I like a good who-dun-it novel. The Duke’s Dilemma is one of those. Aaaand it also contains one of my other favorite genres–history! The setting is London in the year 1815. I enjoy a good Regency novel, and this one was no disappointment. I’d never read one of Elaine Manders’ books before, and I hope this is not my last!
Lady Cassandra Wayte married into her title. Born a farm girl, Cassandra found herself in a horrible situation, and Lord Wayte took in her and her godmother. Later, they were married, but gossip surrounded Cassandra. When her husband became ill and died, the gossip mill blamed Cassandra for his death.
Cassandra used her title to help those less fortunate. The young ladies sold into slavery were her mission, and she worked undercover to help them get away.
Edward Dalton, Duke of Langsdale and his sister Sarah lost their parents and brother to a tragic accident. Sarah, a pre-teen adolescent, made it her mission to befriend Lady Wayte. Sarah was an aspiring artist, and knowing that Lady Wayte was an artist drew her to her. That and the fact that nasty Lady Daphne Ashford had her eyes set on her brother…
Edward is torn between hearing the rumors surrounding Cassandra and wanting to hear the truth. Not one to entertain gossip, Edward tries to squash the talk of Lady Daphne surrounding the mysterious Cassandra. He decides to come to the bottom of the whispers and talk. Starting with allowing Lady Wayte to tutor Sarah with painting.
What is strong in my mind is how intriguing the plot is in The Duke’s Dilemma. This isn’t your run of the mill man-meets-woman, has-tea-and-crumpets-and-hangs-out-in-the-garden Regency romance. Elaine has done a fabulous job weaving in very serious issues of the time into the story. Bold topics such as trafficking–kidnapping of young ladies and forcing them into slavery. Themes such as mercy, forgiveness, murder, and love are woven in at just the right moments. Elaine has managed to handle such topics in a genteel manner, without graphic detail.
The writing in The Duke’s Dilemma is very strong. There is no disjointedness, and the interplaying scenes are fluid and seamless. There are several secondary characters, but Elaine does a fabulous job of involving them in small bursts at a time. No trouble remembering who is whom!
I really liked the focus on Cassandra’s attempt to remember to keep her thoughts to herself. She has secrets she doesn’t want people to know about. Elaine did a great job showing the inner thoughts of Cassandra as she notably stops herself from revealing her thoughts to those she shouldn’t.
I really enjoyed the thoughtful themes presented in this novel. God’s redemptive, restoring, and healing mercies are, in my opinion, the overriding feelings that I take from this book. No matter where you’ve been or WHO you’ve been, there is a Savior who will help bring you out.
I would recommend The Duke’s Dilemma for adult readers (18+) who enjoy inspirational historical fiction. I wouldn’t recommend it for young teens because of the sensitive content matter.
To celebrate her tour, Elaine is giving away:
Grand prize: $50 Amazon Gift Card
1st place: paperback copies of Books 1 and 2 of the Wolf Deceivers series,
The Chieftain’s Choice and The Duke’s Dilemma!!
Click below to enter.
Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!
August 22: A Baker’s Perspective*
August 22: Books, Books, and More Books*
August 23: Blogging With Carol*
August 24: Genesis 5020*
August 25: Avid Reader Book Reviews
August 25: Have A Wonderful Day
August 26: Jami’s Words*
August 26: Faery Tales Are Real
August 27: Karen Sue Hadley*
August 27: Ashley’s Bookshelf
August 28: Remembrancy*
August 29: The Fizzy Pop Collection*
August 29: For the Love of Books
August 30: Locks, Hooks and Books*
August 30: Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations
August 31: Blossoms and Blessings*
September 1: Pause for Tales
September 1: Caffeinated Reads
September 2: Live. Love. Read.*
September 3: Just the Write Escape
September 4: Henry Happens*
September 4: History, Mystery & Faith
Thanks to CelebrateLit!