When his father and older brother suddenly pass away, the new Duke of Haverly is saddled with a title he never expected to bear. To thwart the plans of his scheming family, the duke impulsively marries a wallflower. After all, she's meek and mild; it should be easy to sequester her in the country and get on with his life--as a secret agent for the Crown.
But his bride has other ideas. She's determined to take her place not only as his duchess but as his wife. As a duchess, she can use her position to help the lowest of society--the women forced into prostitution because they have no skills or hope. Her endeavors are not met favorably in society, nor by her husband who wishes she'd remain in the background as he ordered.
Can the duke succeed in relegating her to the sidelines of his life? When his secrets are threatened with exposure, will his new wife be an asset or a liability?
This is the second book in the Serendipity and Secrets series and I fell in love with the first novel, I was wondering what author Vetsch had in store for this new one with the main focus on Marcus Haverly. Wow! What a story, and this one is my favorite.
The title says it all Marcus is a gentleman and a spy for the crown. He enjoyed his work and had thought he dealt with his feelings of being just the “spare” to his family. Well, he is now the Duke of Haverly and he has found himself somewhat in a quandary. He wants to continue spying but now he is being sought after by all the young debutantes and their mothers. Not only that but his every move now is written up in the society papers. He needs a wife. One that will let him be so that he can continue to be who he thinks he should be.
Enter Lady Charlotte who is close to being a spinster and not well treated by her father who is a bit miserly and self-righteous on how she and her mother can dress and wear their hair, all the while excusing his grievous sins. Charlotte’s world is upended one day and it only continues when she cannot hold her tongue anymore. She wants to be married just to escape the rule of her father. Never did she think she was worthy enough to catch the eye of someone like Marcus nor is she aware of how he plans to put their marriage in a little “box”.
I liked that we got to know both Marcus and Charlotte before entering their marriage. They both had insecurities, good hearts, a passion for helping those less than fortunate, and their love of reading helped to bond them. It was cute how Marcus thought he picked the perfect wife that would understand her place in the marriage. I am not saying Marcus was bad, he just was very naïve. And maybe Charlotte would have gone along if not for the fact that not only has she has tasted freedom at last but she is deeply in love with her husband. Oh, what a beautiful mess.
This has spies, secret identities, family dilemmas, and most assuredly true love. So many great take away lessons on marriage, self-worth, and when plans that go awry that turn out better than before. I cannot wait for more in this series.
I received a copy of this novel from the publisher. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.
Vetsch loves Jesus, history, romance, and sports. When she’s not writing fiction, she’s planning her next trip to a history museum and cheering on her Kansas Jayhawks and New Zealand All Blacks.
A self-described history geek, she has been planning her first research trip to England.
Learn more about Erica Vetsch and her books at www.ericavetsch.com. She can also be found on Facebook (@EricaVetschAuthor), Instagram (@EricaVetsch) and Pinterest (Erica Vetsch).