3.5 stars of 5 stars
Ms. Wilhelmina "Minnie" Pursling is hiding a scandalous secret. One that she will do everything she can from ever coming out, but a chance meeting with Duke Robert Blaisdell threatens to expose her. The more she retreats as a wall flower, the more intrigued he becomes. He pursues her relentlessly and surprises her with a marriage proposal, but Robert has his own secret. He's the author of handbills that incite the poor working in the factories to strike. When an innocent man is accused of writing the handbills, Robert must decide how far he'll go to save him from a life in prison. Will he be willing to do the honorable thing? Will he be willing to expose another's secret in the process?
This historical romance was quite enjoyable, especially the dialogue between Minnie and Robert and Minnie and the Duchess. It was smart and witty, but there were a few things that didn't quite add up for me. The build up of Minnie's secret was intriguing, but when it was finally revealed, it was anticlimactic for me. I found it hard to believe that a 12-year girl would be held responsible for an adult's action especially someone who was a known liar and cheat. I am willing to suspend belief for most things, but Robert's secret was even harder to swallow. Why wouldn't he use his power and considerable means to help make the factory workers' lives more bearable instead of inciting them to strike especially since it was a crime to do so. Finally, I wanted to learn what became of Minnie's friend, Lydia. The one sentence in the epilogue didn't seem to do the character justice especially since she was so important to Minnie.
Despite these criticisms, THE DUCHESS WAR, kept my interest until the very end. Fans of historical romance will enjoy this book.
I received a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.