Duchess of Sin
Although a belle of Dublin Society Lady Anna Blacknall is unsettled and unsatisfied. She still has memories of the 1798 Uprising a couple years earlier, The trouble and fear of the time is in dark contrast toe the society life she now lives in Dublin. The political unrest hasn't stopped. Parliament is preparing to vote on the question of Union with England and opinions are high.
Anna sneaks out one night to the local night spot open by invitation only. It has a reputation. Anna wants to see what actually happens there and wangles an invitation to a masked ball. Yes it is scandalous. Yet she enjoys that atmosphere. Then there is the dark man who warns her away from the place. Instead they share a kiss that draws her closer instead of pushing her away.
Conlan McTeer, Duke of Adair, has come to Dublin to use politics to fight for Ireland's freedom. He hasn't been part of society, instead at his estate helping his tenants and maintaining the land. Now it's time to come back to Town and be accepted as he tries to garner votes for Irish independence. His cousin Grant Dunmore, a wealthy Englishman, tried to grab the Adair estates a couple years earlier. He is for the Union with England. He also is Lady Anna's main suitor. After the kiss at the club with the masked Anna, Conlan is certain that Grant is not the man for her.
Duchess of Sin looks at a historical period that is fairly unknown in the United States. I know the final outcome of the uprising and upheavals of the time. The unrest is still there. Many Irishmen fought for their country's freedom for the next 200 years. But the historical facts are not generally part of U.S. history studies. I found this an enlightening account of a passionate time.
Laurel McKee has layered her characters well, making them interesting to the reader. This is a historical romance - the reader knows what goings to happen. McKee lets you care about the characters and the general mood of that place and time.
There are also two side stories to move the book along. One is of Anna's mother Katherine, a widow with three daughters. Her husband has been dead many years. Caroline, the youngest daughter, has a new tutor. While Katherine Blacknall had been contented enough in her marriage. This younger Frenchman brings up passions within her she didn't know she had. She should be settled widow yet now she realizes she is still a woman who can car or perhaps even love.
The second story is the beginning of the next novel in the Daughters of Erin series. Studious, serious Caroline, the youngest, plans to marry the much older widower Lord Hartley who shares her love of reading and study. By the end of Duchess of Sin, Anna has her questioning herself. So does a man from an unexpected connection.
Anna and Conlan's romance is steamy and illicit. The history is interesting. The suspense maintains interest. This historical romantic suspense delivers on all three areas to the reader's enjoyment.
Notice: Explicit sexual content
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