Blame it on Bath
by Caroline Linden
I didn't read the first book in Caroline Linden's new series "The Truth About the Duke," and I didn't feel like I was missing anything jumping into the second book. This trilogy is about the three sons of the Duke of Durham and the terrible secret their father reveals on his deathbed.
Blame it on Bath is the story of the youngest brother Gerard, and Katherine Howe. Both are caught in an untenable situation, and both need a quick rescue. Katherine is the plain daughter of a wealthy merchant who has been browbeaten into obscurity her entire life, first by her beautiful, shallow mother and then by her much older, puritanist husband. It has been nearly a year since her husband's death and she is being pressured to marry her husband's heir Lucien because of money - Katherine has it, and her husband, and now Lucien, owe her a hefty sum.
The rumors about the Duke's first undissolved marriage are abounding throughout London and if the rumors turn out to be true, Gerard and his brothers will be labeled bastards and lose everything. In her one and only act of defiance, Katherine seeks out Gerard and proposes to him…and that is the start of her transformation.
When we first meet Katherine she is cool and aloof; an untouchable ice maiden, which she has had to become in order to preserve her sense of self after being put down her whole life for being plain. Eventually, Katherine transforms into the confident, secure Kate and it was a lovely transformation to watch. Gerard's transformation was less epic as he just had to switch from being an army captain used to giving orders to a husband that explains. It wasn't easy for him and he does have a lot of setbacks but, he could figure out when he did something wrong and those were some funny "uh-oh" moments.
I fully expected that Lucian Howe would end up being the villain of the piece with the standard kidnapping conflict thrown in. Instead I was pleasantly surprised that he just turned out to be a weasel. That doesn't mean that Gerard doesn't clean his clock in a well deserved scene, though. I am so glad that Caroline Linden doesn't thrown in an out of place kidnapping as it really would have detracted from the lovely story she has written.
The mystery will be solved in the final book and I am fine not knowing who is causing all the trouble for the de Laceys. Blame it on Bath was complete for me as I really enjoyed Kate and Gerard's story as it was.
If you like stories where the heroine is transformed from an ugly duckling to a confident inner beauty, then Blame it on Bath is the book for you.
“They are each avoiding a fate worse than death, who will save whom?”
March 2012, 384 pages
Gerard de Lacey is determined to find the man who is blackmailing his family, but with his inheritance and status at risk, a hasty marriage to a wealthy bride also seems in order—just in case things take a turn for the worse. Charismatic and capable, Gerard knows he can win the hand of any lady he chooses. Still, he's not expecting a rich widow to find him and propose the very thing he wants: a marriage of convenience.
Katherine Howe's first marriage was one of dreary duty. Now that she's being pressured to marry her late husband's heir, she's desperate for a better option. Gerard de Lacey, with his sinful good looks, charming manner, and looming scandal, fits her needs perfectly. The fact that she's nursed a secret affection for him only makes it better—and worse. Because Gerard will likely marry her for her fortune—but can he love her for herself, as she loves him?