Duncan Wentworth tried his hand at rescuing a damsel in distress once long ago, and he's vowed he'll never make that mistake again. Nonetheless, when he comes across Matilda Wakefield in the poacher-infested and far-from-enchanted woods of his estate, decency compels him to offer aid to a lady fallen on hard times. Matilda is whip-smart, she can read Duncan's horrible penmanship, and when she wears his reading glasses, all Duncan can think about is naughty Latin poetry.
Matilda cannot entrust her secrets to Duncan without embroiling him in the problems that sent her fleeing from London, but neither can she ignore a man who's honorable, a brilliant chess player, and maddeningly kissable. She needs to stay one step ahead of the enemies pursuing her, though she longs to fall into Duncan's arms. Duncan swears he has traded in his shining armor for a country gentleman's muddy boots, but to win the fair maid, he'll have to ride into battle one more time.
I enjoyed the character, writing style, and the romance, but the plot... yeah, it wasn't my bag.
When a Duchess Says I Do was my first read from Grace Burrowes, but I would read her again any time, any place. Her writing was competent and professional, and I'm sure she has already written some stories that could be favorites of mine. However, When a Duchess Says I Do was a bit too stressful and far-fetched for me.
When I read a story with a big mystery element, where a lot of details are left out until the end to keep us readers in the dark, I get a feeling of impatience or stress. That's what happened when I read this story. I kept waiting for the other shoe to drop, for something horrible to happen. I don't like that anticipation, but I recognize that that is something that is 100% just my tastes. I found myself rushing through certain sections and dreading to pick the story up again in others, which is why it took me over a week to finish a fairly regular length book.
Aside from that, and the fact that the actual plot was a bit confusing and unlikely-sounding, I really enjoyed these characters and the romance. I like a woman who is *not* a virgin in historical romance, and I liked Matilda's practicality and confidence. She was a strong, self-reliant woman, and I enjoyed her as a character very much. I also liked the reserved and moral Duncan, who resonated with me quite a bit.
The story was entertaining, and it made me want to read more in this series, but I still didn't mesh well with the mystery that ran throughout the book. However, fans of reads that are a bit more suspenseful (and who don't mind many, many POVs) will enjoy this one.
*Copy provided in exchange for an honest review*
Enjoy, my friends!