Author: Michelle Willingham
Title: Undone By The Duke
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Publish Date: Feb 12, 2013
Review Copy Provided By: Net Galley
Book Blurb: 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?
Review: I've read several of Michelle's books from Harlequin Historical, so when this book popped up on Net Galley, I was excited and I wasn't disappointed either.
This story was different, very different. Victoria is suffering from agoraphobia as a result of a stressful even that happened 5 years ago.
Jonathan is in Scotland to look into some land he won, but when he arrives he's shot and brought to Victoria's home.
Some of the plot is old hat. Jonathan is a Duke that would very much like to be loved for himself rather than his title or money and there's a scandal in his family that keeps him from being in society. Victoria's family is of course, down on their luck. Her father is fighting in Spain, and her mother is struggling to make ends meet. Meanwhile Victoria and her sister's are making gowns to help out, unbeknownst to her mother and at some point, Victoria starts making ladies "unmentionables." And not the plain ones either. Victoria is truly a Victoria's Secret kinda girl! or at least designer.
What made this story such an enjoyable read were how flawed both characters were, and both with a kind of neurosis. Victoria couldn't step out of her house and Jonathan was afraid the the violent temper his father had would be passed on to him.
Yet somehow these two fall in love, without wanting to. I loved how caring Jonathan was with Victoria, especially when he was trying to get her to overcome her fears. You could also understand why she never wanted to see a doctor about her problem. In those days, there really wasn't much done for mental illness. She would have likely been locked away in an asylum, which isn't a pretty place for anyone to be.
The other thing I liked was the sort of role reversal. As Victoria is starting to feel slightly more comfortable being outside of the four walls of her home, Jonathan is the weaker one. His feelings for Victoria seem out of control and he fears hurting her.
I love how both characters have a strong love of family and I especially love how protective Jonathan can be.
This is another great book by Michelle Willingham. I can't wait for the next book
Rating: 5 flowers