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The Dreadful Duke

The Dreadful Duke, April 2024
Bad Heir Day Tales
by Grace Burrowes

Grace Burrowes Publishing
ISBN: 0186137184
EAN: 2940186137184
Kindle: B0CNVFVZH4
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"True love foils a greedy villain in this gentle Regency romance"

Fresh Fiction Review

The Dreadful Duke
Grace Burrowes

Reviewed by Make Kay
Posted April 22, 2024

Romance Historical

Starting a new gentle Regency romance series the Bad Heir Day Tales, author Grace Burrowes brings us a delightful tale of true love conquering all obstacles in THE DREADFUL DUKE. Burrowes writes dreamy historical romances with mature and experienced heroines who anticipate their vows, stalwart but befuddled heroes who have true and honorable hearts, and there is always an evil miscreant trying to derail one of the two lovers. Here, Burrowes also brings us a cameo from The Earl of Westhaven from THE HEIR, book one in the Windham series. 



Finn Cathcart is a successful sculptor working on the Continent. He was raised in penury after his father’s family disowned him for marrying Finn’s mother. Finn is thus resourceful and self-sufficient and has no interest in the family which left him to starve as a child. But he’s called back to England now that he’s the last remaining person eligible for the title of Duke of Huntleigh.



Finn would tell both his family and the Crown to shove it, except for the existence of Wilhelmina Cathcart, the widow of the previous duke, and her charming young daughter Emily. Willie and Emily will be the ones to suffer if Finn turns his back on his inheritance, so Finn girds his loins and prepares to take his place in the society that turned its back on him many years ago.



Willie is a marvelous character, full of love and forbearance. I love how she begins to acknowledge her hurt and anger over how she’s been treated by her family and her dead husband’s family. Her burgeoning growth is delightful, and I am fully here for it! Willie is a caring mother and is so good for Finn too. 



Finn and Willie slowly fall in love as Finn works to achieve his footing in the family and the ton. Outside forces conspire against them, though, and their eventual happiness is hard-won. I am impressed by how much empathy Willie has for her tormenters, but I audibly cheered when the villain gets their comeuppance. Burrowes’ THE DREADFUL DUKE is a comfortable and lovely read, with a well-drawn historical setting and two engaging lovers who find their happiness in each other.

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He’d rather carry hod in hell…

Finn Cathcart, a successful sculptor, is having a fine time on the Continent cavorting with alabaster nymphs and marble goddesses (so to speak), when he’s informed that a ducal title awaits him back in England. The same family who disowned Finn’s father now needs an heir to prevent all their wealth from falling into the Crown’s greedy hands.

...She’d rather he did too.

Wilhelmina Cathcart is the widow of the previous ducal heir, and she has no patience with fledgling peers who come grumbling to their honors. Mina has a daughter to raise, meddling family to manage, and no time to explain Mayfair society to a stubborn, backward, contrary duke… even if he is charming and a good listener. Mina and Finn are on the point of admitting a powerful attraction when an enemy close at hand threatens to ruin their hopes for a happily ever after. They will have to work together, and put aside both well earned pride and treasured prejudices, if their shared dream is to bloom into a shared future.

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