family Trilogy #1) by Caroline Linden

Print Length: 352 pages
Publisher: Kensington Books, Zebra (January 26, 2016)

From Two strangers are swept into a sizzling, spellbinding world of daring deception and unexpected passion. . .

Marcus Reese, Duke of Essex, has spent most of his life pulling his twin brother out of trouble. A thank you would suffice; instead, his resentful sibling forges his name to a marriage license and presents him with an unwanted wife. She's a vicar's widow with a mind of her own, and the first person in Marcus's well-ordered life to make him feel. . .completely out of control. 

Dire straits have led Hannah to the altar with a gentleman she hardly knows. Played for a fool, she's embarrassed, furious, and worse, married to an equally outraged, exasperating man who unleashes all manner of emotions in her--not to mention unwanted desire. Reluctantly, Hannah agrees to play the wife until he can sort out the mess. But the undeniably attractive Duke unsettles her well-guarded heart--making her want to do so much more than "act" the role of blissful bride. . .


My Rating: 4 stars out of 5
There were several things that I very much enjoyed about this novel. To begin with, I enjoyed the attention the author paid in setting up this romance. Not only between Hannah and Marcus, but the friendship between Hannah and David as well. When I first read the synopsis, I was trying to figure out just how this story would play out. How did David convince a vicar's widow to marry him? Why did Marcus put up with such treachery? 

Thankfully, not only were those questions (and more) answered, but the way in which they were answered made perfect sense. Once you were actually engaged in the story and you got to know the characters you could understand why they either did what they did (although I would be curious as to how an alternative-universe scenario would play out wherein David and Hannah remain married), but you also understand why they went along with things when they would have been easily refuted. It was also refreshing that Hannah and Marcus did not immediately fall in love (or fall into bed) with each other, but rather the romance was allowed to build with the tiniest of things. That made the entire thing seem more realistic than it would have seemed if they had just immediately had an affair with one another.

Another aspect of this story that I felt really kept it unique was the mystery that was an underlying theme throughout. While on one hand you are caught up in the is it or isn't it a romance, you are also right there with Marcus trying to uncover the identities of the counterfeiters, while also hoping that his brother isn't involved. That made the ultimate ending probably one of the best parts of the story. I felt as though not only was the mystery resolved, but there was also a bit of redemption for certain characters as well.

However, there is one thing that has been bugging me since I finished. And that is the fact that Hannah allowed a certain someone to continue caring for her daughter even when she had reason to suspect that person was not who she thought they were. It seems to me that any mother who would have gotten the information she did about the person, would have found some way to end that person's contact with her child. The fact that Hannah didn't annoyed me a bit. 

Overall, I would certainly recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys a good historical romance.

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.

What a Gentleman Wants (Reece Family Trilogy #1) is available from

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