Monday, October 13, 2014

Undone by the Duke by Michelle Willingham
Secret in Silk Book 1

Publisher and Release Date:  Montlake Romance, February 12, 2013

Victoria has a secret...
Reclusive designer Victoria Andrews hasn't gone outside in five years, though she yearns to escape the prison of her house. She designs sensual lingerie for the most exclusive dressmaker in London, although she has never known a man's touch.

A Duke in disguise...
Wounded and stranded in Scotland, Jonathan Nottoway, the Duke of Worthingstone, is avoiding the murderous scandal that darkened his family name. As his wounds heal, he spends several sensual nights with the beautiful seamstress who knows nothing of his true identity. 

A passionate awakening
Can a woman trapped by her emotional scars be able to love a duke, when it means abandoning her safe world to embrace the life of a duchess?

Time & Setting: Regency, Scotland & England

Heat Level: 2

Rating 4 Gold Crowns

Review by Vikki

I’m so pleased I found this book through the Kindle Unlimited program. I thoroughly enjoyed this excellent tale of overcoming fear and finding a new world opened to explore. I’m not speaking of travel, even though some travel is involved, but of an emotional journey. The pacing of the story is steady, and kept me turning the pages, so I could find out what would happen next. I’m not going to recap the story, since I feel the book blurb does this extremely well.

Ms. Willingham brings her scenes to life, allowing me to enter and feel as if I’m part of the action. Her writing is deeply emotional, and the heroine feels intense longing, passion and abandonment as she fights to conquer her overwhelming fear of the outdoors. I truly felt the fear that Victoria experienced when she attempts to go outside for the first time in five years, her inability to touch the door, to twist the knob.

The author’s writing is smooth and descriptive without being intrusive, painting the background and setting with a masterful touch. She stays true to the regency period and uses no modern terminology, which will pull me out of a story quickly. Her writing is so vivid that I was able to live vicariously through the characters, experience what they felt and what they were seeing.

Talk about building sexual tension, Ms. Willingham is superb at this, letting me to experience it as it finally reaches a crescendo, culminating in an emotionally charged love scene, without becoming overly graphic. She shows the passion through the emotions the characters are experiencing, instead of the mechanics of the sexual act. The love scenes are truly beautiful, and engaging.

Now, for what didn’t work for me. I felt that she did not resolve the issue with the villain of the story to my satisfaction. It left me frustrated and disappointed, even though I did sense that she plans to further develop this story line in the other books in this series. I do plan to read the rest of the novels in this series. In fact, I’ve already downloaded the other two that are out.

If you’re looking for a story with beauty, that engages the heart, then this is a book you will want to read. I know I’m certainly glad I did. Happy reading!

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