When you read a book by Grace Burrowes, you know it's going to be a fun ride with a great cast of characters and a romance to yearn for. She did not disappoint with this latest installment in her Rogues to Riches series! So many secrets and mysteries, and with two people who are generally reclusive by necessity, it was an entertaining read from cover to cover. It also explored a lot of important themes, particularly when looking at the historical implications, like child abuse, mental illness, and bullying. There was so much to unpack in this story, and once everything was laid out on the table, the reader gets an excellent view of history and how society has changed over time. Of course, we always have more improvements we can make, but we certainly have it better than our ancestors did.
Lady Althea Wentworth is in dire need of a tutor to help her succeed in society. Having grown up poor in horrific conditions, she doesn't fit in, and her peers know it. Not wanting to deal with the harassment, she has hidden away in the country, but now she's determined to have a family and she needs entrance into Polite Society to do it. After several attempts to gain the help of her neighbor, the reclusive Duke of Rothhaven, she is forced to embarassing measures in order to gain his cooperation. Nathaniel, the Duke, just wants to be left alone, in peace, to take care of his estate away from the prying eyes of those around him. But his neighbor burrows into his affections with her determination and courage, and despite how it began, their friendship gradually changes into something more. Nathaniel has secrets, however, ones that keep him from every marrying, no matter how much he might wish it.
Althea and Nathaniel were a very evenly matched couple - each had great tenacity and were forthright with one another. Althea was desperate and Nathaniel was lonely, and those two feelings collided to create a friendship. It was intriguing to get more clues to Nathaniel's secret as the story progressed, and I found myself anxious to see what happened next. Althea's life was an open book, and though she was not ashamed of her past, she recognized that society viewed her as less than because of it. Nathaniel didn't care where she came from, because her heart clearly was in the right place. She wasn't like the other members of society who had ulterior motives behind their kindness. Althea was genuine, and Nathaniel needed that in his life among all the lies he lived with. I can't discuss too much without giving the whole story away, but you will surely enjoy trying to predict where the story will take you next.
Excited to read the next book, featuring a character I came to love in this story! It's sure to be another winner by Grace Burrowes.
**I received a free copy from the publisher and this is my honest review.**