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A sparkling new love story from a historical romance legend, perfect for Bridgerton fans and readers of Sabrina Jeffries, Eloisa James, and Grace Burrowes. In one life-changing windfall, Rosamund Jameson goes from struggling shopkeeper to heiress—and co-owner of a new business. Not only will her sudden fortune allow her to move her millinery shop to fashionable London, A sparkling new love story from a historical romance legend, perfect for Bridgerton fans and readers of Sabrina Jeffries, Eloisa James, and Grace Burrowes. In one life-changing windfall, Rosamund Jameson goes from struggling shopkeeper to heiress—and co-owner of a new business. Not only will her sudden fortune allow her to move her millinery shop to fashionable London, but Rosamund will be able to provide her younger sister with a proper entry into society. The only hitch for resourceful Rosamund is her arrogant, infuriatingly handsome business partner... Kevin Radnor is shocked that his late uncle, the Duke of Hollinburgh, bequeathed half his company to a total stranger—worse, a beguiling beauty who can only hinder his enterprise. But Rosamund insists on an active, equal partnership, so Kevin embarks on a plan: a seduction that will lead to a marriage of convenience, giving Rosamund the social status she needs, and guaranteeing him the silent partner he desires. Yet as this charismatic gentleman sets his flirtation in motion, he begins to wonder who is seducing whom—and if he can learn to share himself body and mind, without losing his heart . . .


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A sparkling new love story from a historical romance legend, perfect for Bridgerton fans and readers of Sabrina Jeffries, Eloisa James, and Grace Burrowes. In one life-changing windfall, Rosamund Jameson goes from struggling shopkeeper to heiress—and co-owner of a new business. Not only will her sudden fortune allow her to move her millinery shop to fashionable London, A sparkling new love story from a historical romance legend, perfect for Bridgerton fans and readers of Sabrina Jeffries, Eloisa James, and Grace Burrowes. In one life-changing windfall, Rosamund Jameson goes from struggling shopkeeper to heiress—and co-owner of a new business. Not only will her sudden fortune allow her to move her millinery shop to fashionable London, but Rosamund will be able to provide her younger sister with a proper entry into society. The only hitch for resourceful Rosamund is her arrogant, infuriatingly handsome business partner... Kevin Radnor is shocked that his late uncle, the Duke of Hollinburgh, bequeathed half his company to a total stranger—worse, a beguiling beauty who can only hinder his enterprise. But Rosamund insists on an active, equal partnership, so Kevin embarks on a plan: a seduction that will lead to a marriage of convenience, giving Rosamund the social status she needs, and guaranteeing him the silent partner he desires. Yet as this charismatic gentleman sets his flirtation in motion, he begins to wonder who is seducing whom—and if he can learn to share himself body and mind, without losing his heart . . .

30 review for Heiress In Red Silk

  1. 5 out of 5

    Maureen Carden

    I think everyone dreams occasionally of somehow, without any effort, acquiring a fortune. It doesn’t matter if the money comes from the lottery, Publisher’s Clearing House, a long lost relative or a stranger’s generosity. The latter is the premise behind the Duke’s Heiress series of which Heiress in Red Silk is the second book. Oh, the way the money will be spent we think; on a new house, education funds, travel and of course charity. I’m guessing from hearing the titles of a few junk TV shows I think everyone dreams occasionally of somehow, without any effort, acquiring a fortune. It doesn’t matter if the money comes from the lottery, Publisher’s Clearing House, a long lost relative or a stranger’s generosity. The latter is the premise behind the Duke’s Heiress series of which Heiress in Red Silk is the second book. Oh, the way the money will be spent we think; on a new house, education funds, travel and of course charity. I’m guessing from hearing the titles of a few junk TV shows it doesn’t quite work out that way. Usually it seems to be relatives that bust the dream wide open so the money pours out. So far the late Duke of Hollinburgh is my favorite character, because he does seem to have had a lovely character. He has decided his relatives have milked him enough, even the ones he likes. So he sets out to fulfill the other part of our fantasy-having so much money that he gives huge amounts away to strangers. In the first book Heiress for Hire the Duke’s will is read and his nominal heirs are shocked to find his true heirs are three women who are total strangers to them, and it seems, the late Duke. He leaves only their names and no directions for finding them. Only the entailed property falls to the new Duke, Nicholas Radnor. The usual suspects such as mistresses, whores and other loose women are soon eliminated as the three missing heirs. The term suspects is not out of place as the new Duke and a few of his more reasonable cousins believe the last Duke was murdered, so they have a double search for the killer and the heiresses. After a months long search the second heiress, Rosamund Jameson, is discovered when a hat is delivered to a whore house that Kevin Radnor is visiting. Oh those frisky, trashy, Regency men. Radnor is one of the heirs who has really been hurt by the Duke’s will. Rosamund is a talented, imaginative milliner in Richmond, outside of London. Her name is on the hatbox delivered to the whore. Serves Radnor right to my prudish mind that Rosamund not only inherits a fortune, but a half ownership of Radnor’s newest company. Radnor was close to the old Duke and he can not understand why he has lost control of his company to a know-nothing, lower class milliner. Rosamund Jameson is a delightful character. Smart, imaginative, hard working, she chooses to follow the Galatea path to “better” herself, as Rosamund is a woman with dreams, secrets and responsibilities. Kevin and the other disinherited are the ones who need to better themselves. What a useless bunch except for the new Duke, occasionally Kevin, and a few others. Madeline Hunter painted Radnor as somewhat of an anti-hero, although he is a imaginative, brilliant businessman and inventor. He just doesn’t realize what a business asset Rosamund could be; not to mention being a full and true life partner. He has no idea of how to treat a woman, except for the ones he pays. Hard lessons await him, while Rosamund has no illusions of what is to come. This is an updated version of the usual Regency Historical. The women seek their own paths, the men are aware of more than Tattersalls and gaming hells. This is a refreshing series, with Heiress in Red Silk a wonderful addition. The first two books are engaging, well written with characters to boo and other characters to admire. Thank go to NetGalley for an ARC for review purposes.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jultri

    3.5/5. What happens when two calculating people cross path? You get a iron-clad business arrangement where each detail is pondered and negotiated over, leaving absolutely no room for romance. Oh, there's physical attraction alright, but that's something concrete that they can lock down. Feelings - well, that's more airy-fairy stuff and best left for the romantics and definitely not applicable to either protagonist. Solid writing as expected from Hunter but marked down for the almost complete lac 3.5/5. What happens when two calculating people cross path? You get a iron-clad business arrangement where each detail is pondered and negotiated over, leaving absolutely no room for romance. Oh, there's physical attraction alright, but that's something concrete that they can lock down. Feelings - well, that's more airy-fairy stuff and best left for the romantics and definitely not applicable to either protagonist. Solid writing as expected from Hunter but marked down for the almost complete lack of emotional regard between the two leads until the last few pages. ARC from NetGalley.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Joana V.

    Review originally published at Romancing Romances. I received an eARC at no cost from the publisher, and I am leaving a voluntary and honest review. Thank you. 2.5* Heiress in Red Silk is the second book in the series A Duke’s Heiress. Here, we meet Rosamund Jameson, the milliner who receives a large inheritance from a Duke she barely knew. I liked that Rosamund was very focused on her job, but also interested in the new enterprise that came with the inheritance. This, in turn, was something that ma Review originally published at Romancing Romances. I received an eARC at no cost from the publisher, and I am leaving a voluntary and honest review. Thank you. 2.5* Heiress in Red Silk is the second book in the series A Duke’s Heiress. Here, we meet Rosamund Jameson, the milliner who receives a large inheritance from a Duke she barely knew. I liked that Rosamund was very focused on her job, but also interested in the new enterprise that came with the inheritance. This, in turn, was something that made Kevin Radnor very upset. Kevin is an inventor, and he created a model of something that would improve the trains at the time. But he doesn’t really trust anyone with his invention and its construction, which makes it very hard to move it forward. This book attempts a bit of a My Fair Lady/Pygmalion trope, but for me it was left a bit incomplete. Kevin annoyed me, and although I liked Rosamund, I didn’t really feel much of a connection between these two characters. The first little bump and they were done. It didn’t feel much like love… I liked seeing Minerva and Chase, and their story from the first book had much more appeal to me. [Read the review for their book here.] The mystery of the first book is still present here, but it even though the hero was definitely a suspect to some people, it just never felt like he was ever in dire need of help. And if in the first book I felt wrapped by the whole mystery, this one just made the story a bit boring. I’m still interested in knowing what happened to the old duke, and who the next heiress is, but to be honest, Kevin and Rosamund’ story wasn’t the best.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Mary Bates

    FIRST , I'D LIKE TO BUY IT! AND I LOVE ANYTHING BY MADELINE HUNTER. PLUS I'D LIKE TO FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENS WITH THE TWO EARLIER CHARACTERS IN "HEIRESS FOR HIRE" SO JUST WHEN WILL THIS BOOK BE OUR FOR SALE? FIRST , I'D LIKE TO BUY IT! AND I LOVE ANYTHING BY MADELINE HUNTER. PLUS I'D LIKE TO FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENS WITH THE TWO EARLIER CHARACTERS IN "HEIRESS FOR HIRE" SO JUST WHEN WILL THIS BOOK BE OUR FOR SALE?

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lori D

    When least expected, something great happens and it seems your dreams have come true. That is the case when Rosamund Jameson met the Duke of Hollingburgh, who gave her a generous bag of coins for helping him. What is more surprising is when she finds out he has left her money in his will and part of a business! Kevin, one of the Duke's nephews cannot believe it when he finds out his uncle has left half his company to a total stranger! But when he tracks her down, the sparks fly! Another great addi When least expected, something great happens and it seems your dreams have come true. That is the case when Rosamund Jameson met the Duke of Hollingburgh, who gave her a generous bag of coins for helping him. What is more surprising is when she finds out he has left her money in his will and part of a business! Kevin, one of the Duke's nephews cannot believe it when he finds out his uncle has left half his company to a total stranger! But when he tracks her down, the sparks fly! Another great addition to this enchanting series, full of mystery (what happened to the Duke?) and humor and of course a chance at true love!

  6. 5 out of 5

    Lu

    Love it! Full review to come soon. Disclosure: I received an ARC of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly

    Reviewed for Wit and Sin When a shopkeeper learns of a life-changing inheritance it sets the stage for a battle of wills between her and the man whose enterprise she now owns half of. Heiress in Red Silk is the second book in Madeline Hunter’s Duke’s Heiress trilogy and while I liked the heroine and enjoyed the fact pace of the book, I had mixed feelings about the story overall. Rosamund Jameson is nobody’s fool. A smart, sensible businesswoman and a gifted milliner, Rosamund is easy to li Reviewed for Wit and Sin When a shopkeeper learns of a life-changing inheritance it sets the stage for a battle of wills between her and the man whose enterprise she now owns half of. Heiress in Red Silk is the second book in Madeline Hunter’s Duke’s Heiress trilogy and while I liked the heroine and enjoyed the fact pace of the book, I had mixed feelings about the story overall. Rosamund Jameson is nobody’s fool. A smart, sensible businesswoman and a gifted milliner, Rosamund is easy to like. She’s a genuinely nice person and her small vulnerabilities endeared her to me. When she finds out that her inheritance includes half a business enterprise, she isn’t cowed by the other owner, Kevin Radnor. Kevin wants her to give up her half of his enterprise or at the very least to be a silent partner. Rosamund has no interest in doing either. She knows what it takes to make a successful business even if no one wants to give her credit because she’s a tenant farmer’s daughter. Her only fault was trusting someone she should not have and trying to be someone other than herself sometimes in order to fit into a mold. She’s smart, successful, and practical and I stayed up reading Heiress in Red Silk because I wanted to see her succeed. Kevin is where I had trouble with Heiress in Red Silk . He’s not a bad person per se; in fact, there are times when he comforts Rosamund that he’s got true potential. But oh does that man have trust issues and a short temper. He’s quick to blow up and blow things out of proportion, especially when it comes to his invention. I understood a bit of it but it grew wearing when he didn’t grow. His default is to try to take over, belittle others when he’s angry, and he’s so distrustful I’m not sure why Rosamund fell for him. There’s definite lust between them and – to give Hunter credit – genuine chemistry. I liked the practicalities of their relationship that Kevin and Rosamund discussed. But love? I didn’t buy it. Unearned declarations at the eleventh hour didn’t satisfy me on the romance part. As I previously mentioned, Heiress in Red Silk is the second book in the Duke’s Heiress trilogy. I didn’t enjoy it as much as Heiress for Hire but it was still and OK read for me. My biggest issues were the hero and the romance that fell a bit flat, so since I happen to like Kevin’s cousin quite a bit, I’m eager to see him find the last remaining heiress and finish the trilogy on a high note. FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Rupe

    I received an ARC from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. Rosamund James, a struggling hat maker, recieves an unexpected sum of money instantly making her an heiress and part owner of a business venture with Kevin Radnor. This story revolves around these two trying to make their business relationship work, and trying to decide if their desire can blossom into love. I'm so conflicted about how I feel about this book. At times, I really enjoyed i I received an ARC from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. Rosamund James, a struggling hat maker, recieves an unexpected sum of money instantly making her an heiress and part owner of a business venture with Kevin Radnor. This story revolves around these two trying to make their business relationship work, and trying to decide if their desire can blossom into love. I'm so conflicted about how I feel about this book. At times, I really enjoyed it and at other times it fell a little flat for me. Firstly, I love Rosamund. She is an intelligent business woman already, and pretty self sufficient. She wants to be an equal partner to Kevin, and wants to help decide the direction of the company. She doesn't enjoy when Kevin thinks that she doesn't understand or know what she is doing. She wants to be seen as capable and not being easily taken advantage of. I even enjoyed Kevin as a character. I like that he didn't care what his family thought whatsoever. He was not going to let them dictate how his life was going to be. He was an inventor, and very passionate about his dreams. I liked that he wasn't an aristocrat who just sat around doing the same old stuff in romance novels. My problems with this book stem from that while the story and the premise were enjoyable, I felt absolutely zero romance or passion at all. Their love story was vanilla bland boring. Some of their sex scenes got robotic and odd that I almost had a hard time reading them because of the language of them. None of their interactions revealed the depth of them falling in love, and honestly I'm shocked how either one figured out they were in love with each other in the end. So, I liked the idea, the story, and the characters. I missed the romance, and if that had been better then this would have gotten a higher rating from me.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Joanna Loves Reading

    I enjoyed the story and characters in this book, and I thought the plot more focused and rewarding than book 1 of the series. While I liked the h&h both separately and together and I thought they had good sexual chemistry, I do not think it really progressed beyond lust for me, at least not in a convincing manner. Kevin is an inventor and has found out the stake his grandfather owned in his invention was inherited by an unknown female, who has been difficult to find. It turns out this unknown fem I enjoyed the story and characters in this book, and I thought the plot more focused and rewarding than book 1 of the series. While I liked the h&h both separately and together and I thought they had good sexual chemistry, I do not think it really progressed beyond lust for me, at least not in a convincing manner. Kevin is an inventor and has found out the stake his grandfather owned in his invention was inherited by an unknown female, who has been difficult to find. It turns out this unknown female is a milliner, who has a head for business. The two butt heads at times, but they do have complimentary skills. She is who Kevin needs to turn his invention into a successful business. I enjoy Hunter’s writing and stories. I appreciate that they are a bit different and tend to have more substance than many others out there. But here, and several of her more recent offerings, the romance has been lackluster. I just wasn’t feeling that aspect. The h&h were compatible, but the development of the characters or the romantic connection was not at the level that Hunter has shown in the past. All in all this was a diverting read, but it probably won’t stick with me for long. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for a chance to read and review this book. Views are my own.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Holly

    I loved the first book in this trilogy, so I couldn’t wait to see what the second book had in store. In this story we meet Rosamund, who is a milliner, & we re-meet Kevin Radnor. Rosamund is his newest partner in his enterprise & he wants her gone so he can go about his business. Well, his plans don’t go his way because she’s not about to step down. I love these characters, even the side characters. Which we meet a lot of them in the first book, so I highly recommend reading that first. Although I loved the first book in this trilogy, so I couldn’t wait to see what the second book had in store. In this story we meet Rosamund, who is a milliner, & we re-meet Kevin Radnor. Rosamund is his newest partner in his enterprise & he wants her gone so he can go about his business. Well, his plans don’t go his way because she’s not about to step down. I love these characters, even the side characters. Which we meet a lot of them in the first book, so I highly recommend reading that first. Although, this one didn’t have the “flair” of the first book, but I still enjoyed it. I liked Rosamund and Kevin together. I liked that she didn’t back down from him & that she was strong and independent. Kevin was a good hero, not one that I fell in love with, but I like him nonetheless. I’m really falling in love with Madeline Hunter’s writing. I have to wait an entire year for the third book & that’s so disappointing because I can not wait for that story! I was hoping it would be about Nicholas & it is!! *Than you to Netgalley and the publisher for an arc in exchange for an honest review.

  11. 4 out of 5

    shoesforall

    I would have considered this a fun book worthy of a beach read except for the ending, But let’s start at the beginning: Kevin is a jerk who desperately needs a good woman to reform him. Rosamund is practically a saint. She is a woman who runs her own shop and is a worthy foil to Kevin. I really enjoyed the slow burn of this romance and watching the two of them get to know each other and fall in love. The writing was seamlessly descriptive without being purple and I was already writing the review I would have considered this a fun book worthy of a beach read except for the ending, But let’s start at the beginning: Kevin is a jerk who desperately needs a good woman to reform him. Rosamund is practically a saint. She is a woman who runs her own shop and is a worthy foil to Kevin. I really enjoyed the slow burn of this romance and watching the two of them get to know each other and fall in love. The writing was seamlessly descriptive without being purple and I was already writing the review in my head about how this book was a nice book to curl up with on a quiet afternoon. When the couple had The Fight, my view of this novel completely changed. Kevin apologized and Rosamund forgave him but, in my opinion, he crossed a line. Their mutual declarations of love did not move me. All I could thing is that if he treated her that way once, love or not, he was capable of treating her that way again. He just went too far in their fight for me. What he did was unforgivable and so, although I enjoyed 97% of this book, I was not happy with the outcome and do not see a HEA for the couple.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Em

    I gave Heiress in Red Silk a C+ at All About Romance. I suspect readers who enjoyed the first book in the Duke’s Heiress series (me!), will have mixed feelings about this second novel. I didn’t feel the same connection to the principal characters or their relationship (which isn’t very romantic), and the mystery surrounding the death of the eccentric former Duke of Hollinburgh goes nowhere. Hunter fans will still find things to like in Heiress in Red Silk, but it’s an underwhelming follow up I gave Heiress in Red Silk a C+ at All About Romance. I suspect readers who enjoyed the first book in the Duke’s Heiress series (me!), will have mixed feelings about this second novel. I didn’t feel the same connection to the principal characters or their relationship (which isn’t very romantic), and the mystery surrounding the death of the eccentric former Duke of Hollinburgh goes nowhere. Hunter fans will still find things to like in Heiress in Red Silk, but it’s an underwhelming follow up to the terrific Heiress for Hire. After the sudden death of the Duke of Hollinburgh, his family learns he bequeathed the majority of his wealth to three unknown women. In Heiress for Hire, Chase Radnor, the duke’s nephew, is tasked by the new duke with finding the women and investigating his uncle’s somewhat suspicious death. Chase finds the first woman, Minerva Hepplewhite, living in London, and unaware she’s received a life changing legacy from a man she never met. Chase initially suspects Minerva might have killed the duke, but by the end of the novel he’s eliminated her from his list of suspects, and they are deeply in love. Chase still isn’t certain what happened to his uncle, but he advises his cousin, Kevin Radnor – who lied about his whereabouts the night Hollinburgh died and was seen arguing with him days earlier, to be ready to leave the country if necessary. Rosamund Jameson grew up on a tenant farm in Oxfordshire before going into service for a London family. She was dismissed without reference after her employer discovered she was involved in an affair with their eldest son, Charles. Desperate and hungry, Rosamund found work as a chambermaid at Mrs. Darling’s, an upscale brothel – a brothel, we later learn, the former Duke of Hollinburgh frequented. After two years, she left Mrs. Darling’s and apprenticed with a milliner, and she now owns her own millinery shop in Richmond. Rosamund has dreams of one day owning a shop in Mayfair and is determined to provide a better life for her younger sister Lily. She also sometimes fantasizes about finding Charles and marrying him. When Minerva Radnor enters Jameson’s Millinery and asks to speak with Rosamund Jameson, it’s been five years since Rosamund was thrown out of the Copley home. When asked by Minerva if she knew the duke, she nervously admits she once met him, but declines to elaborate on the meeting. Minerva doesn’t probe, but informs Rosamund that the duke left her a legacy of many thousands of pounds and fifty percent ownership of a business. She encourages her to come to London as soon as possible. Kevin Radnor is an inventor and businessman, and something of a black sheep amongst his family members. He’s rudely dismissive of most of his relatives, single and content to gratify his sexual needs with prostitutes, is quick to anger, blunt in his opinions, impulsive and often distracted. After an acrimonious final meeting with his Uncle Frederick wherein the duke refused to give him additional funds for their business partnership, Kevin was further devastated to learn Hollingsworth left his stake in their fledgling manufacturing company to a complete stranger. When he finally meets Rosamund, his new partner – after a stern admonishment from Minerva to behave – he’s caught off-guard by her beauty. But much to his dismay, his attempts to intimidate her with rapid fire questions about the enterprise don’t work. Rosamund stubbornly refuses to give up her share of the partnership or cede control to him. Kevin eventually realizes he’s misjudged and underestimated her. Rosamund won’t be bullied or cajoled and insists on an active and equal partnership. So Kevin decides to try a different approach: Seduction, followed by a marriage of convenience. The set-up to this affair doesn’t sound very appealing does it? Kevin is scheming for control of the enterprise, and Rosamund – busy establishing herself in London – spends the first half of the novel pining after someone else! Hunter attempts to show us the best and worst parts of her principal characters via their relationship to each other, but I was never invested in either of them, or their hot/cold relationship. Rosamund is smart and tough, and beautiful; Kevin is mercurial, brainy and handsome. He’s initially enthralled by her beauty, but dismissive of her ability to contribute meaningfully to their enterprise. Bitter and frustrated, he behaves like a toddler with a toy he won’t share. And he also has a terrible habit of mansplaining things to Rosamund. You can see his appeal. Ahem. Reader, I wanted to like them both! But he doesn’t improve on knowing him longer, and she makes choices at odds with her initial characterization. I won’t spoil how or why Rosamund finally decides to embark on an affair with Kevin, but it’s an abrupt change of heart precipitated by a predictable plot development. The author attempts to convey passion and abandon in their lovemaking, but each time they’re together it mostly feels like she’s checking off a list of scandalous sex acts. When the pair agree to marry because it makes practical business sense, it’s simply another reminder that this romantic affair feels anything but. Friends, I’m not here for practical love affairs! I want the swoony, crazy in love feels! And I can’t be the only one who thinks it’s strange that Rosamund is totally fine with Kevin proving his prowess in the bedroom with tricks he’s learned from his liaisons with prostitutes. Am I? Anyway. Once Rosamund and Kevin agree to marry, the family predictably freaks out, but the couple does it anyway, and find they rub along well enough during the day while steaming up the sheets with inventive lovemaking at night. Kevin begins to trust Rosamund’s business instincts, and Rosamund marvels at Kevin’s quick mind and willingness to do whatever hard work is required to make the enterprise a success. The novel shows us snapshots of the contented pair (and surprisingly little of the downside or negative repercussions of their union) until Rosamund meets with a potential business partner without asking Kevin for permission first. Uh oh. Trouble in conveniently married paradise. I was intrigued by Kevin Radnor after Heiress for Hire, and I had high hopes for this second book in the series. But with the exception of how Rosamund knew the duke (which is a supremely underwhelming reveal), the blurb pretty much sums up this entire story. Unlike the clever and moving Heiress for Hire, Heiress in Red Silk is mostly a story about two attractive strangers with very little chemistry trying to make a go at a business partnership who also have a lot of sex on the side. She’s not as innocent as she looks, and he’s not nearly as unaffected as he pretends. We still don’t know anything new about the duke’s death; the extended Radnor family are still a bunch of unlikeable, bitter snobs; and the principal couple seemingly only fall in love as a side effect of spending time together! Not even entertaining cameos from... Read the rest of this review at All About Romance.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sophie

    I received an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher via NetGalley. This in no way impacted on my view. Heiress in Red Silk sees milliner Rosamund Jameson discover the late Duke of Hollinburgh has helped her more than the purse of guineas that allowed her to open her store. Rather, he left her half shares in an engineering invention, and money beyond her wildest dreams. When her partner in the invention, and the inventor himself, Kevin Radnor, finds her, he is shocked by her business prowess, and I received an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher via NetGalley. This in no way impacted on my view. Heiress in Red Silk sees milliner Rosamund Jameson discover the late Duke of Hollinburgh has helped her more than the purse of guineas that allowed her to open her store. Rather, he left her half shares in an engineering invention, and money beyond her wildest dreams. When her partner in the invention, and the inventor himself, Kevin Radnor, finds her, he is shocked by her business prowess, and her appearance, and he can't help but be worried about the venture. The rest of the Radnor family are hateful, and rude to Rosamund, and can't fathom that the money they were expecting to inherit, and hoping would come their way soon - if Rosamund hadn't been found - has gone instead to the daughter of a Oxfordshire tenant farmer, who won't return it to them. And when Kevin announces that he hopes to marry - firstly for the reputation it'll give Rosamund, and the control of the engine it'll give him, and secondly to seduce her into his bed, it seems like both of them might just fall a little too much. To say I couldn't wait to read this book would be an understatement. After finishing Heiress in Red Silk, and seeing the peek about this book, I knew I would devour it as soon as I got my hands on a copy. Rosamund was a character I just loved - she had suffered in life, and used her know how to create a position in life that was perfect for her. Joining service when she was only 17, she left Oxford for London, and became a housemaid in the home of a well to do family, and was seduced by the son, who told her he loved her, and wanted to marry. Well, as you can imagine, that never happened, and she was thrown onto the streets, with no reference and nothing to her name, and was lucky enough to find another position, in a brothel, but as a maid again. Here, she came across the Duke of Hollinburgh, and helped him care for his favourite girl, and got to talking. When he gave her some money, she used it to rent a shop in Richmond, and started her business as a milliner, which was quickly becoming fruitful. She never even expected that, and hearing about her inheritance was too much. I loved her growth, and how she thought about helping her sister first when it came to the money, getting her in a perfect school, before opening a London store - just off Oxford Street - and renting a town house and finding tutors for herself. She also didn't let any of the Radnors, let alone Kevin, intimidate her. She knew her worth, and wanted equal share in the running of the venture, that she was an equal partner in. Kevin we saw in the first book, and he had been accused of killing the late Duke, which is brought up again in this one. I liked seeing him with Rosamund, as in Heiress for Hire he was a bit bland. Yes, he did set out to seduce Rosamund to get his hands on her shares, but it was quickly obvious that while he'd never been enthralled by a women in the past, he was head over heels for Rosamund, and wanted to marry her for her, and not just for what she brought to the union. Their chemistry, and love story, was epic, and the way Kevin came to appreciate Rosamund as more than simply a beautiful woman, was amazing! I still hate the majority of the Radnors - especially Philip - but it was perfect seeing more of Minerva and Chase and how they were doing, now married, following the events of their own love story. We still have the mystery surrounding the late duke's death, and we see more of the current duke, Nicholas, who will be the hero of the next story, The Heiress Bride, and I'm so looking forward to that book. Again, Madeline has proved herself to be an author I can't wait to read.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Cat

    Heiress in Red Silk is the second in a series, but it's the first one that I've read by this author. It follows tenant farmer's daughter turned milliner turned heiress Rosamund and inventor Kevin as they meet, become (reluctantly) business partners, and then become lovers. Set in Victorian England, the backdrop is a little different than many historical romance novels. There's a vague steampunk feeling that left me a little cold. While I rather liked Rosamund's intrepidness, Kevin seemed a lot li Heiress in Red Silk is the second in a series, but it's the first one that I've read by this author. It follows tenant farmer's daughter turned milliner turned heiress Rosamund and inventor Kevin as they meet, become (reluctantly) business partners, and then become lovers. Set in Victorian England, the backdrop is a little different than many historical romance novels. There's a vague steampunk feeling that left me a little cold. While I rather liked Rosamund's intrepidness, Kevin seemed a lot like one of his father's automations, clicking along with a single purpose, rolling over (or trying to) anyone or anything in the way. More than once, I thought that he might be somewhere on the spectrum. Obviously, if that's the case, it wouldn't have been something known at the time, and there isn't enough written into his character for the reader to know for sure that there's an explanation for his jackassery. (If he is indeed on the spectrum, an author's note discussing it would have been helpful and could have been very informative.) In short, he just comes off as a self-absorbed jerk. Rosamund, on the other hand, is very likable. She handles the difficulties in her life with a fair amount of calm. I enjoyed the parts discussing her millinery, especially since, in historical romances, hat shops are often just settings for tonnish displays of wealth and cattiness. However, while we can explain away the five-year blinders she wore for her ex as a product of youthful naivete, her attraction to Kevin is a total mystery. There's a story in the background involving s potential murder that never fully gains traction. I believe it started in the first novel, and I expect it will resolve in the next. However, it received lackluster attention in this novel, serving only to make me question Kevin more than exonerate him. No, I don't think he's the culprit (he's the romantic hero, after all), but it still seems off. I received an ARC of this book from the publisher and Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinion. Thanks!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Vintagebooklvr

    A refreshing Victorian romance novel that is not focused on the ton--oh, there is interaction with people of the highest levels of society, and that includes the male lead, but he is also focused on the dreaded trade. Rosamund is milliner who runs her own shop and has business sense who discovers that she has unexpectedly inherited a fortune and is half owner in a business of a new invention. The other half belongs to the inventor, Kevin Radnor (whose relatives believe the inheritance should be A refreshing Victorian romance novel that is not focused on the ton--oh, there is interaction with people of the highest levels of society, and that includes the male lead, but he is also focused on the dreaded trade. Rosamund is milliner who runs her own shop and has business sense who discovers that she has unexpectedly inherited a fortune and is half owner in a business of a new invention. The other half belongs to the inventor, Kevin Radnor (whose relatives believe the inheritance should be theirs, not Rosamund), who resents some unknown having any say in his precious invention. To say things don’t go well at first is an understatement. Sparks fly, an understanding of sorts is reached, troubles ensue… I really liked Rosamund who was more down-to-earth than Kevin and could hold her own against the insulting high society types. Kevin was more the obsessive intensity sort and more worried about his wants without always considering the feeling of others, including being manipulative. But Rosamund wasn’t easy to manipulate. I didn’t always like Kevin, particularly when he was frustrated and angry; he said some nasty things to Rosamund. I liked the slow burn of this romance. The conversations were not trite and I felt they really got to know each other and a realistic evolution of their relationship. I was a little disappointed in the ending. Without going into details, Kevin needed to make more of an attempt to prove that he wouldn’t act the way he did in the future. Although part of a series, it was easy to pick up what had gone before without feeling lost but it did make me want to read the first one in the series. I’ve always enjoyed Hunter’s women characters who did unusual things for the time they were in but it wasn’t unfeasible for it to be true. Overall, a good read. I received a free ARC in return for an honest opinion from Netgalley and the publisher.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    3.5 stars. The first book in this series, Heiress for Hire, was one of my favorite books from 2020, so my expectations going into this were perhaps too high. Parts of this were definitely enjoyable (especially Rosamund's character, and their trip to Paris), but overall the romance never really came together for me and the murder mystery cliffhanger from book 1 wasn't progressed here at all. Madeline Hunter is still an excellent author, and I am looking forward to continuing to read this series, 3.5 stars. The first book in this series, Heiress for Hire, was one of my favorite books from 2020, so my expectations going into this were perhaps too high. Parts of this were definitely enjoyable (especially Rosamund's character, and their trip to Paris), but overall the romance never really came together for me and the murder mystery cliffhanger from book 1 wasn't progressed here at all. Madeline Hunter is still an excellent author, and I am looking forward to continuing to read this series, but this would not rank among my favorite books by her. In terms of the good parts, I really liked that the main characters were not your typical romance personalities. Rosamund is the daughter of a tenant farmer who suddenly inherits a fortune from the late Duke, whom she only met briefly while he was alive. She struggled and overcame many personal challenges in her life to start her own successful millinery business and to care for her younger sister. She does not take any flack from Kevin's obnoxious family and is not swayed by their threats. As with Minerva in book 1, Rosamund as a whole was unique and refreshing and I was really rooting for her to get everything she wanted. Kevin unfortunately did not work for me as a romantic lead. I wasn't sure if the reader was supposed to interpret his behavior as being on the spectrum (though obviously at the time he was just considered eccentric) or if he was just a callous and self-absorbed a-hole. If it was the former, this was a missed opportunity to explore that area, especially in a historical romance. However, his behavior toward Rosamund in the last quarter of the book ruined the chemistry that seemed to be building between them and, like another reviewer noted, left me feeling like there is no genuine HEA possible for them. Especially after Rosamund was mistreated by her first love, Charles, and how much it devastated her, seeing Kevin repeatedly belittle and berate her went beyond something that could be fixed with a tepid apology. I'm looking forward to reading the new Duke's story next and hopefully finally finding out who killed the old one! Thank you to Kensington and Netgalley for providing an ARC for review!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Debby*BabyDee

    I've read other Madeline Hunter novels and although I did not read the first in this series, I think this was more of a standalone read. I thought the story and characters were enjoyable, however I did feel a bit disconnected from them also. The only two that seemed more cohesive were Chase and Minerva. The story was about and inventor and a milliner...both who were left to split an inheritance from a wealthy duke. It was a well-written plot and I thought the chemistry build between the H/h was I've read other Madeline Hunter novels and although I did not read the first in this series, I think this was more of a standalone read. I thought the story and characters were enjoyable, however I did feel a bit disconnected from them also. The only two that seemed more cohesive were Chase and Minerva. The story was about and inventor and a milliner...both who were left to split an inheritance from a wealthy duke. It was a well-written plot and I thought the chemistry build between the H/h was nicely done. There was angst, and quite a bit of banter between the two that led to a slow building intimate relationship. Both the H/h carried this sense of entitlement that had me disliking them early on but as the story went on, they became two warmhearted individuals. I did like this story because there was the difference in classes that felt genuine because regardless of your station, love can conquer. Nicely done by Ms. Hunter, but this story left me missing something. Not sure if it was the romance that I just couldn't grasp my mind around, if it was the trying to somehow connect the two characters into a plausible romance, the secret about one of the jobs the heroine held or just the many finger pointing fill-ins to the hero killing his grandfather. Enjoyed but could have been more for me. Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington Books for this ARC in exchange for my fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

  18. 5 out of 5

    S. A.

    I read this as an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher. In her second novel in The Duke’s Heiresses series, Hunter returns to one of the things she does best, cross-class romance. Fans of her early Medievals were vastly entertained by the plausible matches she created between noble and commoner and here it is absolutely no different. And she doesn’t just handwave the issue, as so many modern authors do. If a nobleman wants to marry a shepherdess or a scullery maid (or whatnot) many authors make I read this as an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher. In her second novel in The Duke’s Heiresses series, Hunter returns to one of the things she does best, cross-class romance. Fans of her early Medievals were vastly entertained by the plausible matches she created between noble and commoner and here it is absolutely no different. And she doesn’t just handwave the issue, as so many modern authors do. If a nobleman wants to marry a shepherdess or a scullery maid (or whatnot) many authors make it seem like society doesn’t care. Here Hunter addresses the issue head on, but shows how the personalities involved make the match work regardless of society’s or family’s dislike of the union. In this novel, Mr. Kevin Radnor, the eccentric genius inventor among the Radnor family (introduced in Heiress for Hire, the previous book in this series), has spent nearly a year trying to discover the whereabouts of Miss Rosamund Jameson, the woman who his Uncle, the late Duke of Hollinburgh had left half his business to. Miss Jameson is a humble milliner, with a small but smart shop in Richmond. Having discovered her whereabouts he sends his cousins Chase and Minerva, the heroes of Heiress for Hire, to tell her of her legacy. Rosamund is startled, but also owes her shop to the late Duke, so she’s not completely unaware of his kindness. She travels to London to learn more about her inheritance. Kevin, unable to keep himself away now that she has been located, accosts Rosamund at the home of his cousin Chase and Minerva. He does a poor job of explaining the importance of his invention and of pleading his case to allow him to move the business forward and buy her out with the profits. Rosamund feels insulted, as nearly everyone does when speaking to Kevin, and refuses to give him control of the business. As she attempts to establish her new life as a woman of means in London, Kevin attempts to make himself useful to her, in order to keep an eye on his interests. But Rosamund has her own agenda. She wishes to establish herself in polite society so she can bring out her younger sister, Lily, and give Lily a better life. She is also in love with Charles, the son of the family to whom she’d formerly been in service. He had claimed to also love her and so she was turned out with no references by his family, the first of many examples of how the nobility views the servant class. He claimed to love her, but it has been five years with no contact. Now that she was wealthy, would his family accept the match? She engages Minerva to learn what became of her former lover, Charles. When Kevin’s relatives, who were also passed over for an inheritance by the former Duke, decide to make Rosamund’s life miserable, Kevin finds himself circling the wagons with Chase and Minerva to defend her. Here, too, we see the sneering attitudes of the Ton vs. the working classes despite Rosamund proving more and more that she’s not just a respectable and honest person, but a remarkable and ambitious one. Rosamund feels increasingly safe with Kevin, and it is clear both find the other attractive. But Kevin has learned Rosamund’s worth as she has stood up to him and pursued her goals, and despite his family’s insults, continues to treat her with respect for her intelligence. Ultimately, he proposes marriage to increase her social standing and solidify their partnership, though he never claims to love her. She refuses, holding out hope for a reunion with her former beau, Charles, who Minerva learns is now living in Paris. At this time Kevin shows her his invention and she agrees it should be manufactured. Kevin says he will leave for Paris at once to secure an add-on feature from an inventor there. Rosamond vows to go with him, ostensibly to protect her investment, but really to find Charles. And this is basically the set-up. I do not wish to spoil how it plays out in this review, but though you realize Kevin and Rosamund are well-matched from the beginning, their relationship is not easy. They don’t fall into each other’s arms, though they are attracted to each other. There’s too much at stake for both of them, which makes their turning to each other as the story goes on all the more rewarding. We see them building their relationship on far more than physical attraction and “love at first sight” or other nonsense. Their relationship has actual substance. Rosamund is a worthy partner, not just in Kevin’s bed, but in his enterprise, as he has the genius, and she has the practical planning and day to day running of a business that he doesn’t fully understand. He can imagine it. She can make it real. And she is a creative person, herself, designing hats. Modifying designs she sees elsewhere. She goes to Paris to study fashion as much as anything else, and makes practical strides in securing business relationships on her own behalf as much as for Kevin’s enterprise. She is a wonderful heroine on her own and I’d love a story just about her and her millinery business. We get to see her competence here and she truly doesn’t need Kevin at all. Just as he doesn’t need her. Which makes them coming together and the way Hunter has it happen all the more satisfying. These people are believable and real. They have their own interests that they don’t abandon once they become part of a couple. Their passions for their work aren’t just window dressing, but integral parts of their characters. It makes them, despite the historical setting, perfectly attuned to today’s dual income couples yet without being anachronistic. I strongly recommend this to anyone who likes a good historical romance about competent adults. I like it more than the previous outing in this series, which is also good.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Raine A

    The second book in the heiress trilogy/mystery, we read about another of the dukes nephew’s, Kevin who finally finds the other woman who has inherited his uncle’s money, and according to Kevin, half the shares and rights to ‘his’ business. I love Madeline Hunter and know that with her books I will always get a substantial read, a good plot and satisfying romance. Rosamunde is an intelligent self-sufficient businesswoman. At her age and the time, she lived in, that alone is an extraordinary feat The second book in the heiress trilogy/mystery, we read about another of the dukes nephew’s, Kevin who finally finds the other woman who has inherited his uncle’s money, and according to Kevin, half the shares and rights to ‘his’ business. I love Madeline Hunter and know that with her books I will always get a substantial read, a good plot and satisfying romance. Rosamunde is an intelligent self-sufficient businesswoman. At her age and the time, she lived in, that alone is an extraordinary feat for her. I liked her character. She was so pragmatic. Life had not been easy for her, she lost her father at an early age, she was cast out of the first place she worked in with no references because she was seduced by her employers son but she still managed to get through life with her integrity intact. A beautiful woman she could have let a man become her protector, but because she believed in (the lies) her love (had weaved), she kept herself true for him. Kevin was very amusing. He is the eccentric genius in the family and behaved like one. I enjoyed reading his interactions with his family, how as a gentleman he should have known in what way to behave under certain situations and people, and yet because his mind was so often consumed with his inventions and inner calculations, he made faux pas everywhere- to the point that his own family would think twice before inviting him to their affairs. He’s also very honourable. He could have browbeaten or harassed Rosamunde – though she could definitely hold her own against him and his family- over the company and her being a beneficiary of the will, but he set aside his bitterness to get to know her and work amicably with her instead. I did like the book. It went along with an even pace. The kind of calculating and practical people both Rosamunde and Kevin were, romance wasn’t going to just happen. It was going to be a slow process. She was very aware of her station among his people. He was well known as someone too engrossed in his enterprise to be enthralled by any woman. I liked how the author showed so subtly how Kevin was affected by Rosamunde despite himself but because he’s such a proud and careful man, didn’t see his fascination as love and instead would attribute it to lust, admiration and being forced in her company because of his uncles will. The problem was that it was too subtle and all too soon, I found myself near the end of the book and then Kevin was declaring his love for Rosamunde in the very last page! You could tell MH reached the last page and, in a panic, concluded things. Which is sad because it was going so well, and the end was just too abrupt. The way they met, and their interactions together were entertaining. He became her friend first, helped her settle in and though he was attracted to her, did not push her until she came to him. I liked how Rosamunde was shown as someone so practical and yet she too had secret dreams, mainly of finding and living with Charles (her seducer) once again and everything she did once she got the inheritance was not just to give her sister a better chance in life but also to make herself finally eligible in his and his parents eyes. It was endearing and sad. The house she bought, the tutors she hired, the way she would ask Minerva for help in inquires but never tried to reveal why she was making them- she knew it was a far-fetched dream, but she still tried to achieve it in her own quiet way. The scene where she finally meets Charles was packed full of emotion and heartbreak. Everything for me was done right in the book. It was refreshing that MH used a female protagonist who wasn’t some fallen gentleman’s daughter trying to become a business woman, or a commoner who may still have been raised like a lady or close to one but a tenant farmers daughter who behaved and talked a bit like one too. She was rustic and it showed. Their eventual marriage based on practical reasons (view spoiler)[ ( and very subtle seed planting by a certain cousin who I am sure will play a role in the last book) (hide spoiler)] was exactly how I thought it would happen. It was later that I felt the book started to falter. I would have liked to read more about their married life than allusions to how things were going. And then all too soon they both have another fight and Rosamunde finally tired of Kevin’s stubbornness and antipathy towards her owning half the company, decides to leave him and go back home. It was from here that I would have rather read about how Kevin coped or did not cope without her in his life. This whole story was about how he was forced to be with her because he didn’t want to lose his precious company and how she eventually replaced that obsession with herself. But we don’t get to read any of it. We just get some more pages of her life, her shop and then Kevin showing up saying how much he loves her. I wish there had been a few more pages after that. I would have easily given the book 4 or 5 stars then. It even would have diverted my attention from the fact that there was no more examination about who may have killed the old duke. Though I think I have solved it as there have been some hints. (view spoiler)[ Its cousin D. (hide spoiler)] So, I was disappointed with this one because of its ending, I still can’t wait to read the last book! I am grateful to Netgalley and the publisher for this arc I received in exchange for a fair and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are mine.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    Good book, and one that is very different than most historical romances. The Duke's Heiresses series is about three ordinary women whose lives are changed by unexpected bequests from a duke. Each woman deals with suspicious, angry, and disappointed relatives of the duke while making the best of their new circumstances. In this book, Rosamund overcame many challenges to become a successful milliner. As the daughter of a tenant farmer left homeless after his death, she entered service as a housema Good book, and one that is very different than most historical romances. The Duke's Heiresses series is about three ordinary women whose lives are changed by unexpected bequests from a duke. Each woman deals with suspicious, angry, and disappointed relatives of the duke while making the best of their new circumstances. In this book, Rosamund overcame many challenges to become a successful milliner. As the daughter of a tenant farmer left homeless after his death, she entered service as a housemaid. Rosamund fell in love and was seduced by the son of the house and booted out when his parents discovered the affair. The only employment she could find was as a maid at a London brothel, where a kindness to one of the working girls earned her the money to start her hat shop. I liked Rosamund. She is intelligent, practical, and strong-willed. After learning of her good fortune, she took the time to think through her options and make plans. I liked that Minerva, from the first book (Heiress for Hire), befriended her and helped her through the early days of her inheritance. The one aspect she isn't quite sure of is the half-interest in a business she knows nothing about. Her co-owner is intense, rude, and disturbingly handsome. Kevin is a brilliant inventor but socially inept. He says what he thinks without trying to be polite about it. Kevin was horrified when his uncle bequeathed his share of Kevin's business to an unknown woman. During the year it took to track Rosamund down, Kevin could not move forward with his invention. Now he plans to get her to sign her rights over to him, protecting himself and his creation from any unwanted interference. Unfortunately for him, his plans don't work out quite as he intended. Kevin and Rosamund get off to a rough start. The first thing he does upon meeting her is shove papers at her giving him control of her half of the company. He is baffled when she refuses to sign them. It's his invention, and he should be able to do things his way. Rosamund intends to look after her interests, and she doesn't believe that Kevin knows how to run a successful business. I enjoyed the development of the relationship between Kevin and Rosamund. It was a slow one, going from enemies to friends to lovers. Once Kevin realized that Rosamund was serious about being involved in the business, he knew he must rethink his actions. As intense and determined as he was, he was also an honorable man who refrained from attempting to intimidate or browbeat Rosamund into doing things his way. Instead, he took the time to get to know her and help her settle in and find ways to work together. Kevin prides himself on his focus never having been compromised by a woman but soon finds that focus splintered by Rosamund's proximity. He blames it on lust, admiration, nearness - anything but growing feelings for her. Rosamund ignores the sparks between them, as she has plans of her own. Now that she has money and improved circumstances, she wants to find her first love and show him that they can be together now. I ached for her when she saw him and discovered that her dream man possessed feet of clay and a cruel heart. Her heartbreak was evident, as was her disillusionment. I liked how Kevin offered comfort and sympathy and reined in his desire for her. Rosamund's pragmatic nature enables her to put it behind her quickly, and that same nature encourages her to give in to her desire for Kevin. Working together to move Kevin's invention forward created some interesting situations. As a successful businesswoman in her own right, Rosamund has ideas about the next steps to take. Unfortunately, Kevin's extreme paranoia about protecting his invention causes him to refuse all of her ideas, usually quite rudely. I loved that she doesn't back down and finds ways to make him see reason. His fears of losing control of his company eventually lead him to propose a marriage of convenience to Rosamund. Once again, their pragmatic natures show themselves as they discuss the various pros and cons of marrying without mentioning feelings. Not long into their marriage, Rosamund's proactive steps set off Kevin's anger yet again. This time, the accusations he flings at her, and his cruel comments strike deep at her insecurities. I ached for Rosamund as she fled her heartbreak. It takes a few days for Kevin to calm down and realize his mistakes. I liked seeing him go after her but felt that more groveling was in order before she should forgive him. The Radnor family dynamics created some awkward situations. The late duke's decision to change his will left most of his family with shattered expectations, and they weren't happy about it. Kevin's Aunt Agnes is very vocal with her fury while others settle for sly remarks and innuendos. I liked how Rosamund handled herself at the family dinner - polite but not intimidated. Kevin faced a much angrier group when they discovered his plans to marry Rosamund. I loved watching him stand up to them all despite some personal consequences. There are still questions about the death of the late duke that will hopefully be addressed in the final book. #netgalley

  21. 5 out of 5

    Barbara Rogers

    Series: The Dukes Heiresses #2 Publication Date: 4/27/21 Number of Pages: 304 ** 3.5 Stars Rounded Up ** As we learned in the first book of the series, Heiress for Hire, the Duke of Hollinburgh changed his will just prior to his mysterious death. That change was to the detriment of his family and to the benefit of three women the family doesn’t know. Now, they have to find those women and give them their very sizable inheritances. Once you meet the duke’s brothers and sisters, you’ll definitely unde Series: The Dukes Heiresses #2 Publication Date: 4/27/21 Number of Pages: 304 ** 3.5 Stars Rounded Up ** As we learned in the first book of the series, Heiress for Hire, the Duke of Hollinburgh changed his will just prior to his mysterious death. That change was to the detriment of his family and to the benefit of three women the family doesn’t know. Now, they have to find those women and give them their very sizable inheritances. Once you meet the duke’s brothers and sisters, you’ll definitely understand why the duke would want to leave them out of the will, but the ones he really hurt were his nephews – and he was really close to them. Those nephews also have to solve the mystery of their uncle’s death. I don’t think the duke was trying to hurt his nephews – I think he was matchmaking. The first book saw his nephew Chase find a love match with the heiress Minerva – and this one pairs up his nephew Kevin with the heiress Rosamund. Nothing in this book furthered the investigation into the duke’s death, so that thread will either fizzle out and go nowhere or maybe it will be finally solved in the next book. Inventor Kevin Radnor is incensed at what his uncle has done to him. Kevin has invented a part that will eventually be used in every steam engine that is made. It is unique and he’s very, very secretive about it because someone else could easily steal it. He is incensed that his uncle, who was a fifty-percent partner, has left his portion of the enterprise to some woman nobody has ever heard of. They’ve spent over a year looking for her – a year in which Kevin cannot do anything toward furthering his invention because his new partner isn’t there to okay any expenses. They need to find her and convince her to sell her share or at least allow him to make all of the decisions. He’s in for a big surprise when she turns out to be beautiful, intelligent, and disinclined to turn over any part of her inheritance to him – and that includes allowing him to solely manage the company. Uh-Oh. She definitely gives as good as she gets. Daughter of tenant farmers, Rosamund Jameson, met the Duke of Hollinburgh only one time. He was grateful to her for nursing a friend of his and gave her a bag of coins that amounted to ten guineas. She had never seen so much money in her life and she was thrilled. She could use that money to open up the millinery shop she’d always wanted to have. The shop, located in Richmond – just outside London – has become quite successful. She will be forever grateful for that gift. So, imagine her shock when she learns that the very same duke has died and has left her an enormous amount of money as well as half interest in a company. Poor Kevin gets off to a very bad start with Rosamund. The poor man is absolutely brilliant but socially inept. He doesn’t make small-talk, he doesn’t make polite statements – many consider him just rude. What he really is, is honest. He says what he’s thinking and it doesn’t always come out in a politically correct manner. Kevin is hyper-focused on whatever subject has him interested at the moment – and right now, that is his newest invention. He doesn’t understand why Rosamund won’t just let him run things as he likes – it is his invention. Rosamund doesn’t think Kevin knows anything about running a successful enterprise. I really liked both Kevin and Rosamund – and I liked them together – and the lust was definitely there, but somehow, I just didn’t see how they got to the long-lasting love. Most of the on-page time was either arguing with each other or spent in bed and they’d go days without seeing each other. There just didn’t seem to be any time of working together and sharing and getting to know each other. I still enjoyed the read, I just didn’t get all of the warm-and-fuzzies for them as a couple. I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Maria

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. True Rating – 3.75 This is the second installment in the Duke’s Heiress series. The premise of the series is the Duke of Hollingburgh dies in an accident (maybe) and left the bulk of his Estate to three (3) ladies unknown to his family. These books are historical romances, the heroes for these books are three (3) of the deceased Duke’s nephews. I really enjoyed this book. I loved Kevin and Rosamund’s journey to their HEA. Their story is not typical because Rosamund is a successful business owner True Rating – 3.75 This is the second installment in the Duke’s Heiress series. The premise of the series is the Duke of Hollingburgh dies in an accident (maybe) and left the bulk of his Estate to three (3) ladies unknown to his family. These books are historical romances, the heroes for these books are three (3) of the deceased Duke’s nephews. I really enjoyed this book. I loved Kevin and Rosamund’s journey to their HEA. Their story is not typical because Rosamund is a successful business owner / trade worker. Both Kevin and Rosamund are very intelligent in their own right and their respective intelligence compliments each other when they are not butting heads. I did not like the ending which is why I lowered this from a 4 to 3.75 stars. I hope we get more of both couples, Minerva & Chase, from the first book, as well as Rosamund and Kevin, in the next book. This series is so enjoyable, and I highly recommend reading these books. I read both the first and second book in one sitting each and I cannot wait until the next installment. ***I won "Heiress in Red Silk" from Goodreads Giveaway. This review is a true and accurate depiction of my thoughts and opinions on said book.*** More Detailed Review Below: I loved Kevin when I met him in the first book, Heiress for Hire, and was excited the second book was his story. He is super intelligent, bit nerdy and corky. He is also very blunt, which others take as rude and misses a lot of social cues. He has a quick temper and speaks without thinking A LOT. Oh, did I not mention he is very handsome. Our heroine is Rosamund Jameson, who is self-sufficient and strong heroine. When we are introduced to her, she has her own milliner shop just outside of London. Even though Rosamund currently is a business owner, she has not had an easy life. The former Duke of Hollingburgh left Rosamund his half of a company that he owned with Kevin and he is on a mission to get the company back from Rosamund or at least control of her share. Well, you know what they say about the best laid plans. When Kevin meets Rosamund, she takes his breath away in more ways than one. First, by her beauty and then by her business savvy. Rosamund is in love with someone from her past, but she finds Kevin good looking, and he awakens some feelings in her that she has not felt in very long time. When Kevin realizes Rosamund will not give control of the business to him, he begins to work with her to bring his project to fruition. He soon realizes just how business smart Rosamund, and his feelings begin to change and grow for her. Meanwhile, while Rosamund is beginning to have feelings for Kevin, she resists because of her past love which she is hoping to reunite with shortly. Both Kevin and Rosamund act without thinking of the other person which causes a bit of conflict. Each time it happens they talk and resolve the issue, but it does not stop it from happening again. I will say, Kevin makes the greatest effort, but he is not known for his patience. Kevin must go to Paris for a business meeting and Rosamund decided to go with him under the guise to assist him with their company as well as to research the latest fashions for her milliner shops. Rosemond’s real reason is to reunite with her former love, which does not go well. Upon Kevin and Rosamund return to London they are lovers and eventually marry. Everything is going well, then there is a row that leads Kevin to react without thinking in the heat of the moment as well as in anger. Kevin spends the night at the office apartment and upon his return home he realizes Rosamund has left as well as signed over her rights to the company to him leaving him with the impression she is not returning. Rosamund returned to her shop outside of London and Kevin located her there and sent her correspondence. Ten (10) days from the first correspondence, he goes to see Rosamund to apologize as well as to tell her he loves her and wants her back. Love is declared and there is make up sex. Then the book literally ends. UGH I wanted a bit more for the ending, like an actual ending.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Rose Blue

    4.5 stars as reviewed at Roses Are Blue: https://wp.me/p3QRh4-1ue Rosamund Jameson is the orphaned daughter of a tenant farmer, who now has to earn a living to support herself and her younger sister, Lily. Her strange career path led her to caring for a seriously ill prostitute, with that care leading to a grateful nobleman providing her with a small income. Rosamund used that money to establish a millinery shop in Richmond. When she is later approached by an investigator, and advised that the sa 4.5 stars as reviewed at Roses Are Blue: https://wp.me/p3QRh4-1ue Rosamund Jameson is the orphaned daughter of a tenant farmer, who now has to earn a living to support herself and her younger sister, Lily. Her strange career path led her to caring for a seriously ill prostitute, with that care leading to a grateful nobleman providing her with a small income. Rosamund used that money to establish a millinery shop in Richmond. When she is later approached by an investigator, and advised that the same nobleman has left her a fortune, Rosamund heads off to London to fulfill her dream of opening a shop there. She immediately falls under the suspicion of the Radnor family, who were expecting their relative to bequeath his fortune to them, not a stranger. In particular, the duke’s grandson, is greatly impacted by Rosamund’s inheritance. Kevin Radnor is an inventor and a businessman. He had a good relationship with his grandfather, the late Duke Hollinburgh, in fact, the duke was half owner of Kevin’s company. When Kevin learns that his grandfather has left his half of the company to Rosamund, he is incensed. Kevin has invented something that will greatly improve steam engines, and he can’t risk any outsider becoming privy to his top secret idea. Theft is common in this field, so much so, that Kevin has even refused to have his invention patented for fear of someone else bringing his idea to fruition. Kevin is an interesting, unorthodox man. He is a gentleman, and his good birth makes him welcome in society, yet he’s not content to be idle. His mind is constantly active, often seeming to send him into an almost trancelike state. He’s his own man, not afraid to stand up to the slings from his mostly awful family. He loves sex, but brags that he’s never been enthralled by a woman, thus his encounters are usually of the kind involving financial compensation. He’s often blunt, and has a quick temper. His initial attempt to have Rosamund sign over all decision making in their company to him meets with failure, so he decides to stick close to her until he has another plan. Though Rosamund has not had a formal education, she is far from stupid. She intends to remain a full partner in the company without ceding any authority, or selling any part off, until she learns all about it. She also hires tutors to teach her how to speak correctly, to dance, and to complete her education. She rents a fashionable home and purchases a new wardrobe. In the back of Rosamund’s mind is the secret thought that maybe now she will be worthy of the man she fell in love with years ago, a man who was then too far above her socially for them to have a future together. In the meantime, she will accept Kevin’s assistance, but will not give an inch in regard to the company. The armed truce between Rosamund and Kevin eventually turns to a mutual respect, and a friendly partnership. Their underlying attraction for each other soon moves from the background and flares into a blazing physical relationship. Ever pragmatic, Kevin decides that a convenient marriage might solve his fear of ever having his company invaded by outsiders. Two sensible people agree to a marriage which is more like a merger, albeit with fringe benefits. Rosamund and Kevin do generate the steam! All is well for a short time, until trust becomes an issue, unforgivable words are spoken, and the fledgling relationship is broken. Despite their flaws, I really liked this couple, and I was able to observe their falling in love before they realized it themselves. HEIRESS IN RED SILK can be read as a standalone, though I do recommend book one, HEIRESS FOR HIRE, to provide more details about the duke and his mysterious legacy. The mystery of his death has not yet been solved and it more than likely will be revealed in the final book. HEIRESS IN RED SILK is a book I enjoyed reading, and recommend for those who enjoy a steamy romance, with characters who are strong and complicated.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Louise

    Inventor, businessman, and all-around eccentric, Kevin Radnor is in a bind. He's invented a device that will revolutionize the steam engine industry, only he needs the approval of the co-owner of the device. It had been his uncle, the duke, but after the duke's untimely death the share had been willed to one Rosamund Jameson. The problem, no one knows who Rosamund Jameson is. That is until a chance encounter in a house of pleasure leads Kevin to Rosamund. Eminently practical, Rosamund has managed Inventor, businessman, and all-around eccentric, Kevin Radnor is in a bind. He's invented a device that will revolutionize the steam engine industry, only he needs the approval of the co-owner of the device. It had been his uncle, the duke, but after the duke's untimely death the share had been willed to one Rosamund Jameson. The problem, no one knows who Rosamund Jameson is. That is until a chance encounter in a house of pleasure leads Kevin to Rosamund. Eminently practical, Rosamund has managed to claw her way up the social ladder after facing near ruin. A successful milliner, she dreams of sending her younger sister to a fine school to improve her prospects while secretly, in her most hidden of hearts, she longs to reconnect with the man who she loved and lost so long ago. When she discovers she's an heiress, she doesn't meekly bow to the demands of the Radnor family to give up her share of Kevin's business. Instead, she throws herself wholeheartedly into the business, disrupting Kevin's carefully laid plans and stirring something in his eccentric heart. --- I really enjoyed the first book of this series by Madeline Hunter, so when the ARC became available I jumped on it. The book did not disappoint. I found the romance charming and believable. The book featured several of my favorite tropes: marriage of convenience, falling for the enemy, and some mild hurt/comfort. It passed the Bechdel test and the Mako Mori test, the latter is often rare in romance. The overall plot worked well and advanced the series arc plot regarding the mystery of the former duke's death and why he left his fortune to these three women. Kevin and Rosamund were unique characters i haven't seen much in romance. Kevin showed all of the signs of being ADHD or Autistic but since this was set in the regency, those terms didn't exist then. Instead he's called socially inept and eccentric. But watching him become hyperfixated on the things in his life that bring him pleasure is sort of adorable. I don't know if this was intentionally done by the author, but as someone who is neurodivergent it was nice to see a character who I could relate to and whose thought processes matched mine at times. Kevin is also tough to like at times, he's an acquired taste -- like the escargot they try in Paris. He's at times gruff, impulsive, judgemental, and also suspicious. But for all of his faults, he's also kind, caring, considerate, and gentle. If I liked Kevin, I adored Rosamund. She's a lovely ambitious woman whose kind heart and caring nature lead to both her successes and her failures. I liked that she was the steady hand to Kevin's impulsiveness. I appreciated that she had goals of her own that had nothing to do with the romance or Kevin's storyline. She was a great character who I wanted to see more of. All of the characters from the first book make an appearance, which I appreciated. But you don't have to read the first book to understand this one. That said, I feel like I liked the first book better. Probably because I adored Minerva so very much. I like competent heroines... and both Rosamund and Minerva are just that. There are some content warnings that people need to be aware of... so spoilers for that: prostitution and discussion of prostitution, period appropriate sexism, period appropriate classism, sexual assault, physical assault, bullying, and others I probably missed/forgot. This book doesn't shy away from the realities of the time and isn't afraid to go to some darkish places. In all I liked this book. Four and a half stars -- rounded up to five I received an ARC of this book via NetGalley.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kat

    Heiress in Red Silk is the second book in Madeline Hunter's A Duke's Heiress series. I didn't read the first book yet, and I wasn't lost in the least. The stories are connected by said deceased duke, but the romance and stories apparently stand alone. Ms. Hunter was one of the first authors I read when I became engrossed by historical romance, so she holds a special place in my heart. I'm glad to be still enjoying her books a number of years later. Rosamund Jameson, a talented milliner who has a Heiress in Red Silk is the second book in Madeline Hunter's A Duke's Heiress series. I didn't read the first book yet, and I wasn't lost in the least. The stories are connected by said deceased duke, but the romance and stories apparently stand alone. Ms. Hunter was one of the first authors I read when I became engrossed by historical romance, so she holds a special place in my heart. I'm glad to be still enjoying her books a number of years later. Rosamund Jameson, a talented milliner who has a little shop in Richmond, unexpectedly receives an inheritance from a duke she barely knew. Now, suddenly, she is an heiress and a co-owner of a business! She's excited that she will be able to open a millinery shop in London, but even happier that she will now be able to provide a better life for her younger sister. The only problem with this entire scenario is her new business partner, the arrogant, insufferable, and extremely handsome Kevin Radnor. Kevin is not thrilled that his uncle the duke left half of his business to the enchanting Rosamund; he's even less thrilled that she actually plans on being a full partner instead of turning her share over to him. They have undeniable chemistry, though, and Kevin begins to think a marriage of convenience might just be the easiest route to take. Yeah, right. This was such a fun romance! Rosamund was an extremely compelling heroine. She might be the daughter of a tenant farmer from Oxford shire and not have a great deal of education, but she is far from being unintelligent! She seemed to have a better grasp of business practices than Kevin. Most of Kevin's family, though not all, were horrified by Rosamund..how dare the duke leave this little nobody the money that should have gone to them! But our heroine is no shrinking violet and can hold her own against these people. I had to struggle a bit with Kevin. He was a highly intelligent man who was an inventor and businessman. He was also very arrogant and untrusting. He resented Rosamund for getting half of his business, and he didn't think she would be an asset to the enterprise. Au contraire! But he could also be sweet and caring, like when Rosamund had her heart broken. It took me quite a while to warm to him; it didn't stop me from wanting to slap some sense into him, however. Chemistry? These two had it in spades! Steamy times almost required a fan and ice water for this reader. Kevin knew what he was doing, and Rosamund did not shy away from new, uh, experiences. The premise of a duke leaving a fortune to unknown young women was a fun idea for a series. I'm looking forward to reading the rest of the series! I received an ARC of this book courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley. I received no compensation for my review, and all thoughts and opinions expressed are entirely my own.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Elodie

    Heiress in Red Silk: An Entertaining Enemies to Lovers Regency Romance Novel A Duke's Heiress Romance Series #2 Madeline Hunter https://www.facebook.com/MadelineHunter Release Date 04/27/2021 Publisher Kensington : Zebra Books ➪ https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08F2X53FL/... 𝗕𝗹𝘂𝗿𝗯 A sparkling new love story from a historical romance legend, perfect for Bridgerton fans and readers of Sabrina Jeffries, Eloisa James, and Grace Burrowes.   In one life-changing windfall, Rosamund Jameson goes from struggling shop Heiress in Red Silk: An Entertaining Enemies to Lovers Regency Romance Novel A Duke's Heiress Romance Series #2 Madeline Hunter https://www.facebook.com/MadelineHunter Release Date 04/27/2021 Publisher Kensington : Zebra Books ➪ https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08F2X53FL/... 𝗕𝗹𝘂𝗿𝗯 A sparkling new love story from a historical romance legend, perfect for Bridgerton fans and readers of Sabrina Jeffries, Eloisa James, and Grace Burrowes.   In one life-changing windfall, Rosamund Jameson goes from struggling shopkeeper to heiress—and  co-owner of a new business. Not only will her sudden fortune allow her to move her millinery shop to fashionable London, but Rosamund will be able to provide her younger sister with a proper entry into society. The only hitch for resourceful Rosamund is her arrogant, infuriatingly handsome business partner...   Kevin Radnor is shocked that his late uncle, the Duke of Hollinburgh, bequeathed half his company to a total stranger—worse, a beguiling beauty who can only hinder his enterprise. But Rosamund insists on an active, equal partnership, so Kevin embarks on a plan: a seduction that will lead to a marriage of convenience, giving Rosamund the social status she needs, and guaranteeing him the silent partner he desires. Yet as this charismatic gentleman sets his flirtation in motion, he begins to wonder who is seducing whom—and if he can learn to share himself body and mind, without losing his heart . . .    𝗠𝘆 𝗿𝗲𝘃𝗶𝗲𝘄 Will he find in him to trust her to make the right choice ... I loved this partnering of these two very unconventional persons. Rosamund after struggling for years is finally making it in her own way. No big success but finally her own business with the deserved reward for her hard work. Until everything is turned upside down by an unexpected bequeath. And if she will be no easy prey to flattering nor bullying fellow as she sees past their false smiles and dubious games. She also sees a way to change hers and her sister’s circumstances. But first she must fend off her partner’s insistence to give up her share. And while her now half associate is no toady, his bluntness verging on insult nearly put her off. I remember Kevin from the first book, he went quite crazy when he learned his grandfather’s change of will. And the beginning of the book shows him as a driven man, rather smug, such he never saw coming Rosamund’s own stubbornness to resist his complacent talk because she sees fit to decide for herself instead of letting him think for. I loved how while they began on the wrong foot, they make slowly peace one step at a time, getting to know one another, listening to finally little by little trust the other. But it no easy feat with Kevin’s difficulties to let go some of his control freakiness over his project. Their romance is on the long term, what began as a simple attraction, turns from an unwanted association to friendship then more. 5 stars 𝗦𝘁𝗲𝗮𝗺 𝗹𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗹 onscreen detailed lovemaking scenes I have been granted an advance copy by the publisher Kensington, here is my true and unbiased opinion. https://www.facebook.com/429830134272...

  27. 4 out of 5

    Eleanor

    Heiress in Red Silk is the second book in the 'A Dukes's Heiress' series, in which three unrelated women receive life-changing legacies from the late Duke of Hollinburgh. This chapter features Rosamund Jameson, a milliner who receives a fortune along with a 50 percent share in a business. The windfall allows her to expand into territory she never dared to consider and aspire to a being a gentlewoman. Enter Kevin Radnor, cousin to both the new Duke and Chase Radnor, hero of the previous book, 'Hei Heiress in Red Silk is the second book in the 'A Dukes's Heiress' series, in which three unrelated women receive life-changing legacies from the late Duke of Hollinburgh. This chapter features Rosamund Jameson, a milliner who receives a fortune along with a 50 percent share in a business. The windfall allows her to expand into territory she never dared to consider and aspire to a being a gentlewoman. Enter Kevin Radnor, cousin to both the new Duke and Chase Radnor, hero of the previous book, 'Heiress for Hire'. Kevin's intensely displeased by having to share his inventions with a nobody - well, a comely body  - and  thus the old journey of enemies to lovers begins.  He assumes she's too thick-headed to grasp the technical details behind his designs - which she magically does - and she thinks he's a lecherous, if brilliant snob. Class divides, thwarted relationships, lust, disappointment and understanding of each others' abilities combine to create a story best described as Chitty-Chitty Bang Bang with shades of My Fair Lady and a dash of 50 Shades of Gray. Despite the spice, I was underwhelmed. Rosamund is hopelessly naive in matters of the heart, seeking to remake herself to address a painful past. While her business sense was admirable, I never warmed to her as a character. Lacking depth and nuance, Rosamund was essentially the same person at the end of the novel, albeit wealthier, better clothed and somewhat better spoken.  Her younger sister, whom the heroine hopes to elevate to higher society, had spirit and showed growth over her few scenes.  Kevin operated on two settings - horndog snob and horndog nerd. While I have encountered a few men like him in the flesh, they also had a vulnerability and inability to communicate their feelings, papered over by arrogance and lust. Once you peeled back their first few layers, intelligence at war with insecurity was plain. I wished we'd seen a bit more of the deeper motivation behind Kevin's attitude to life. I didn't feel the "happily ever after" was credible, as these two very different people had only the business and physical attraction in common. The professed love seemed hollow and I would have found a business partners -with-benefits arrangement more plausible. If you've read the previous book, Heiress for Hire, you'll be delighted to see how Chase and Minerva have progressed. I found their chemistry to be far more believable than that of Rosamund and Kevin. Chase and Minerva sizzle and complement each other, Rosamund and Kevin seem convenient. 3/5 *, for the delightful younger sister, Chase and Minerva as the 19th C. Tommy and Tuppence, and the steamy interludes between Kevin and Rosamund. Many thanks to Kensington Books and NetGalley for allowing me to receive an advance copy of this book to read and review!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Anne Morgan

    With the second heiress to the old duke found, more trouble comes for the Radnor family. You don't have to have read book one (Heiress for Hire) to pick up the idea for this series: one very wealthy, slightly eccentric duke dies under potentially questionable circumstances and the mostly awful family (think "Knives Out" with about 3 decent people in the family) discovers that there are three unknown women included in the will- working class women, decent women, who could really use the money and With the second heiress to the old duke found, more trouble comes for the Radnor family. You don't have to have read book one (Heiress for Hire) to pick up the idea for this series: one very wealthy, slightly eccentric duke dies under potentially questionable circumstances and the mostly awful family (think "Knives Out" with about 3 decent people in the family) discovers that there are three unknown women included in the will- working class women, decent women, who could really use the money and had no idea they were getting it. You can imagine how well the family takes it. In Red Silk Kevin Radnor must team up with new heiress Rosamund because not only has the duke left Rosamund a lot of money, he left her his share (half) in a business venture with Kevin. Kevin is an inventor who is so paranoid about anyone stealing his ideas he can't see how to manufacture them because that would involve trusting people. Rosamund is a talented milliner who wants to improve her life for the sake of her sister, and is very good at the practical aspects of business. I'm conflicted about this book. I enjoy the premise of the old duke giving away money to strangers he thought needed/were worthy of the money. Certainly more worthy than the majority of his pompous and entitled family. I liked Rosamund- a sensible, hard working woman who sees her windfall as a way to expand her business and fights men's expectations and beliefs of her based on her looks every single day. Kevin I wasn't as impressed by. I liked that he was willing to go his own way, follow his own interests and not listen to family members telling him that inventing wasn't 'done' in their circles. But he spent most of the book not trusting Rosamund, not trying to get to know her, but just trying to get her to agree to what he wanted to do with his invention- when it was pretty clear he had no idea what the practical steps should be and she did. No matter what Rosamund said, asked or suggested, he refused to listen because she was a woman and didn't know anything about his invention- which should have made him more willing to listen. A physical attraction and business partnership might not be the worst basis for a marriage of convenience, but I never felt chemistry between Kevin and Rosamund, or much emotional connection. The last few pages finally they both (spoiler alert) discover and claim their love for each other, but I have to admit I didn't really feel it, and was disappointed by that. Heiress in Red Silk had some good ideas, but dragged a lot along the way and never really captured or convinced me. Here's hoping for more in the next book in the series. I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

  29. 5 out of 5

    EmpK

    I saw this book was available as an ARC, so I snapped it up! Hunter is one of my favorite romance writers (Loretta Chase being the other). They're both very consistent in their own ways. In Hunter's case, she writes great heroines, and good heroes who straddle the line between arrogant and caring. You can literally see the evolution in how romance writers and women in general view the relationships between men and women by reading the last decade or so of Hunter's novels. In her earlier books, th I saw this book was available as an ARC, so I snapped it up! Hunter is one of my favorite romance writers (Loretta Chase being the other). They're both very consistent in their own ways. In Hunter's case, she writes great heroines, and good heroes who straddle the line between arrogant and caring. You can literally see the evolution in how romance writers and women in general view the relationships between men and women by reading the last decade or so of Hunter's novels. In her earlier books, the men are more assholish (technical term), but still attractive, interesting, capable. They inevitably have mistresses because isn't that what rich aristos did 200 years ago? The women are always smart, hold their own, have a backbone with a bit of vulnerability. But, as I said, evolution. Now we want women who are independent and have a life of their own beyond mooning over their man. We want men who are a little more considerate, maybe have a real job. The mistress thing- less appealing. And so this is what Hunter gives us in this series. Three books based on three independent women who become heiresses thanks to a Duke's largesse. Three men who are cousins, relatives of the late duke and all of them appear to have some sort of real job. In this book, Kevin (terrible name choice for a Regency character, IMO) is an inventor. Rosamund is a hatmaker who unexpectedly inherits a fortune from a duke AND half of Kevin's business. There's a pretty big class difference between them, which comes up a few times. Kevin is a bit of an eccentric, so the class piece doesn't seem to overly bother him. I don't have much to add on the plot as it meanders along fairly well, and both characters are likable in their own way. But I will say this is my least memorable Hunter read. There's a bit of drama toward the end that I enjoyed, and I wish that Kevin had to grovel a bit more, as much as I enjoyed Rosamund's speech. But there wasn't enough.. tension? Chemistry? Something I can't quite put my finger on. It was bland, I'll say that. As a Hunter aficionado, I'll say that many of her books leaned toward the guy being borderline jerk-ish for parts of the story, but she had some books with a fine balance between both characters (respectful but opinionated characters!), such as "Never Deny a Duke," which is my favorite Hunter book. Books work when the chemistry is good, the conversation is compelling, and both characters have a metaphorical spine and a heart. In this case, the chemistry is almost purely sexual and I don't get a good sense of their connection outside the physical. 3.5 stars for this well written but underwhelming book.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Caitlyn Lynch

    I absolutely adored Heiress For Hire, the first book in this series, so when I saw this one come up for review, I jumped right on it. And it’s got a lot of the elements I really enjoyed about the first book; a strong, self-made heroine with more than a little trauma in her background she’s learned to move past, more in the overarching mystery of who killed the previous duke and why exactly he left a large chunk of his fortune to three apparently random strangers and a hero who’s definitely not f I absolutely adored Heiress For Hire, the first book in this series, so when I saw this one come up for review, I jumped right on it. And it’s got a lot of the elements I really enjoyed about the first book; a strong, self-made heroine with more than a little trauma in her background she’s learned to move past, more in the overarching mystery of who killed the previous duke and why exactly he left a large chunk of his fortune to three apparently random strangers and a hero who’s definitely not from the cookie-cutter mold of most romance heroes. Unfortunately, that last is also where the book fell down a bit for me, because Kevin Radnor is someone I struggled to buy into as a romance hero. He’s clearly written to be on the autism spectrum, with hyperfocus, extraordinary intelligence, failure to consider other people’s feelings and the obvious recognition by his family that he’s liable to unintentionally cause offence just by being himself. And in a lot of ways, I was really rooting for him, because people on the spectrum absolutely deserve to find love too. The problem was that Kevin’s inner dialogue was not only somewhat callous when it came to calculating how he could manipulate Rosamund to do what he wanted, he was downright derogatory towards her for a lot of the book. Even when he began to admire her beyond the physical, he was still completely dismissive that her opinion might amount to anything. Rosamund had to put up with a lot from his family - including bullying leading all the way up to sexual and physical assault - and his inability to recognise that he was just adding to her burdens was too much. She had to go to extreme lengths to demonstrate that he’d gone too far, and I didn’t honestly have faith that he wouldn’t do exactly the same thing again next time he thought he knew best. I loved Rosamund from the first time she met Kevin and pointed out to him that of the two of them, she was the one with experience running a successful business. Kevin had his moments, but for the most part, I couldn’t quite see why Rosamund would fall in love with him, and I genuinely didn’t buy that he even understood what love actually is. You could definitely read this one without having read the first in the series; though Minerva and Chase do appear here (and I’m still delighted with them) it’s not necessary to have read their story. I’m looking forward to Nicholas’s story too in the third book, and I’ll be looking out for it… but I think this one was a bit of a mis-step, because despite some excellent storytelling and a great heroine, I didn’t enjoy the romance. Three stars. Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this title via NetGalley.

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