I received this book for free from Netgalley in order to prepare an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
The Broken Duke (The 1797 Club Book 3) by Jess Michaels
Series: The 1797 Club #3
Published by Passionate Pen on September 12th 2017
“Do not mistake me, Mrs. Ford, I absolutely came back here to seduce you.”
FINAL DECISION: I enjoyed this story of a man who is angry and grief stricken after the betrayal of his friends, but soon finds a woman (or two women) who make him happy for the betrayal.
THE STORY: Graham Everly, Duke of Northfield has been adrift since one of his best friends stole Graham’s fiancee. Graham’s relationship with the 1797 Club members have been strained; Graham didn’t love his fiancee, but he feels betrayed by his best friends. Graham finally accepts an invitation to attend the theater and there he is entranced by an actress Lynda Ford. For the first time in a while, Graham’s passions are inflamed for the vibrant Lynda. What Graham doesn’t know is that Lynda lives a double life. She is actually Lady Adelaide, a society wallflower. When Lynda and Graham begin an affair, things become sticky as Adelaide begins to fall for Graham even as she is lying about herself.
OPINION: For me, this book is really about Graham. He has a complexity of character and is tormented by so many things and yet is such a good man. He feels broken by the betrayal of his friends and doesn’t know how to navigate his emotions and his relationships with his friends. When he meets Lynda, things begin to change for him. By showing Graham that love and desire can be above all, he begins to open himself up to his life again.
Lynda is a woman who has made the best of her life, accepting her mistakes and finding pleasure and joy where she can. She lives a dual life, neither woman being the whole of who Lynda/Adelaide is.
I thought that the relationship between Graham and Adelaide was sweeter than I expected. Graham always feels like a good guy even as he struggles with his demons. And while this book’s title hints at what could be a dark story, I thought that the story, while touching on the darkness, actually was not angst filled or particularly dark.
Did I buy the central premise that Graham became involved with two women and didn’t realize they were the same person? Not really, but I can suspend my disbelief on such things if the story is otherwise good. And this one was.
WORTH MENTIONING: Apparently the next book is about the male wallflower in the group 🙂
CONNECTED BOOKS: THE BROKEN DUKE is the third book in the 1797 Club series. While the romance in this book is self-contained, I think part of what makes this book is the relationship between the different heroes, as such, I think this book is so much better read as part of the series.
STAR RATING: I give this book 4 stars.
NOTE: I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley in order to provide a review. I was not required to write a review or to write a positive review. All opinions contained herein are my own.