by Elaine Manders
Edward Dalton, the new Duke of Langsdale, must soon take a wife to ensure the hereditary line. A young war widow seems the perfect choice. She is charming, well respected with impeccable character, and her connections to the Ton’s most important people is an asset he can’t ignore. But Edward is intrigued by another widow. The mysterious, hauntingly beautiful Lady Wayte.
Cassandra Wayte could not be a more unsuitable match. She isn’t received by polite society, and her notorious dealings with London’s underclass is the talk of nobility from White’s patrons to the most fashionable hostesses. It’s even whispered she murdered her elderly husband. But Edward sees a different side of the tragic lady, and he determines to discover the secrets tormenting her. As he peels away the layers of her resistance, he discovers a malevolent adversary stalking Lady Wayte and exposes a level of depravity that shocks even his war-hardened sensibilities. Can he win her trust and her heart? And at what cost to the dukedom?
As Cassandra’s relentless search for her husband’s murderer exposes both her and Edward to unseen dangers, all they can rely on is their love for each other and their faith in God.
I must admit that I have mixed feelings about this book. I really enjoyed the characters in this book. Especially Sarah...she is so precocious and charming, that you can't help but like her. Some of her antics had me laughing. I also enjoyed solving the mystery of who really killed Cassandra's husband. That part of the story added a nice twist to it for me. However, the story is filled with sensitive topics. Though the matters are handled with care for the most parts, they are just not something that I enjoy reading about. Yes, I realize that these things happened and sadly still happen today, but I do not wish to read about them. So overall the book was not what I was expecting or looking for. If you are not a sensitive reader though, I believe that you will enjoy this book as a whole. My favorite part of the story was the message of Christ's love for us. I loved how the author took all of the bad circumstances that Cassandra and others faced and used them to show the characters how much God loves us no matter what!!!
Parental Warning: This book deals with sex trafficking, prostitution, brothels, rape, beatings, and murder.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Celebrate Lit in exchange for honest review. All opinions are my own.
I wrote the original manuscript nearly twenty years ago as a light, secular romance, but when I revised it to Christian romance, I was delighted to find the inspirational thread deepened the characters. Instead of merely fighting for her reputation while trying to wrest the duke from another woman, Cassandra, the heroine, must fight for her survival. Instead of being another handsome, sardonic nobleman, Edward, the hero, uses his intelligence and grace to protect Cassandra and win her love.
Even the secondary characters captivated me. Little Sarah’s match-making antics suited the Regency theme and provided some levity during the darker moments of the plot. Lady Ashford, Cassandra’s foil, developed a tenacity I had to admire in spite of all her shortcomings. And Sir Harcrumb became a villain I loved to hate.
Though the characters changed a great deal in the retelling, the plot remained basically the same. The only thing I added was a surprise twist at the end—something that has inadvertently become a part of my brand.
Every story is a learning experience for me, and I’m always grateful for how much I learn from my research and from the Holy Spirit. I’ve become more aware of those who deceive, and how vulnerable people, especially young people, are to Satan’s tactics. Also, I’ve unexpectedly come away with a better understanding of PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). Although this is a new label, we all know it has affected people throughout history.
Yes, The Duke’s Dilemma has taught me much, and I hated to say good-bye to these characters. I love stories that move me during the writing and only ask two things of my books. That they bring enjoyment to my readers and glory to my Lord and Savior, Jesus. I hope this one does both.
August 22: A Baker’s Perspective
August 22: Books, Books, and More Books
August 23: Blogging With Carol
August 24: Genesis 5020
August 25: Avid Reader Book Reviews
August 25: Have A Wonderful Day
August 26: Jami’s Words
August 26: Faery Tales Are Real
August 27: Karen Sue Hadley
August 27: Ashley’s Bookshelf
August 28: Remembrancy
August 29: The Fizzy Pop Collection
August 29: For the Love of Books
August 30: Locks, Hooks and Books
August 30: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations
August 31: Blossoms and Blessings
September 1: Pause for Tales
September 1: Caffeinated Reads
September 2: Live. Love. Read.
September 3: Just the Write Escape
September 4: Henry Happens
September 4: History, Mystery & Faith
Grand prize: $50 Amazon Gift Card
1st place: paperback copies of Books 1 and 2 of the Wolf Deceivers series, The Chieftain’s Choice and The Duke’s Dilemma!!
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