Book Review-Undone By The Duke by Michelle Willingham

Book Review-Undone By The Duke by Michelle Willingham

Book Review-Undone By The Duke by Michelle WillinghamUndone by the Duke by Michelle Willingham
Also in this series: Unlaced by the Outlaw
Series: Secrets In Silk
Published by Montlake Romance on February 12th 2013
Genres: Historical Romance, Regency Era
Pages: 329
Format: Softback
Source: Library
ISBN: 1611098831
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three-flames

Victoria has a secret…
Reclusive designer Victoria Andrews hasn’t gone outside in five years, though she yearns to escape the prison of her house. She designs sensual lingerie for the most exclusive dressmaker in London, although she has never known a man’s touch.
A Duke in disguise…
Wounded and stranded in Scotland, Jonathan Nottoway, the Duke of Worthingstone, is avoiding the murderous scandal that darkened his family name. As his wounds heal, he spends several sensual nights with the beautiful seamstress who knows nothing of his true identity.
A passionate awakening
Can a woman trapped by her emotional scars be able to love a duke, when it means abandoning her safe world to embrace the life of a duchess?

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My Review

Summary 

Victoria Andrews lives like a prisoner in her own home because she can’t bear to go outside due to an incident that happened five years previous. She stays indoors and works on her designs for clothing and unique lingerie and sells her work to a dressmaker based in London. She loves what she does and is good at it, but her family needs the funds. With her father away to war, their debts are piling up and they need a steady income to make it by. Jonathan Nottoway, the Duke of Worthington, is shot while trying to survey his land and get around the scandal that surrounds his family. He ends up being taken in by Victoria Andrews,  a man that needs her help if he wants to live. Victoria never opens her home to strangers, but when she notices that he needs help she overcomes her fears and aids him by sewing his wound with bright pink thread.

“We’ve done this all wrong, haven’t we?” he murmured “I’ve ruined you, and I haven’t even touched you.”

“You haven’t ruined me.”

“Haven’t I?” His voice was warm velvet, a caress in the dark. Never had she imagined that she could stand before a man looking at her in this way. As if he wanted her.

Victoria and Jonathan end up helping each other, but there is scandal and mystery surrounding them. Will Victoria be brave enough to be the kind of wife that Jonathan needs inside and outside of the bedroom?

The Hero 

Jonathan, recently took his title of being the Duke of Worthington. With his parents gone, he steps up. Jonatha came up to Scotland to make a new purchase on a home, but all the tenants that were booted out from the previous owner, now blame him and so he can’t reveal his true identity or they will probably kill him. He has already been shot, but he doesn’t know who or why. Jonatha was a hero I loved. He is such a rake but still is honorable too. He likes to aggravate Victoria just to see her blush, he is upbeat and has an easy going personality. It was interesting seeing his certain character traits come through. He is drawn to Victoria because she sees more than just a “Duke” she sees a real human being and he just wants more of her.

She deserved better than to become his mistress. He needed a wife, but not one who secluded herself from the rest of the world. He required a woman who understood the intricacies of London Society, who could fulfill her duties as a hostess and provide the requisite heir and the spare. There were dozens of ladies who could easily assume that role.

And yet, when Victoria’s hand moved to touch his heart, he wished that wife could somehow be her.

The Heroine 

Victoria lives in fear of going outside. She suffered a trauma where she was left alone after an accident for days to wander. And now every time she gets even close to the door, she gets panic attacks and can’t breathe. She is realistic in realizing that she will never be courted and be able to go to London with her family. Her mother and sisters leave for London for the Christmas holiday and Victoria is left with a few servants. Victoria doesn’t live a meaningless life just because she can’t go outside. She creates beautiful and erotic lingerie. She doesn’t care if its scandalous…it makes good money, money that her family needs ever since her father went off to war. I had mixed feelings over Victoria. In many ways, I liked her, and I understand why she felt she needed to stay indoors. I grew to like her more as the story progressed. But at the beginning, I wasn’t sure what I thought of her. She seemed very hesitant to help Jonathan when he was in need or even innocent people who were being burned out of their homes. But she eventually comes to terms with many strangers in her home and adapts.

Plot and Story Line 

Undone By The Duke is a heart warming romance that I grew to fall in love with. There were many aspects of this story that I fell in love with. This is the first installment of the series, which is based on Andrews family and the events surrounding them. I found this installment very interesting. This is not the first time I have read this author. I read the fourth book, Unlaced by the Outlaw and really liked it and I wanted to return back to this family.

It sets off with seeing the closeness that Victoria has with her family, especially her sisters but her mother as well. They leave for London and try to convince her to go along with them. However, Victoria knows that it isn’t possible. From the very beginning of the story we see how real her fear is. It’s not the type of fear that you can easily overcome especially since its been five years since she has gone outside. When she is left alone, she ends up having to help an injured man who has been shot. This is where I started to not like the heroine as much. I felt like she was a bit cold feeling when it came to helping others. But in retrospect I think it was just the way that she dealing with the turn of events, because she does eventually help him. We also get an introduction into the events surrounding Jonathan and the reasoning behind why he was shot. There are tenants that Victoria’s family offered to give sanctuary too. But suddenly they are being burned out of their cofter homes and many are being killed and they seek refuge in the only home around…Victoria’s sanctuary. This is where we see growth in her character. She starts to soften and open her heart to others with the aid of Jonathan.

What was also fun was seeing their romance blossom. At first they don’t care for each other too much, but their is attraction and as they spend more time together, their connection becomes stronger. I was enchanted by Jonathan and is willingness and patience with Victoria and her fears. Most men would just shrug them off, but he doesn’t. He takes them very seriously. Because deep down he wants to marry her but he also knows he has to find a way to help her overcome her fears and I was charmed by the way he goes about it.

“Why would a man in your position ever marry a woman like me? A woman who can’t even walk outside!”

“Because she saw the man not the duke.”

The situation with the cofters, just about broke my heart. We see the trauma and how determined these people were to survive and stay in their homeland. They are a proud people, but they also just want to live on land that has been their home for generations. We see their side of the story, and with the way that the author writes it, you can’t help but feel compassion for them. Their story is real and she does a job well done in showing how desperate their situation was back then.

We also see one other side plot that is building. That is with Vicotria’s mother and father. They once loved each other, but grew distant with each other. Each of them loves the other but don’t know how to show it. Probably due to the fact that they haven’t talked for many years. And I am hoping to see more of this relationship because I grew intrigued by it. Just seeing hints of their story, makes me eager to read the second book. But there is one thing I really had issues with when it comes to this book…the ending. Now I can be picky about endings, but I felt like it was a bit off, and a bit rushed. It didn’t quite fit with the rest of the story.

The Cover 

I will admit this is my least favorite cover of the series. It’s probably why it took me so long to read it. I do like the background with the lake and the mountain, but I don’t really like the bright red and white.

Overall View 

Undone By The Duke is an exciting tale of romance, adventure, learning to overcome your fears to embrace a thrilling future. Its about sacrifice and the tests of true love.

Series Order

Undone By The DukeUnraveled By The RebelUndressed By The EarlUnlaced By The Outlaw

About Michelle Willingham

Rita Award Finalist Michelle Willingham has published over twenty books and novellas. Currently, she lives in southeastern Virginia with her husband and children and is working on more historical romance novels. When she's not writing, Michelle enjoys baking, playing the piano, and avoiding exercise at all costs.