Returning to the world of the Windham Family was a heartwarming reunion for me. Grace Burrowes’ Windham series and spin-offs has delighted me for many years now. I was thrilled to see there will be stories for some lady cousins needing romance and all the Windhams are back at the matchmaking.
While this is the first in a series, it is very much attached to the greater and older Windham series. A new reader will sense very much that they have stumbled into an ongoing family saga even while getting new players on the scene in the form of the new lady Windham cousins and their heroes. This story also had gentle ties with the Captive Hearts series book, The Traitor.
The story opens with frustrated Hamish MacHugh learning that instead of living quietly on the family estate in Scotland and healing the wounds of war, he has now inherited a ducal title and all that goes with it. Due to his notorious reputation on the battlefield and his own less than polished persona, he is known as the Duke of Murder in London Society. Hamish tolerates the high society rules and their Season for the sake of his sisters and encounters a sweet lady who respects and appreciates him just the way he is. Though Hamish feels attraction for Megan and he most certainly will do what he can to extricate her from the coils of her blackmailer, he will not let her tie herself to the likes of him.
Megan is not unaware of the machinations of her Windham family to find her and her sisters husbands this season. They all, but have her engaged to an eligible gentleman, but what they don’t know is that his public face does not match the evil man who holds her foolish girlish love letters over her head so he can wed her for the money that will keep him out of trouble with all those he owes. She is shamed and tells know one until she shares them with the gruff and equally secretly troubled Hamish. Hamish is so honest and kind that he’s a breath of fresh air, but he feels he must deny them both because of his struggles from his time at war.
But with the help of her cunning family and Hamish’s brother, they might just help Megan make a match of it yet.
As I said earlier, this one is a new series, but not a new world. I loved encountering the delightful Duke and Duchess and many of their Windham children while being introduced with the cousins. Megan and her three sisters are all unique. Megan made a mistake falling for a cad who used her girlish innocence to force her into a courtship that she does not want. I loved seeing her help Hamish get past his guilt and struggles and him show her she is beautiful and more than her past.
The blend of historical elements, humor, family, and romance was well-done.
Incidentally, the family charts tying the characters in with book titles at the beginning were very helpful to keep everyone in the Windham world sorted.
The plot divides between family reunion, character growth for Megan and Hamish, and the slow burn passionate romance. I also enjoyed the hints to what is to come with the rest of the series. All in all, it was a good start and I was delighted from cover to cover.
My thanks to Forever for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.