Review: The Truth About Dukes (Rogues to Riches #5) by Grace Burrowes - .Red Wine & Books

Friday, November 13, 2020

Review: The Truth About Dukes (Rogues to Riches #5) by Grace Burrowes

 

Print Length: 400 pages
Publisher: Forever (November 10, 2020)

From Goodreads.com:  Robert Rothmere is hiding a past no duke should have endured, but he's not hiding it well enough. Sooner or later, his enemies will learn that he spent years locked away at a private asylum. To get their hands on his wealth, they'll try to send him right back to his worst nightmares. If Robert is to foil their schemes, he needs to marry a perfectly proper, blessedly boring, deadly dull duchess, immediately—and he knows exactly which quietly delightful lady he'd love to entrust with that role.

Lady Constance Wentworth has cultivated a reputation for utter forgettability. She never speaks out of turn (in public), never has a daring thought (that she admits aloud), and never comes close to courting scandal... as far as anybody knows. Her path crossed Robert's years ago, though, and she's never forgotten the extraordinary lengths he traveled to keep her safe when she hadn't a friend in the world. She longs to be his demure duchess...but little does he know that to marry her would be utter madness.

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My Rating: 3 stars out of 5

There was so much going on in this story that at times it because a bit overwhelming and confusing. This is due to the fact that there are not only multiple story-lines going on at once, but also multiple character points of view (which sometimes change in the middle of a chapter). 

And although I enjoyed the characters, I have a hard time calling this one a romantic novel. Yes, it was obvious that Constance and Robert share a deep affection for one another, but on a lot of levels this comes across more as a friendship than romantic love. I was also getting vibes of them using each other to an extent as well - he used all of his Ducal wealth and image to suddenly track down her long lost daughter (and really that did not speak well towards the woman Constance had been paying for years to do just that), while she took care of him during and after his spells (in addition to helping him overcome some of his phobias). I believe the fact that they were married also was able to give him a bit of ammunition against the charge that he was not mentally capable of being a Duke. 

In my opinion, this book would have benefitted from a Prologue in which we see a bit more of them when they first met. Throughout the book, we get little glimpses here and there (both of them and of the horrific conditions under which they met), but Robert claims this is where he first fell in love with Constance, but we don't see enough of this time to make that claim believable. If anything, he seems more grateful to her for the little ways she eased his suffering while there. 

Aside from the above mentioned things, this was an enjoyable story on the whole. I enjoyed the way this author wasn't afraid to tackle the subject of mental health (especially how it was perceived back then). I also felt that the characters each had their own personalities that kept any one from blending into the background. Even villain's came across as realistic (and oh boy did I enjoy the way Philpot's grand scheme was spoiled). While a part of me wanted to see more justice done to those who brought the allegations against him, I wasn't left feeling unsatisfied by the ending. 

All things considered, I would read more from this author! 

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.

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                                                                The Truth About Dukes is available from Amazon.com

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