They call him the Doomed Duke.
Phineas Duncombe, ninth Duke of Mayne, should not be the duke. After all, he had four—count them—four older brothers! Phin never wanted the dukedom, and the suspicious circumstances of the eighth duke's death lead Phin to question the Countess of Longstowe. The beautiful widow isn't at all what Phin expected. He's intrigued by her and determined to seduce her. The countess is not interested in Phin romantically, but when she comes to him with another request, he can't deny it. A few days in the country with Lady Longstowe reveal two truths to the new duke. One, he cares for the countess much more than any other woman he's ever known. Two, Phin either has very bad luck or someone is trying to kill him.
They call her the Wanton Widow.
Annabel was barely eighteen when she was married to the elderly Earl of Longstowe. A harsh, sadistic man, the earl's death was not something Annabel mourned. Now in her mid-forties, Annabel enjoys her widowhood and has no desire to ever be under a man's thumb again. Not even a handsome duke like Mayne, who is far too young for her anyway. Annabel's one desire is to find the daughter who was taken away from her. For that she needs a man with power and status. She needs the Duke of Mayne. When the two are thrust together, Annabel struggles to fight her attraction to the charming Phin. She's losing the battle. But can she ever trust another man, especially with the one part of herself she's never given away—her heart?
This version has been revised and updated.
An older heroine
This has been an excellent series so far. Although we don’t see Draven and the previous survivors in this book, we follow Phin, the newly minted ninth Duke of Mayne. Phin was the negotiator in the group and was recently elevated to the Dukedom after the deaths of his five brothers. Phin does not want to be the Duke but he does want the Wanton Widow. Annabelle, Countess of Longstowe is 15 years older than Phin and has quite the reputation. After a rough start Phin agrees to help her find her daughter. Annabelle’s horrible dead husband sent her daughter to a home when she was two years old because she had been born mentally handicapped. Along the way it seems that someone might be trying to kill Phin and Phin has to battle the demons of Annabelle’s past to find their way to happily ever after.
This was missing two things from this book. This was an ARC so I don’t if they will be in the finished product. First the prologue. I had read a prologue at the end of the last book or one of the emails the author sent out and I remembered what happened so that was fine. Without it , especially if someone hasn’t read the whole series, I think people will be a little lost. It felt like being dropped into the middle the story. The second thing missing was an epilogue. This book definitely has need of an epilogue. What happens after they marry? Do they have a child together? I was left feeling a little unsatisfied.
I loved the story though. I love an older experienced heroine in general and it’s even better when the hero is younger than the heroine. I thought 15 years was a lot, but I don’t like that much age difference when the hero is older either. I loved Phin, he’s a a kind hero and I just adored him. And Annabelle is a broken heroine. Her husband was a cruel and abusive. Together they were perfect. I did like the little hint that the next book will be about Colin.
4 Stars! This was a good read! It’s an older woman, younger man, standalone book. I loved that the main characters had servants that had a little point of view love story of their own- Reynolds and Meg/Mrs. Slightly. They were a cute couple. I loved how it was an older woman love story instead of the usual! I’ve read 2 of the other books in this series & I enjoyed them as well!
*I received this book at no charge from the publisher and I voluntarily left a review.*
I love this series so much and it has been amazing. I love all the characters and the plots. This book is about the doomed Duke Phineas Duncombe who is now the ninth Duke of Mayne.He never wanted the dukedom and never dreamed of getting it since he had four older brothers. Annabel is called the Wanton Widow because she was barely eighteen when she was married to the elderly Earl of Longstowe. This was a good book.