by Jess Michaels
Death and sadness pursue Diana Oakford. A young woman with deep hurts and secrets, she is the daughter of a physician who worked with the War Department until his death when assisting in a mission to uncover a traitor amongst the Departments spies.
Lucas Vincent, the Duke of Willowby, has never taken up the reins of his titled position. Harboring deep secrets himself, he had thrown himself into a career as a spy for the government. He was badly injured when his doctor friend Oakford was killed. Alarmed at Lucas' slow healing, the head of the department, the Earl of Stalwood, prevails upon Diana to take over Lucas' care and to keep him hidden.
Of course the two have clashes. Both are strong willed and passionate. As they come to know each other those clashes turn into a physical and emotional tryst. Hidden from the world these two explore each other physically, forming a bond of trust that each is surprised at. A tryst Diana knows will end with Lucas' full recovery. What future is there for a Duke and a healer? As events unfold, the two set out to find the treasonous spy, setting in motion a trap that would lull the culprit into exposing himself. But before that moment comes, startling and heartbreaking discoveries are made and Diana's world devolves even more painfully than anything thus far. Lucas is wracked with guilt and anguish and it seems these two will not have the happy ending we would wish.
Members of the 1797 club make an important appearance, the Duchesses are still in fine form, but they are not as front and center as they have been in previous works.
A good read if somewhat predictable, even with the surprise twists that appear.
A NetGalley ARC