Title/Author: The Way to a Duke's Heart (The Truth About the Duke #3) by Caroline Linden
Publisher/Date published: Avon, August 28th 2012
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley
Goodreads summary: "Charles de Lacey, Lord Gresham, is running out of time, running from his responsibilities, and running from love.
Destined to be a duke, Charles de Lacey has led a life of decadent pleasure, free of any care for propriety or responsibility. It comes as a terrible shock to learn that he might be stripped of everything, thanks to his father's scandalous past. He has no choice but to find the blackmailer who would ruin him — and his only link to the villain is a woman who may be part of the plot...
To save his fortune and title, he vows he'll stop at nothing — in fact, he's all too eager to unravel the beautiful, tart-tongued Tessa Neville. She intrigues him and tempts him like no other lady ever has. With only his heart to guide him, and keenly aware that his entire future is at stake, Charles must decide: is she the woman of his dreams, or an enemy in disguise?"
I'd only ever read a novella by Caroline Linden before, the writing in I Love the Earl was really good, so I was excited to start a full length novel by her!
And I was absolutely not disappointed! I loved both Tessa and Charlie with all their amazingness and flaws and just wonderful chemistry!
Tessa is a mostly misunderstood 'widow', because of her status as a widow, she's allowed her eccentricities and she's never thought to marry again. While Charlie had some bad luck in love in the past (or maybe just bad taste in women) and just ran wild and free. I loved that Tessa was taking care of business for her brother, because she had a better head for it than he did. Society doesn't like it, but have to deal with her or get none of her brother's money invested in their cause. I liked that she was analytical and not so prone to hysterics.
I really liked Charlie, he's come to defend his family's honor while his brothers are off enjoying the honeymoon period with their new wives. I love that he finally stepped up and took part in finding the blackmailer and that he was so nice to Tessa's elderly companion.
One thing I didn't like so much was the whole side plot with Charlie's old lover, I felt like it just slowed the whole story down and the whole finding out who the blackmailer was felt somewhat off, as the person had only been mentioned once maybe and wasn't a real part of the book up until that point.
I really enjoyed the chemistry between Tessa and Charlie and how they accepted each other without feeling the need to change the other person. Near the end I wanted to shake Tessa for something, but it worked out in the end. Caroline Linden didn't make me cry, but she came close a couple of times, so I'm good.
My rating: 4 stars