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Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Review: The Undercover Duke by Jess Michaels

Yay! Another book in the 1797 series that I enjoyed!

Format: .mobi (A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for the purpose of an honest review. )
Publisher: The Passionate Pen
Release Date: March 27, 2018

Lucas Vincent may be the Duke of Willowby but he’s never acted as such. He’s been too busy working for the War Department as a spy. But years of dangerous work has finally caught up to him and he was involved in a violent attack that nearly killed him. Forced home, his angry, aggressive desire to get back in the field and find out to who betrayed him is keeping him from healing.

Diana Oakford was raised by a physician who served the King’s War Department and she knows better than most the dangers that job entails. She was also trained in healing, so when she’s asked to come and assist with Lucas’s recovery she has a hard time refusing.

Once they’re alone together an unexpected connection begins to grow between these two people who have fought their emotions all their lives and more begins to heal than just Lucas’s broken body. But just when they start to believe they could find some kind of happiness, the past rears its ugly head and Lucas will have to choose between the life he once led and the woman who has changed his world.

What’s it About? Lucas Vincent has been working as a spy for most of the years since he’s became the Duke of Willowby but when he is betrayed and seriously injured on a mission he has no choice but to settle down and recuperate. But there are two problems, first, Lucas has never been good at being still which is preventing him from healing, and second, the woman charged with his care is an absolute distraction. Diana Oakford was raised by her physician father and is just as skilled as he was, so when she is asked to step into her father’s role as healer for the War Department, she knows just how dangerous it could be. Once Lucas and Diana are alone however, a connection begins to build between them and when the traitor comes looking for Lucas, Diana is caught in the middle.

Overall reaction to the story? For being a spy romance, there wasn’t much espionage going on. In fact, that seemed to be background noise while Lucas healed and fell in love with Diana. I didn’t mind too much because I enjoyed the romance and the fact that while Lucas was a spy, a titled one, he wasn’t in control for the first quarter of the book, Diana was. I loved how when it came to his recovery, Diana didn’t put up with his male ego. She sassed him and flat out ordered him around which made her more believable as a physician. But while Diana could handle Lucas the patient, she quickly realized she was in over her head with Lucas the man. Their chemistry was intense but I felt it was also built on a mutual understanding of pain and betrayal. These two characters carried a lot of emotional baggage and that connected them in a way that was just as much a part of the romance as the chemistry.

As far as plot goes, The Undercover Duke was pretty predictable but no less enjoyable. There were maybe one or two things I wasn’t expecting but the villain’s identity? Nailed it way before the big reveal. One of my favorite things about this book though was Lucas’ reentry into London’s elite society. He had been running for the title for years because of a secret truth he found out when he was young. As a result, he had cut off all contact with his friends and left them wondering if he was alive or dead. There’s a scene where Lucas is forced to admit he needs their help and writes a letter to one of them, when he receives a reply there is such a vulnerability about him that made him more real to me. There’s much more to that scene but I don’t want to spoil the effect of it. Needless to say Lucas is a character that needs to have the support of good people around him in order to make it in a titled role he feels doesn’t belong to him.

All in all The Undercover Duke is a fun way to spend some time. The book can standalone but why do that to yourself when there are five perfectly enjoyable books before it? Lucas and Diana make a solid team because Diana brings more than just her physical attributes and big heart to the romance, the woman has some mad skills as a physician!

Click It or Skip It? Click It. I have yet to find a book in this series that I didn’t enjoy.

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