Grace Burrowes weaves a plot as intricate and warm as a fine Scottish plaid in The Trouble with Dukes, the first in her Windham Brides series.
Blue-eyed and bespectacled, Megan Windham is worried on the night her family's ball kicks off the fall season in London. She's certain that the “goldenly glorious” Sir Fletcher Pilkington—a man she despises—will ask for her hand. How can she refuse his offer when she foolishly penned 31 love letters to the social-climbing cad?
Hamish MacHugh has distinctly different problems. Although he has a disdain for small talk and polite society, he’s just learned he’s a duke. Along with the title and wealth comes a wealth of responsibilities. The reluctant Hamish, now the Duke of Mordoch, declares his beloved bachelorhood to be doomed, but he’s pressured into donning his best kilt and attending the ball.
Megan Windham turns his head early on with her understated beauty, intelligence and confidence. But when she teaches Hamish how to waltz and throws a little Gaelic his way, he nearly swoons.
Sir Fletcher, eager to keep Megan for himself, spreads ugly rumors about Hamish. But winsome Megan sees something different in His Grace: strength, kindness and solidarity. These are qualities that Sir Fletcher, insistent on blackmailing her with her own love letters, lacks immensely.
As Megan and Hamish fall in love, they hide dark secrets from each other. Though Hamish falls quickly for Megan, he warns her that he’ll never fit in with London society. Rumors and gossip follow him everywhere, and he’s known as the Duke of Murder for his fierceness in battle. Meg should forget about him. So naturally, she is all the more charmed, even as Sir Fletcher attempts to force her hand.
Burrowes' savvy knowledge of history, language, clothing and customs, paired with her graceful writing and witty dialogue raise the bar for period romance. The Windham women are a fierce and feisty group, and Megan is an especially appealing character. If all the Windham women are as engaging, and if all the Scots have equally attractive humor and wit, Grace Burrowe’s Windham Bride’s series will exceed reader’s expectations.