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Combining a botanist heroine with a military hero, The Duke's Suspicion tests historical boundaries and comes out looking like a million dollars! I loved the unique characters, the unpredictable plot, and the engaging setting. There is very little not to like about this book, and if you must pick one thing, then perhaps you can say you don't like how accurate this book appears to be - I know a lot of people would prefer a book that glosses over the facts. However, though I'm not a historian, I loved how the Irish and British conflict was portrayed, and the author never brushed aside the fact that Erica was a very different sort of female from the usual during that time. I never found myself bored, and I was eagerly reading the excerpt for the next book in the series.
Erica Burke's journal is her life, so when she accidentally leaves it at an inn, she abandons the safety of her sister's companionship to retrieve it. In doing so, she becomes separated from the traveling party and takes refuge in what appears to be an abandoned cottage...except it's already occupied by a stern figure of a man who immediately takes control to keep them both safe. Introducing himself as simply Tristan Laurens, they travel to his home for shelter, and upon arrival, Erica discovers he's more than a mere mister - he's a duke! Stranded in his home along with many other guests, they grow closer, even as suspicion over Erica's Irish heritage makes her the prime suspect for being a spy.
Erica was one of the most inspiring characters I have read about this year! I loved her tenacity in pursuing her dream of botany, even thought everyone thought it unsuitable for a woman during that time. She didn't much care what other people though, and she held her own well among the society elites. I also loved the way she handled Viviane (Tristan's sister) and her governess, considering there were many opportunities for her to become frustrated. Tristan was another character I greatly enjoyed! He hardly batted an eye at Erica's botany ambitions, and he even sought ways for her to continue studying while she was at his home. He didn't belittle her, stood up for her among his peers, and generally served as a worthy friend. I loved when they became closer, because this just made their suitability more apparent.
I absolutely cannot wait until the next book! It will follow Erica's brother, and I'm sure it will be entertaining as this one was.
**I received a free copy via NetGalley and this is my honest review.**