Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Tatooed Duke by Maya Rodale

Eliza Fielding knows her writing career will be over if she can not deliver a scandalous story.  So when the globe-trotting Duke of Wycliff finally returns home after his fathers death--and no one wants to work for a Wicked Wycliff-- she knows she has found her story.  She just needs to go undercover as a maid and find out some delicious secrets.  Eliza easily lands a job but soon finds the work tedious and her subject oh so distracting.  She quickly learns a few interesting titbits to feed London's society and she is beyond pleased to finally have a successful column, The Tattooed Duke.  But as her feelings start to grow, she is torn between getting the story and helping Sebastian gain his proper footing in society.

Sebastian, Duke of Wycliff, wants nothing more to come home from him travels, get his ducal affairs in order and gather the funds necessary to pursue his dream--discovering Timbuktu.  He is aggravated when he learns the estate is broke and he can not quite get his sassy housemaid out of his mind.  When The Tattooed Duke brings even more problems upon him, he is determined to find out who the snitch is and while his mind keeps going to Eliza, he dismisses her many times.  However, the truth is soon revealed and deep secret of Eliza's is brought to light as well that will threaten this couples happiness.

This is the third book in Maya Rodale's Writing Girls series and I felt it could be read as a standalone.  Yes, the previous characters are present and you see a bit of their futures but not anything major is missed.  I was drawn to this book first because I have read the previous and enjoyed them but also the interesting title and I like the undercover maid storyline :)  I really enjoyed Sebastian...and not just because of his tattoos.  He doesn't want to be a duke, he just wants to go out and explore the world and make his impact through that.  He is instantly attracted to Eliza but beyond a few stolen kisses and one very steamy encounter, our couple is forced to stay apart.  That part was a bit of a bummer--there is no major action until the very, very end.  Boo.  Eliza is smart and spunky, but her role as a maid forces her to act less smart and then she has to deal with her guilty conscience.  Yes, I felt Sebastian should have followed through with his gut feeling about Eliza being the writer sooner than he did but the fun cat and mouse type game they play with each other at the end was a delight.  Overall, another wonderful addition to the Writing Girl series and I am very anxious for Annabelle to finally have her story!  If you enjoy a hero and heroine who are a bit different than many books out there and have a smoldering attraction with a bit of mystery, deceit, and smartness mixed in, this is one delicious book to read!  4 stars

I received an eARC from the publisher via edelweiss.

The Writing Girls
A Groom of One's Own (The Writing Girl Romance, #1)A Tale of Two Lovers (The Writing Girl Romance, #2)

Seducing Mr Knightly Nov 2012 (Title and release date subject to change)

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