Reece Family Trilogy, Book 1
Synopsis: Marcus Reece, Duke of Exeter, has spent most of his life pulling his twin brother out of trouble. An occasional thank you would suffice; instead, his resentful sibling forges his name to a marriage license and presents him with an unwanted wife. She’s a vicar’s widow with a mind of her own who may be the first person in Marcus’s well-ordered life to make him feel…completely out of control.
Hannah can’t help but curse her own idiocy. Dire straits have led her to the altar with a gentleman she hardly knows. Played for a fool, she’s embarrassed, furious, and worse, married to an equally outraged stranger—an exasperating man who unleashes all manner of emotions in Hannah, not to mention unwanted desire. Reluctantly, she agrees to play the wife until he can sort out the mess. But the nearness of the undeniably attractive Duke and the passion in his black eyes unsettles her well-guarded heart—making her want to do so much more than « act » the role of blissful bride.
Review: It’s been a while since I had not read a historical romance novel and that’s a shame because it’s a genre that I really enjoy. With the French release, I had the opportunity to read the third book which was a great find and this time, the release of the first volume allowed me to immerse myself again in the series. As I said in my opinion it is not necessary to read the novels in order, even though the story takes place in chronological order. In fact, we follow in each volume a family, more precisely three children, two boys and a girl.
Here we meet the eldest of twin brothers who became Duke with the death of his father. It’s a cold, rational and determined man who never got married. His brother is quite the opposite, he is impulsive, womanizing and has a fabulous talent for getting in catastrophic situations. Fortunately for him, Duke Marcus is always there to save him whatever happens. Yet after a last case, his brother David is sent away from London to be forgotten. But after an accident, Hannah, a widow of a pastor, deals with him to help him to recover. Very grateful and to help her resolve personal problems, David offers to marry her. Alas, he will quickly understand that he is not a man to marry a girl and during the ceremony, he notes the name of his brother instead of his. After bringing the young woman and her young daughter in London, he abandons them by explaining to everyone that she is the new wife of the Duke.
The situation is very delicate as the two characters are furious at the highest point; when the Marcus family gets involved, he decides to pass the young woman for his wife for a month or two, until his stepmother and sister leave. But nothing is simple, as Hannah is far from being shy or led by the nose and remains determined to act as she wishes. I loved her character! It’s always a pleasure to follow her and to observe how she would react to unforeseen events that stand in her way. Marcus is quite the opposite and it is true that it is very difficult to understand what he really wants but I loved the fact that the author does not base her story on unsaid between the two heroes as it is often the case in these books.
Another point I loved was the fact to have a mature heroine, a mother with her child she loves deeply. I have not read that many historical romances but still it’s nice to have something different.
The characters will have to discover the other to learn to live together throughout the novel, while creating a tangible link between them. It was very touching to see them closer while trying to remain wary about what the other really wants. But in addition to this story, we also have a story below about the appearance of counterfeit that everyone wants. Would I forget to talk about Molly? I loved that little girl, bubbly and full of charm. Celia, the sister of the Duke is on the same scale even if older and it was lovely to see them play together.
In all cases this novel was a nice surprise and I’m pretty curious about the story about David now that I know the ones of Celia and Marcus. It was a good romance!