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Book Scene: An enchanting romance with a fairy-tale twist

when a duchess says i do

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Best-selling author Grace Burrowes has once again delivered a phenomenal historical romance. “When a Duchess Says I Do” is — as the fabulous author Mary Balogh puts it — “smart, sexy and oh-so romantic.”

Duncan Wentworth once tried his hand at rescuing a damsel in distress long ago, and he’s vowed he’ll never make that mistake again. Nonetheless, when he comes across Matilda Wakefield in the poacher-infested and far-from-enchanted woods of his estate, decency compels him to offer aid to a lady fallen on hard times. Matilda is whip-smart, she can read Duncan’s horrible penmanship, and when she wears his reading glasses, all Duncan can think about is naughty Latin poetry.

Matilda cannot entrust her secrets to Duncan without embroiling him in the problems that sent her fleeing from London, but neither can she ignore a man who’s honorable, a brilliant chess player, and maddeningly kissable. She needs to stay one step ahead of the enemies pursuing her, though she longs to fall into Duncan’s arms. Duncan swears he has traded in his shining armor for a country gentleman’s muddy boots, but to win the fair maid he’ll have to ride into battle one more time.

I absolutely loved their friendship and courtship. Duncan and Matilda were perfect for each other. Duncan’s never-ending patience and faith on Matilda is praiseworthy and made their slow-burn romance all the more touching. It was absolutely adorable how they talked to each other in chess metaphors. Oh so very geeky ... but oh so very sweet, too.

Although this is Book Two in the “Rogues to Riches” series, it works perfectly as a stand-alone. I do encourage you to read “My One and Only Duke” first, though. Toward the end of the book, we get a really heartfelt scene between Quinn (“My One and Only Duke”) and Duncan, and it will be a whole lot more special to you if you’ve read both books.

All in all, if you enjoy historical romances, this Regency Romance by Grace Burrowes will certainly work for you. It has an interesting background story with just enough suspense and intrigue, fabulously clever main characters, and secondary characters who you will either fall in love with or already have on the previous book and will enjoy seeing again.

• “When a Duchess Says I Do” by Grace Burrowes was published by Forever (Hachette) in April. It retails for $7.99.

• Anne Zastrow works for Inklings Bookshop. She and other Inklings staffers review books in this space every week.

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