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Today is a review for the 5th book in Grace Burrowes latest series, Lady Maggie’s Secret Scandal. For those of you who follow this blog, you will know how much I’ve enjoyed Ms. Burrowes beautiful writing style and wonderful stories that tug at my heart! This one is no different. I am giving away my copy of this book to a luck reader. Just fill out the form at the bottom of this post and cross your fingers! I hope you enjoy my thoughts!
Lady Maggie’s Secret Scandal by Grace Burrowes
Release: May 2012
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Source: I received a copy of this book to read and review from the publisher
Maggie Windham, oldest of the Windham sisters and a by-blow from His Grace’s pre-marital wild oats, finds herself in desperate needs of an investigator to help her retrieve a missing reticule. Benjamin Hazlit knows the Windham family secrets, and can be trusted to keep them to himself, so Maggie turns to Benjamin, though it means ignoring his too-broad shoulders, his too-knowing smile… and his too-skilled kisses.
As Benjamin starts the search for Maggie’s missing purse, he realizes two things: First, whatever was in that purse, its loss has Maggie not just rattled, but terrified. Second, Benjamin will go to any lengths to see Maggie’s peace of mind restored, even if it means he must keep himself in very close proximity to the shy, secretive lady who says she wants nothing to do with him.
Lady Maggie is the oldest of the female siblings in the Windham family. For those of you new to this series of Grace Burrowes, the Windham family is a Ducal family, with the duke being my favorite character of this series, Percival. We’ll talk more about Percival in a moment. The Windham family has quite a few children, both legitimate and illegitimate. The duke adopted one daughter and one son who were born on the wrong side of the blanket, as they say. We met the son in the second book of this series, The Soldier. Lady Maggie is the daughter, and the oldest of the girls.
Lady Maggie has had all the advantages of being the daughter of a duke. She has had several seasons, and after rejecting quite a few marriage proposals, she lives independently with her own staff and her own money. She is apparently very good at investing and is wealthy in her own right. This story starts with a lost reticule. Maggie can’t find it anywhere and finally hires Ben Hazlit, who has done some investigation work before for the Windham family, to find her reticule. Although Ben has been a friend of some of Maggie’s brothers, and has done some investigative work for the the family, Maggie has always kept her distance from him. She knows she can trust his discretion, but doesn’t want him to find out her secrets. This, of course, is not to happen as Ben is just too good at his job.
Benjamin Hazlit has worked as an investigator for a number of years and has always been aware of Maggie. He has always been unwilling to overstep his bounds with the daughter of a duke. Now that he is investigating her missing reticule, he needs a plausible reason to always be at her house, so he invents a fake engagement between the two of them. The more layers he peels back from Maggie’s tough exterior, the more he really wants to marry her! It provides an interesting story for us to read!
The one thing that sets this series of books apart from others that I have read is the shear beauty of the story. Ms. Burrowes has the ability to have the reader, laughing, sighing, crying and simply in awe of how well the story is told.
I said that we would get back to the subject of my favorite character in all of these books – the Duke – Percival. At one point in this story he invites Ben over for dinner – essentially to grill him! They have an interesting discussion that I want to share part of:
“Have some more wine, my boy. Her Grace counsels me to moderation in all things, and I disregard her wisdom under my own roof at my peril.”
Ben obligingly drained his glass and let His Grace refill it. “Have you any advice for me as Lady Maggie’s prospective husband?”
The older man’s expression sobered, becoming almost wistful. “There’s a challenge – advice to a prospective husband when it’s your daughter he’s taking to wife. I had almost reconciled myself that spinsterhood was what Maggie sought, though it set a wretched example for the other girls. It seems I do not know my daughter as well as I thought I did.”
He set his glass down and narrowed ducal blue eyes on Ben. “You break her heart, and you’ll have to deal with me and her three brothers and if you survive that, Her Grace will ensure your social ruin unto the nineteenth generation. I remind you that my boys are crack shots and more than competent with a sword.”
“It is not my intention to break her heart.”
“Oh, it’s never our intention.” His Grace’s brows drew down in thought, and he was once again the affable paterfamilias.
It is my understanding that the next story to come out is Lady Louisa’s story and it is not due till Oct of this year – a long time to wait 🙁 Ms Burrowes has a Scottish historical being released in August and I look forward to reading both! Please pick up any book in this series. I hope you find that you enjoy the books as much as I have!