The Lords of Worth #1
(Thanks for the recommendation Amanda & Felicia!)
THE STORY (from Goodreads)
Where Secrets Smolder...
Calm. Cool. Collected. Gisele Whitby has perfected the art of illusion—her survival, after all, has depended upon it. Years ago, to escape an abusive husband, Gisele "disappeared." Now she must risk revealing her new identity to save another innocent girl from the same fate. But she needs a daring man for her scheme, and the rogue in question shows a remarkable talent . . . for shattering Gisele's carefully constructed façade and igniting her deepest desires.
This isn't the first time Jamie Montcrief has awakened naked and confused from a night of drinking. It is, however, the first time a stunningly beautiful woman offers him payment afterward. Gisele has a business proposition for him, a mission involving cunning thievery and a brazen rescue. How can he say no to a plot this dangerous . . . and a woman this delectable?
I’ve Got My Duke To Keep Me Warm has a deceptively light title and cover, a sweet, carefree young woman twirling in the snow a far cry from the horrors heroine Gisele was forced to endure at the hands of her husband. Though the packaging doesn’t quite fit the tone of this tale, the story itself is outstanding, giving us a woman brave beyond measure who’s determined to give other women the freedom the rules of society at this time deny them.
For much of this story we can only guess what physical, emotional and sexual abuse Gisele suffered thanks to her husband's sadistic streak before she faked her own death and made her escape, but we don’t need all the gory details to find ourselves in awe of her strength from the first page. When she learns he’s to marry again (years later) her first thought is of the poor woman to be passed from father to husband as property, and instead of allowing her memories and past trauma to rule her, she strides boldly forward to save his new bride just as she was able to save herself.
Despite all that’s happened to her, she surprisingly doesn’t have a crippling fear of physical intimacy, allowing her romance with new partner in life-saving crime Jamie to proceed perhaps more quickly than we initially might have thought. That’s in no way a complaint however, instead it’s refreshing to see Gisele try to rebuild that part of her life and reclaim ownership of her body and her desire, thus cutting the final threads that tie her to her husband.
The plan Gisele, Jamie, and a stellar group of secondary characters hatch to keep the wedding from moving forward as planned is a darkly brilliant one, and watching as Gisele ever-so kindly provides her husband the rope with which to hang himself is nothing short of immensely satisfying. Overall, I’ve Got My Duke to Keep Me Warm is a page-turner of a romance, the desire to see Gisele and Jamie together equal to the desire to see Gisele’s husband get what’s coming to him, driving us to read as fast as possible to get to our much needed happily ever after.
*I've Got My Duke to Keep Me Warm is currently only $.99 on Amazon! Win.