Now the new Duke of Hollinburgh, Nicholas Radnor has two duties to fulfill: locate the mysterious woman mentioned in his late uncle’s will and acquire a suitable bride. When bedazzling, unconventional Iris Barrington shows up at the estate, Nicholas believes he may have found the missing beneficiary—unless she is a charlatan or worse. But as for his second duty—he is finding it difficult to think of any other woman while tantalizing thoughts of Iris occupy his mind. He agrees to fulfill the late duke’s promise to her, even as he grows suspicious of both her motives and the danger that seems to surround her. All of which keeps her temptingly close at hand…
Iris will do anything to restore honor to her beloved grandfather’s name. Even tangle with the likes of Nicholas, a man whose formidable intellect and good looks lure her like no other. But all her years on the continent have not prepared her for the sensual onslaught she discovers in his embrace—or the devastation of almost losing him to malicious intentions. Now Iris’s desire to unearth the scandal behind the dukedom burns ever brighter: for doing so might also protect the man who has stolen her heart . . .
This is an adult 18+ story that may contain language, possible violence, and/or sexual situations geared to an adult audience.
Title: The Heiress Bride
Series: A Duke’s Heiress #3
Author: Madeline Hunter
Genre: Historical Romance
Published: May 23, 2023
Publisher: Kensington Books
My Rating: 4.5
There’s always a bittersweet moment when a series comes to a conclusion, and that was my feeling when reading The Heiress Bride, the third title in A Duke’s Heiress series. We’ll meet Iris and Nicholas, a rather unusual couple, and get the chance to catch up with Minerva and Chase, as well as Rosamund and Kevin, the couples from the previous titles. But just as importantly the mystery surrounding the deceased previous Duke will finally be revealed, and while I’ve enjoyed that thread woven throughout this series I definitely was satisfied to finally get answers. And no, you’ll have to discover that for yourself; I’ll not spoil it for you here.
Iris is a somewhat modern-thinking woman for the time period. She’s independent, has a career as a rare bookseller (researcher), travels the world on her own, and isn’t afraid to voice her opinion. While she spends most of her time away from England’s shores, she’s returned to the Duke’s estate with the intention of collecting a book he’d promised her not knowing that the Duke she knew of had passed away or that she was the final heiress to complete the dictates of his will. While this particular book may not have a huge monetary value, for Iris it’s personal for she needs this book to clear her grandfather’s name, to bring closure to a disgrace with the truth… for her, this tome is invaluable, and she will find it. She simply didn’t expect Nicholas or the effect he had on her — or the danger they’d find themselves in.
Nicholas has two important tasks to accomplish. Find the last heiress, and marry well for while he has inherited the Duke’s title and estates; well, the funding for those estates (and other family members) is wrapped up in the inheritances of three women, the final one being Iris… or so she says. While her claims are being investigated, Nicholas has decided to keep her close and why not allow her to search the libraries for the book she was promised while cataloging the other contents? It soon becomes apparent that there is more between Iris and Nicholas than the former Duke’s will. But is it enough to base a lifelong love upon? Not to mention the attempts to harm both of them.
Watching events play out as Iris and Nicholas give in to their attraction, delve into the family’s history, and bring justice to the past was a satisfying, emotional journey. Not everything is as it appears, but the long-awaited answers to so many of my questions were the highlight of The Heiress Bride, for me. If you love a well-written, steamy, emotional mystery with characters who will grab your attention throughout then you’d love this series – but I would suggest reading it in order for the best reader experience.
*I received an e-ARC of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley, and I sincerely thank the author or publishing house for their trust. It is my choice to leave a review giving my personal opinion about this book.*
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