Finishing school failed to turn them into proper society ladies. Now, these four friends vow to remain single until they find suitors worthy of their love and devotion…
Betrothed to a man she has barely met, Lady Faith Landon calls upon her three best friends—the self-proclaimed Wallflowers of West Lane—to help uncover the secrets of her mysterious fiancé. Her suspicions are aroused when she learns that he has recently returned from France. Is he a traitor to his country? The truth is quite the opposite. Nicholas Ellsworth, Duke of Breckenridge, is a secret agent for the English Crown who has just completed a risky mission to infiltrate Napoleon’s spy network.
After his adventures, Nicholas craves the peace and quiet of the country and settling into domestic bliss with his bride. Until he discovers Faith’s deceptive investigation. How can he wed a woman who doesn’t trust him? But a powerful spark has ignited between Nicholas and Faith that could bring about a change of heart. Faith seizes her second chance to prove to Nicholas that they are a true love match but his past catches up with them when three French spies come to exact revenge. Surviving rather than wooing has become the order of the day.
Titles in The Wallflowers of West Lane series include – The Earl Not Taken – Misleading A Duke – Capturing the Earl –
Title: Misleading A Duke
Series: The Wallflowers of West Lane
Author: A.S. Fenichel
Genre: Historical Regency Romance
Published: September 29, 2020
Publisher: Kensington Books
My Rating: 3.5 stars
If you feel like you’ve just stepped into another chapter of Misleading A Duke when you first open the pages… well, actually, you have in a manner of speaking. Faith’s and Nicholas’ story is the perfect example of why I try my best and encourage readers to start a series from the first book.
The Wallflowers of West Lane is not a series where you can easily just pick up the book because the cover or the blurb appeals to you. These stories are a bit darker, involve more graphic situations than you’d normally find in a Historical or Regency Romance novel. The danger faced is very real, historically real, and the villains are as vile as you will ever see on the pages of a romance novel. If you want or need to understand why Faith and Nick are at this particular crossroad of mistrust because of Faith and her friends’ shenanigans while investigating Nick in the first book, The Earl Not Taken… then you really need to start with that book, not this one. Sure, you could start here and pick up what went on… but, for me, that leaves far too many holes in the story I’m reading right now. But then, you do what works best for you in deciding whether to go back or continue on at this point.
Nick wants Faith to call off their betrothal for it’s far better for her reputation if she takes that action, not him. But he has no intention whatsoever of marrying a woman who does not trust him, who believes him to be a spy for the enemy, or who would lie and deceive as she has. No. He is done. And in my own opinion, rightfully so.
Faith is beginning to understand exactly what type of man she’s tossing aside… a good man. And knowing that she’ll be right back on the marriage market if her parents learn that Nick has no intention of marrying her, Faith has not broken their betrothal. In fact, she and her friends are about to set in motion events that will have dire, dangerous, and irreversible consequences by planning to get Nick and Faith to a remote location to work out their differences.
Misleading A Duke and really, this series so far, give very good, relatable reasons for why some of the main characters are acting as they are. I understand Faith’s and her friends’ frustration at being told they are to marry a man they do not know, who (as it has been proven) could be cruel and harmful to them. I get that, I really do. But to use a phrase often found in Regency stories – Faith’s actions went beyond the pale for me. And that in turn affected how I reacted to her story greatly.
The writing is smooth, the plot well executed, the characters come alive on the pages both the good ones and the nasty ones as well. My reaction to Misleading A Duke centers around one character, Faith – and perhaps some of her friends’ actions as they were helping her. Yet, you should be the one to decide if Faith and Nick have any chance at a happy ending after all they’ve been through so far. I enjoyed the story, I didn’t agree with the actions of one character, and I’ll continue because I want to know more. But those details should be left for you to discover on your own.
*I received an e-ARC of this novel from the publisher, 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 and for your favorite e-reader, mine is the Kindle