When a Duchess Says I Do, by Grace Burrowes

2019-05-06-when-a-duchess-says-i-do-by-grace-burrowes
It's been several months since my last attempt at finding a new-to-me historical romance novelist whose work I actually like, so once again I'm choosing an author at random off a bookstore shelf. Sure, Grace Burrowes's When a Duchess Says I Do is covered in glowing testimonials from her fellow writers, but I've been misled before—hell, I'm sure someone had something nice to say about this.

When a Duchess Says I Do is the second book in Burrowes's Rogues to Riches series. When Duncan Wentworth, a former teacher turned reluctant estate owner, encounters a mysterious woman lurking in his woods, he's determined to rescue her. Matilda Wakefield isn't at all sure she wants to be rescued, but accepts his help, at least temporarily. But the more she gets to know Duncan, the less she wants to entangle him in her problems.

Most romance novels rely upon the chemistry of their leads to carry the story, and toss in just enough plot to create some obstacles to what would otherwise be love at first sight. When a Duchess Says I Do is the opposite. Nearly every named character in the book is carrying around enough trauma and baggage to fuel an entire novel by themselves, and the protagonists' relationship was consistently overshadowed by their other issues. The end result was intellectually engaging but emotionally underwhelming, and while I definitely preferred it to something like this, the search for the romance novelist of my dreams continues.
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Posted by: Julianka

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