The Duke’s By-Blows: Book 3
Release Date: August 18, 2020
The third in USA Today Bestselling Author Jess Michaels’ latest series.
Viscountess Aurora Lovell has been in love with one man her entire life, but life intruded and never allowed her to be with him. She came to accept it, marrying for title rather than love. Now a widow, she’s busy trying to figure out how to manage a scandal about to destroy her world when she is invited to a country party. Desperate to escape the realities of her life, she accepts.
Nicholas Gillingham has always lived his life between two worlds. Raised by a servant, but secretly the bastard son of the infamous Duke of Roseford, he never felt he belonged. Injured saving others, he is now a war hero and improbably in line to be gifted a title for his service. A way to never feel so helpless as he did when he lost Aurora the first time. But to influence the right people, he needs his brother’s help and finds himself at a country party.
Time and distance mean nothing when Aurora and Nicholas meet again. But can they overcome a tangled past filled with bitter betrayal, a scandal that could ruin the future AND a very intrusive dog in order to find their way back to each other? Or will love be just as painful the second time around?
From book one of this series, there is a theme flowing throughout about letting go of the past and embracing that future, which I adore.
In this case, Aurora and Nicholas were torn from each other through the manipulative efforts of her father and his biological father, sending him into a war zone and her into the misery of a cold and unhappy marriage.
Now a widow caught in a desperate search for her dearest friend and the strong arm of scandal, Aurora gratefully accepts the offer of respite from an old friend only to come face to face with a war-ravaged and angry Nicholas waiting on their doorstep.
With a missing friend still to find, a scandal lingering on her shoulder and the fear of costing Nicholas the title of Marquess he has hopes to claim standing in their way, even when the secret of their past is revealed it seems as though a happily ever after is just not in the cards for these star crossed lovers.
But in the hands of a master storyteller like Jess Michaels, the issues are resolved in manner that significantly enhances what could easily have been satisfying as a short story-novella and reinforces the belief that true love can conquer all. Especially with family and friends as devoted to the cause as they are themselves.
It is also a nice little bonus that Ms. Michaels is not afraid to bring on the kind of steam that is bound to rise when the unstoppable force of true love meets the unmovable wall of a desire long denied. Pair that with an emotionally rich story, a cast of supporting characters to die for and the set up for an even bigger mystery to come and The Matter of a Marquess is a book that requires a nice comfy chair, a hot cup of coffee and plenty of time to enjoy the ride from beginning to end without interruption.