*Book source ~ Picked up for free on Amazon
Hartley Giles St. Clair, the Duke of Derringer, has been plagued with problems, accidents and outright attempts on his life since he inherited the title of Duke at age seven. Now, an additional problem has cropped up in the form of a clause in his late father’s will, a clause that has gone unnoticed all these years (I’d fire that law firm). He has a week to marry or he loses his considerable inheritance. Since no one in London has any appeal to him he decides to travel to his estate and snag a bride nearby. On his way he stops at an inn when his carriage wheel breaks and that’s where he crosses paths with Leandra Harcourt, the beloved yet bastard daughter of the Earl of Harwood who is recently deceased. In dire straits after her stepmother throws her out, she accepts the Duke’s proposal and becomes his Duchess. However, their troubles continue. With someone out to get him, will Heartless survive to produce an heir?
With wonderful writing, fantastic characters and a twisty malevolent plot this should have been a 5-biter for me. However, while Leandra and Heartless were excellent characters when apart from each other, any time they interacted on page they became frustrating to read. Their wildly swinging emotions were confusing to me. Are they bipolar? I didn’t understand how they could go from happiness to rage to lust or whatever else emotion happened to pop up in just a few sentences. It was exhausting. I actually looked forward to them being apart so I could enjoy the book again. Also, I didn’t understand the huge time frame there at the end. I won’t give it away, but it didn’t seem to fit the plot very well.
All-in-all a wonderful read if you can survive the emotional roller coaster ride between the main characters.