Minerva Hepplewhite has learned the hard way how to take care of herself. When an intruder breaks into her home, she doesn’t swoon or simper. Instead, she wallops the rogue over the head and ties him up—only to realize he is Chase Radnor, the man who nearly got her convicted of her late husband’s murder. Now, he’s insisting that Minerva has inherited a fortune from his uncle, a wealthy Duke. Only one thing could surprise her more: her sudden attraction to this exasperating man.

Chase can’t decide whether Minerva is a wronged woman or a femme fatale. Either way, he’s intrigued. Since the scandal surrounding her husband’s death, she has set up a discreet detective business to rival Chase’s own. She may be the perfect person to help him uncover the truth about his uncle’s demise. But as proximity gives way to mutual seduction, Chase realizes he craves a much deeper alliance.

Titles in the Duke’s Heiress series include — Heiress for Hire – Heiress in Red Silk –

Title:  Heiress for Hire
Series:  The Duke’s Heiress #1
Author:  Madeline Hunter
Genre:  Historical Romance
Published:  April 28, 2020
Publisher:  Kensington Books
My Rating:  4.5 stars

Heiress for Hire is the first story in the Duke’s Heiress series, and it begins with a delightful tale full of intrigue, unexpected love, danger, suspects, and questions – some that will linger on throughout this series.  I have long enjoyed this author’s stories for her heroines are strong, established in their own right, and usually take no nonsense from anyone, including the hero – you’ll find all that and more in this series’ first release.

Chase’s night and his investigation into his uncle’s unexpected beneficiary aren’t going quite as he intended – seeing as he’s been hit over the head, rendered unconscious, tied up, and set upon for some intense questioning by Minerva herself.  He is certainly surprised at the results of his break-in since he considers himself a professional at snooping around and rather intrigued by the lady who is at the top of his list of women to find who have benefited from his uncle’s will, and possibly the very woman who sent his uncle to his death.  He is equally surprised by the intelligence of the lady who has her own investigative business which can, and does, rivals his own.  Chase definitely didn’t expect to be working alongside Minerva to discover who was involved in his uncle’s death, or the very strong attraction he feels for this woman full of secrets of her own.

Minerva has her own reasons for keeping Chase at arm’s length even while her attraction to this man who, unknown to him, has played a role in setting her on the path she’s taken with her life is raging out of control.  Her past won’t stay there for long, and soon she and Chase will be deeply involved in not only discovering what happened to the Duke – but falling in love and fighting for their own future as well.

I enjoyed Heiress for Hire very much.  There is worldbuilding, I expect that in the first story of any series.  And we certainly have several suspects to consider, including the men in the stories to come.  If you need full closure to all mysteries in any given book, then you’ll want to know that the Duke’s death is a thread that is woven throughout the entire series – we won’t get all the answers we seek right away.

I liked Minerva and Chase both together and individually.  There is a chemistry between them from the start, and I enjoyed the journey of watching them work together and fall in love along the way.  I would definitely recommend this story and I’m most definitely looking forward to the rest of the coming stories in this series.

*I received an e-ARC of this novel from Kensington Books via NetGalley. That does not change what I think of this story.  It is my choice to leave a review giving my personal opinion about this book.*

Available in paperback, audio or your favorite e-reader (mine is the Kindle)