Book Review: The Duke Heist by Erica Ridley

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I am so excited to say that this is an amazing first book for Erica Ridley's latest series! The Wynchesters are certainly on my list of favorites for book families, and the cast of characters were so lively and colorful. At first, I was a little worried about the deception that lasted for a good portion of the book, but as you read further along and become emotionally invested in the relationship, you realize it's going to be a wild but beautiful ride.

Chloe Wynchester grew up in an unconventional household, doted on by her adoptive father and surrounded by her adopted siblings, all of whom were, in some fashion, orphans. Never one to stand out, she has always secretly longed for the opportunity to wear beautiful gowns and dance at the fashionable balls. And she may just get her chance, when her late father's favorite painting goes missing, and the culprit's son refuses to acknowledge the theft. Lawrence Gosling, the Duke of Faircliffe, just wants a true family at the end of the day, unlike the wastrel father he grew up with. With the debts left to him upon his father's death, that dream seems further away than ever, and now he must marry for money. The last thing on his mind is the Wynchesters, until Chloe barrels into his life and makes him rethink what is truly important for his future - money or love.

I adored Chloe and her siblings - they were funny, sweet, clever, and loyal. While some were more eccentric than others, all stuck together like glue in the home they grew up in, and loyalty, regardless of your flaws, was valued above all else. Poor Chloe never showed her true self to her siblings, but as she spent more time with Lawrence, she was able to break out of her shell and finally be all that she could be. That's what made it particularly heartbreaking as her relationship with Lawrence got further along, and his focus didn't stray far from money, even while he feel more in love with her. I won't do a big spoiler, but there is a moment towards the end that stung quite a bit, and I almost put the book down then and there. In my opinion, groveling was in order and he was forgiven too easily, but maybe that's love for you? Lawrence was a sweetheart for most of the book, and I loved the little things he would do for Chloe, but I also felt that when it came down to it, he didn't pass the test of being willing to do anything for her. So while I greatly enjoyed this book, the four-star review is solely for Chloe, her family, and Lawrence (for when he was a decent fellow). I loved how the author wrote about the family, with so much thought put into each sibling and their quirks. It made me very excited to read the other books, and I'm especially excited to see that the next book features a same-sex couple. Their relationship was introduced in a "soft" sort of way in this book, and I loved both characters so much that I can't wait to see them fall in love.

Erica Ridley's Wynchester family won my heart, and I am hopeful that they will win yours as well!

**I received a free copy from the publisher and this is my honest review.**