In Victorian London, a businesswoman and a duke may disagree about everything and still find each other irresistible.
Henry Cavanaugh, Duke of Torquil takes his responsibilities to his family very seriously. So when his widowed mother runs off with an Italian painter, he does what he thinks he must—tries to block their marriage. But first, he has a score to settle with Lady Truelove, the author of the pseudonymous advice column published by a scandal sheet, who advised his mother to follow her heart. When he turns up at the newspaper’s office, he finds the paper’s publisher, Irene Deverill, inconveniently attractive. Irene is hard at work saving her family’s newspaper empire, and their financial security, since her father is too drunk and sickly to do it himself. Henry quickly identifies her as the columnist who led his mother astray and demands that she convince his mother not to marry her lover after all. Every interaction between them is challenging. For one thing, they have opposite worldviews. Irene is a suffragist, a proud member of the middle class, and a professional woman in a society that looks down on work. Henry is a member of the nobility, a patriarch, and a social scion. This new novel by Guhrke (No Mistress of Mine, 2016, etc.) is the first in her new Dear Lady Truelove series. While the characters are a bit stereotypical (duty-obsessed titled man who doesn’t express his feelings; passionate and independent suffragist), they do grow over the course of the story. Even better, the book is full of thought-provoking commentary on socio-economic class and how it shapes our morals and our identities. That makes the book worth reading even if it’s not the fun, escapist tale many readers look for in the romance genre.
An interesting tale from a well-respected author.