REVIEW: Caroline Linden’s‘One Night in London: The Truth About the Duke’ started the journey which is known to all of us as the Durham Dilemma. This series has a very unique premise that Ms. Linden came up with. All three stories are designed to reveal one big secret and tell us the truth about the old Duke of Durham’s secret marriage that was never annulled, before he married his Duchess and the mother of his three sons, his heir Charles, Lord Gresham, Edward de Lacey, the spare and Captain Gerard de Lacey, the hero.
All three were shocked to learn that some sixty years ago the Duke had been married and then parted ways with the woman never bothering to get a divorce, an annulment or even make sure that that woman is still living or dead, before he marries again.
As the brothers start the search for answers to their future, they are destined to meet women that will make their life interesting, exciting and ultimately very happy to enter that state that all men at one time or another think of ‘mouse trap’.
Edward’s story is first, followed by ‘Blame it on Bath’ with Gerard’s and now we come to the end of the series and Charles’ story. From the previous two books we get the feeling that Charlie is one of those men that really doesn’t give a damn for anyone but his own self. He never answered his late father’s summons to his death bed and outwardly shows no concern about finding out who is behind the ‘illegitimacy’ claim and blackmail. All Charlie seems to want to do is ‘party’.
However, in this book, we meet the man that’s not so easy to define; man who for the past decade did everything in his power to distance himself from his father, from the responsibility of taking over not just the title, but all that it stands for, all that he’s been thought it entails to be the next Duke of Durham; man who hides behind the persona of the most debauched rake of the ton, yet deep down loves his brothers, is hurt by the treatment and interference from his father and now is left with no choice but to follow the lead, given to him from his brothers, and find the person behind the threats to their future.
Tessa Neville is an intelligent, spirited and rather shrewd woman whose past mistakes seem to follow as she tries to come to terms with what is in store for her in the future verses what she wants out of life. She is a woman behind the man, her brother. In order for her to not feel as a burden to him, she is given full rein of running the investment part of his business and she takes pride in her acumen for it. Her brothers knows that she’s good and relies on her to advise him in his latest proposal to invest in this canal scheme that frankly looks too good to be true.
As she’s on her way to speak to and look through the books of the man that her brother is considering to give a good portion of his money, she stops by for the night at a local Inn, and low-and-behold, that’s exactly where Charlie’s decided to stay as well.
Our heroine’s first impression of the hero is less than impressive. All she sees is what everyone else has
always seen and what Charlie has allowed them to see: an arrogant and debauched aristocrat.
Charlie on the other hand also comes to wrong conclusions about her too, and uses her elderly relation to get closer to her in hopes that she will reveal herself to be the blackmailer or lead him to whoever it is.
As a reader, I am taken on an emotional journey of self discovery of both of those people and Ms. Linden has done an outstanding job in combining her wonderful prose with witty dialogue and a pace that made this read enjoyable and way too entertaining.
By now I know I will not be disappointed by this author’s dedication to creating compelling characters, an intriguing plot, and sensual and romantic scenes. I loved every one of these stories, including‘I Love the Earl’, which was a Kindle prequel to the series. I am thrilled to offer my Five Quills and recommend you read this story, which stands on its own, but you will be enriched tenfold over if you read them in order, starting with‘I Love the Earl’.