Engaging the Enemy by Heather Boyd

Engaging the Enemy by Heather Boyd
The Wild Randalls Book 1
Publisher: LLD Press
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (259 pages)
Heat Level: Hot
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Orchid

Sibling rivalry has never been so dangerous.

Every great family has a few secrets best left unspoken. The wild Randalls of Hampshire excel at them.

A duchess should be regal, aloof and the image of calm elegance. But those words have never applied to Mercy, Duchess of Romsey. A widow and mother of a young duke, Mercy is lonely and floundering to keep the estate afloat. When she discovers the existence of Leopold Randall, her husband’s estranged cousin, Mercy commits to help him locate his missing siblings if he’ll return the estate to order. Although cautioned against trusting a man who would inherit everything should her son die, she impetuously hands over the estate to Leopold’s care in the hope of keeping him near.

Leopold Randall, heir to the young duke, has returned to Hampshire to demand information regarding the fate of his missing siblings. Unfortunately, the Duchess of Romsey is clueless about them, yet her struggle to maintain the estate tugs at Leopold’s sense of duty. At her insistence, he steps in to bring order to chaos while searching for hints to his family’s whereabouts amongst the old duke’s papers. Yet the duchess tempts him in ways best unspoken. He fights to hide his weakness for her and a shameful past that could see him banished again. But when Leopold discovers a threat against the duchess and young duke’s life, he must join forces with the temptress to protect his last known relative.

Blackmail, intrigue, secrets and forbidden love are at the core of this book.

When the old Duke of Romsey and his son die, they leave a four year old boy as the Duke. His heir is a cousin, Leopold Randall who has been in exile in India for many years. Kept away from Romsey Abbey by blackmail threats, Leopold is now free to return to England to discover the whereabouts of his two brothers and sister. What he hadn’t counted on was the young Duke’s attractive and impulsive mother.

At first this book appeared to be like most historical romances. Man and woman fall in love, but circumstances keep them apart. This was not the case this time. The Duke and his mother are in danger, and before the hero discovers this, he agrees to put the estate back in order in return for the Duchess allowing him to search for clues of his lost siblings. The couple’s main attraction for each other brings them into many breathtaking situations.

I like the way the author wove the intrigue with the romance, bringing together the characters in an intertwining dance as each strand of mystery untangled. As in most regency style romances, keeping the lady’s reputation unstained is paramount, although in this case the heroine’s sour faced sister seems more than able to ensure nothing will happen. It’s well worth reading to the end as the author has a surprise in store in the last few chapters. No I’m not going to reveal what it is. Read the book and find out. Lovely book, gripping read and “wow” ending.

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