What is the truth about the Duke?
The de Lacey brothers have a big problem. On his death bed their father confessed to a clandestine marriage years before he inherited the dukedom or married their mother. If proven, the brothers will lose a lot both financially and socially. The dukedom of Durham is one of the wealthiest in England. Each brother has a different reaction to the news that they may be illegitimate. Edward, the middle brother, who has been running the Durham properties effectively, will see all his hard work go to benefit someone else. Edward's reaction is to find the best solicitors available. Even though Charlie, the eldest, has been raised to be the duke, he is more nonchalent. He is agreeable to whatever his brothers want to do. Caroline Linden started her series, The Truth About the Duke with Edward's story in in One Night in London. She continues the story of the de Lacey brothers in Blame It on Bath. In this book we have the story of Captain Lord Gerard de Lacey, the youngest of the brothers.
Gerard is a man of action. As youngest he is expected to make his own way. His father had adviced him to join the army and to pay attention to the pretty young ladies with large dowries. The army has provided well for him so far, but not for the long haul. He is determined to track down his father's blackmailer, among other things. The latest letter was mailed from Bath, which is where he is headed. But before he leaves on his quest, he receives a strange proposition from a mystery lady. This lady has tracked him down at The Duck and Dog to propose marriage. Katherine Howe, formerly Katherine Hollenbrook, the daughter of a wool merchant, grew up in the same area. Gerard doesn't remember her, but she remembers him. He needs money, which she has, and she needs a protector against her late husband's nephew, who wants her money to keep the estate solvent. She gives him 3 days to consider her proposal. After further investigation he decides to accept her proposal and she accepts his conditions for marriage. Theirs is to be a real marriage in all ways.
They are married the next day. From the ceremony on begins the love story of Katherine, aka Kate, and Gerard. It starts out as a practical one, beneficial to both parties. He has a wealthy wife and doesn't have to worry about money, plus the sex isn't bad. She gains a handsome husband and a protector from Lord Howe and her mother and perhaps the hope of more than a practical marriage. Once they get her things from her home they are off to Bath where Gerard can begin his hunt for the blackmailer. I liked the way both characters grow into their own. Kate gains confidence in herself and recognizes her worth, even helping him in his search. Gerard learns that he has a smart and beautiful wife, whom he grows to love passionately. This story has both adventure--the hunt for the blackmailer--and romance.
I enjoyed Gerard's love story even more than his brother Edward's (which I reviewed) and look forward to Charlie's. Then I'll find out if the brothers' problems were really caused by their dead father's actions or were they the result of the current duke's behavior? Edward and Gerard have done their parts in trying to get to the bottom of the Durham Dilemna. Now it's Charlie's turn to find love and solve the Durham Dilemma. According to Linden's web page, The Way to A Duke's Heart is coming out in September, 2012.