Stacey is Sassy received a complimentary copy of this story. The copy provided was not the final version and may be subject to edits and changes
Published by Piatkus on December 20, 2016
Genres: Historical Romance
THEY CALL HIM THE DUKE OF MURDER...
The gossips whisper that the new Duke of Murdoch is a brute, a murderer, and even worse—a Scot. They say he should never be trusted alone with a woman. But Megan Windham sees in Hamish something different, someone different.
No one was fiercer at war than Hamish MacHugh, though now the soldier faces a whole new battlefield: a London Season. To make his sisters happy, he'll take on any challenge—even letting their friend Miss Windham teach him to waltz. Megan isn't the least bit intimidated by his dark reputation, but Hamish senses that she's fighting battles of her own. For her, he'll become the warrior once more, and for her, he might just lose his heart.
The Trouble with Dukes (Windham Brides #1)
By Grace Burrowes
I had no trouble with this kilt wearing Duke.
I LOVED The Trouble with Dukes. This type of book is why I love reading and became devoted to historical romance. Historical romance was my first love. I have been known to hook up with contemporary, paranormal/fantasy and suspense but you can’t beat your first love. Historical romance is where my heart lays. The strong but troubled aristocrat, the feisty and quirky heroine and a love story that melts your heart and leaves you with a giddy smile.
The Trouble with Dukes introduces us to Hamish MacHugh, the newly appointed Duke of Murdoch. Almost immediately, I had a soft spot for Hamish. It’s obvious that he’s devoted to his family and puts their needs ahead of his own. Hamish, his brother Colin and sisters Edana and Rhona are in London for the girls to acquire new dresses. While his siblings are happy enough visiting London, Hamish is not. He’s not interested in social gatherings and especially not with his fellow officers from the war. Not surprising considering they had all dubbed him the Duke of Murder.
As the story goes on we learn that not everything is as it seems in regards to Hamish. The stories from the war don’t seem to tell the full story. Being the type of man Hamish is, he’s not overly concerned with what the gossips say in regards to his services to his country. He is concerned about his reputation affecting his sisters’ chances at finding a suitable match. This concern leads him to do the one thing he tried to avoid…being social. Luckily for Hamish, he meets a bespectacled young lady who doesn’t seem to mind that he’s socially awkward.
Megan Windham is trapped. She’s in the unfortunate position of being blackmailed by a despicable man, Sir Fletcher. Sir Fletcher/Despicable is in need of funds and kept some very risqué letters Megan had written to him while he was overseas fighting in the war. Megan, at the time, thought she was in love with Sir Despicable but in truth, it ended up being a foolish infatuation.
Megan’s a Windham, the granddaughter of a Duke and has a sizable dowry. When all of Sir Despicable’s other fortune hunting endeavours go sour, he resorts to blackmailing Megan to clear his debts. Megan doesn’t want to marry Sir Despicable but she also doesn’t want to have to share her shame with her Windham family, especially her cousins. Hopefully, she can get herself out of this situation and if a certain Duke offers his services, she may just take him up on his offer.
I absolutely loved Megan and Hamish together. Neither of them seems confident but they do have an inner strength they both see in each other. Megan is not concerned with Hamish’s lack of social graces and Hamish is not concerned that Megan is practically blind without her glasses. She sees a strong and virile man who loves his family and works hard to do the right thing…even if it’s against the rules. He sees a beautiful and intelligent woman with fire in her eyes and strength and determination in her actions. The chemistry between them sizzled.
To me, there is nothing I like more than a man who knows what he wants. Even though Hamish hesitated with lumping himself on Megan, he never questioned that Megan was perfect for him. I wanted a perfect love story for this couple and I pretty much got what I wanted. Yes, there were some issues with Sir Despicable but Hamish was determined to make things right. The best part, Megan didn’t just sit back and hope for the best. Megan made sure she played a part in fixing her problems and in the end stood up for herself. It was very refreshing.
One of the highlights for me is getting to catch up with the Windhams. Percy (the Duke of Moreland), his sons Gayle (the Earl of Westhaven), Valentine, St Just, Keswick and Deene are very funny. The fact that the blokes in the family are worse than a pack of matchmaking mothers is one of the cutest things ever. You almost get the impression that Percy is eccentric, but deep down he just wants his duchess to be happy. I love them.
The Trouble with Dukes was one of my favourite historical romances this year. I never got distracted, was desperate to get back to it and I finished with a big goofy grin on my face. Can’t ask for more than that. If you haven’t read the previous Windham stories you will have no problems following along. I’ll warn you, though, it may make you want to go back to the beginning to see each of their love stories play out.
Looking forward to seeing if Colin grows up and how he woos Anwen.