Rhys Merrick, Duke of Roydan, is determined to be the antitheses of his depraved father, repressing his desires so severely he is dubbed "the Monk" by Society. But when Olivia Weston turns up demanding payment for gowns ordered by his former mistress, Rhys is totally flummoxed and inexplicably smitten. He pays her to remove her from his house, and mind. But logic be damned, he must have this fiercely independent woman.
Olivia's greatest fear is becoming a kept woman. She has escaped the role of mistress once and vows never to be owned by any man. Rather than make money in the boudoir, she chooses to clothe the women who do. But when a fire nearly kills her friend and business partner, Olivia's world goes up in smoke and she is forced to barter with the lofty duke.
As their lives weave together, Olivia unravels the man underneath the Monk, while Rhys desires to expose the lady hiding behind the dressmaker. Will his raw passion fan a long-buried ember of hope within her? Can this mismatched pair be the perfect fit?
Not Your Cookie Cutter Romance
In, The Dressmaker’s Duke, Jess Russell weaves a multifaceted tale full of humor mixed with a touch of darkness. The story includes twists and turns that had this reader turning pages. I love a good chase, and the two steps forward, one step back dance of Rhys Merrick, Duke of Roydan and Olivia Weston, lady-turned-dressmaker, is a scintillating one.
Rhys is so beautifully drawn from his OCD-like obsession with clocks to his heartbreaking isolation. His overwhelming passion for Olivia Weston pushes him to confront his fears. And Olivia is the perfect woman to challenge this monkish duke. She is funny, independent and fiercely loyal to those she loves. Ms. Russell’s greatest strength is her depth of characterization. Even the villainous ex-mistress (I must confess, a favorite) is chock full of rich detail.
I read a lot of historical romance and I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a darker, flawed Hero.
I look forward to Ms. Russell’s next book!