Reviewed by May
So this was his first night as a duke in his own castle. AS he contemplated his situation, he couldn’t deny one thing – parts of it felt familiar. A foreign land, surrounded by hostile forces who wanted him either gone or dead and didn’t much care which one it was, and him with the assignment to bring order out of chaos. And the fact that the opposing forces were led by a supremely desirable black-eyed female with dusky hair? He would manage her just as he’d managed every other obstacle in his path before now. This was about sex and it was about war, and he was a damned expert in both.
Gabriel Forrester was a Major, earned through merit not money, and he was damn good at being a soldier. When the news came to him that he was now a duke, he was terribly upset. He didn’t want to be a duke at all, but not being one to shirk duty, he headed back to England to sort things out. Everything seemed able to manage itself except one thing: a property in Scotland that had a rude reply from the estate manager. What was going on up there? He’d have to head up and see for himself.
Fiona has been running the estate since her brother’s disappearance, and been doing a fine job if she says so herself. She doesn’t need some English solider up there mucking around, stirring up an old curse and causing issues. She definitely doesn’t need him stirring up feelings within her! The pair had great chemistry and it was easy to see why they would be such a wonderful match for each other.
“Are you with anyone?”
That stopped her in her tracks. “I beg yer pardon?” She turned around. “Why have ye been kissing me if ye think I’m with someone else?”
For a moment his expression didn’t seem at all amused. “Because if there is someone, you might want to warn him.”
“That I don’t share. That’s me, being civilized.”
His grim smile looked at least as frustrated as it did amused. “You have no idea.”
This story was ripe with potential. An unwilling duke that is a soldier and hero, a strong willed highlands woman, curses and people plotting against them – what could go wrong?
As I review the story, what I believe went wrong is that Enoch didn’t take anything far enough. We have an entire chapter at the start about some random battle before Gabriel finds out he’s now a duke. But when he needs to gain loyalty and work out issues up at his new property things simply kind of happen one sentence to the next.
Uneven would be one way I would describe this story. Fiona runs hot and cold. The people working against Gabriel are there and then they’ve given up. Things just don’t add up to a story that makes much sense nor was it especially satisfying. Which is disappointing because the premise and characters held so much promise!