What a Gentleman Wants by Caroline Linden

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!



40 thoughts on “What a Gentleman Wants by Caroline Linden

  1. You know I’m a sucker for historical romances, so I’ll have to check this one out! Although, I have to say the other cover (the one in your French review) looks more appealing… Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I’m glad you really loved the book! 🙂

  2. I really need to give this genre a shot since I don’t think i’ve ever even read a historical fiction book let alone a historical romance. I’m glad you really enjoy this series and that you were able to read some books in french and some in english? Do you ever get confused with the details from one language to the other? I’m super curouis!

    • Yes sometimes I read in French and sometimes in English as soon as they don’t change the names it’s ok. It’s just that I receive books from France and frome UK and US. But for one book, I don’t read in the other language. It would be too long.

  3. Though not a big fan of this genre unless its heavy on the history and less so on the romance I can see why you enjoyed it as the characters sound good. I’m with Jennifer on the cover though as this alone would stop me giving the book a second glance.

  4. I’m always in the mood for a good historical romance Melliane! They usually never fail to bring a smile to my face, and like you, I like that this story features a more mature heroine with a child of her own already:) Looking forward to your thoughts on the next book!

  5. I really love this genre too but often don’t make the time of effort to squeeze it in which is a shame because when I do, I remember all over again why I love it so much.
    So happy this was a good read for you. 🙂

  6. I love Historical Romances, but I seem to have a very small group of authors whose work I gravitate to, I really don’t konw a lot other ones. I’m glad you have put this on my radar, I think is time to venture outside that small group.
    I think I could enjoy this one too.

  7. The premise of this one is really funny! The nerve of Marcus’ brothers for marrying him off to a widow. OMG! Good to know that Hannah was able to handle the situation well despite the dire circumstances of her wedding with Marcus. I really feel for Marcus though. After all the things that he’s done for his brothers, he unknowingly got a wife instead. But I guess, his perspective changed at the end since Hannah was a blessing in disguise afterall.

  8. Mature heroines seem to be making an appearance more-and-more in fiction, and I personally think that it’s a welcomed change. Molly sounds like a positively delightful character, and I do love multiple story lines, so I am happy to learn that this novel features two. Wonderful review!

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