Tue
Dec 20 2016 9:30am

First Look: Grace Burrowes’ The Trouble with Dukes (December 20, 2016)

The Trouble with Dukes by Grace Burrowes

Grace Burrowes
The Trouble with Dukes (Windham Brides #1)
Forever / December 20, 2016 / $7.99 print, $6.99 digital

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.

Having married off all the Windham siblings in her Windham Series, Grace Burrowes has invented a family of Windham female neices for whom Her Grace, the Duchess of Windham, is eager to make matches. This new series, The Windham Brides, gets rolling with Megan Windham when she, and her family, take under their very influential wing the newly invested Duke of Murdoch.

Scot Hamish MacHugh is not at all happy to be a duke. He is a soldier and is not at all interested in the new notoriety or obligations his title bestows. Hamish was a fierce soldier and, having been in the army his entire adult life, knows no other life. Megan and the Windhams have their work cut out for them making Hamish into a civilized duke. They start with dance lessons.

"You look so fierce,” Miss Megan said, when they were on their second lurch about the room. The lady, fortunately, was more substantial than she appeared, and determined on Hamish’s education.

“I’m concentrating. Anything more complicated than a march and a fellow gets confused.” Her perfume was partly responsible, half spice, half flowers. Not roses, but fresh meadows, scythed grass, lavender and …

He brought the lady a trifle closer on a turn, the better to investigate her fragrance, and between one twirl and the next, Hamish’s instructress became his every unfulfilled dream on a dance floor. She had the knack of going where a fellow suggested, as if she read a man’s intentions by the way he held her.

Megan Windham made Hamish feel as if spinning about in his arms sat at the apex of her list of delights, the memory she’d recount in old age to dazzle her great-nieces and granddaughters. She danced with the incandescent joy of the northern lights, and all the feminine warmth of summer sun on a Scottish shore.

To her, he was apparently not the Duke of Murder or the Berserker of Badajoz. He was simply a lucky fellow who needed assistance learning to dance. The relief of that, the pleasure of shedding an entire war’s worth of violence, was exquisite.

For another turn down the room, Hamish wallowed in a fine, miserable case of heartache, for this pleasure was illusory – he had killed often and well – and the lady could never be his.

The sooner Hamish waltzed his own titled, homesick arse back to Scotland, the better for all.

One of my favorite things about Burrowes’ writing is that her heroes fall hard and fast and you can see it happening to Hamish while on the Windham’s dance floor with Megan.

Hamish has it bad, but he knows that his past life–and brutal deeds–in the army make him unfit for someone as kind and gentle as Megan. It is delicious to watch the poor man fight against his feelings and Megan, even as she tries to convince him that he is worthy of love and happiness.

And for you Windham fans out there, several past heroes play a crucial–and fun–role in The Trouble with Dukes.

 

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Learn more about or order a copy of The Trouble with Dukes by Grace Burrowes, available December 20, 2016:

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Cheryl Sneed reviews for Rakehell.com

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