In Victorian society, a high-born stickler for convention meets an intelligent, opinionated woman who works for a living and sparks fly. Henry Calendar, the Duke of Torquil gave in to his baser passions just once, to appalling results, destroying one life, and causing him to forever eschew love and temptation. But tempted he is when he meets Irene Deverill, the owner of a scandal sheet that will destroy his family’s good name when she prints a letter from his mother in her advice column. Irene advises the Duchess to embrace love and marry the younger, penniless Italian painter she loves. The Duke is horrified, both by the actions of his mother and by his family scandal splashed all over the news. But he is intrigued by Miss Deverill.
The Truth about Love and Dukes presents an accurate portrayal of the confines and responsibility of family and estates of the nobility, which our modern sensibilities have a difficult time understanding. (“why can’t the Earl marry the parlor maid if he wants. They’re in love!”). Henry is very aware of his place and purpose in the framework of the nobility and Irene is very aware that working for a living puts her beyond the pale to Society.
But times are changing and the fraying of rules of existing Society are evident by the Duchess marrying a younger, Italian painter and Henry considering marriage to not only a working woman but one who runs a scandal sheet! What’s next? Votes for Women? One hopes so, especially after Irene’s eloquent and passionate argument as to why women should have the vote, which begins to change Henry’s mind and mores.
The Truth about Love and Dukes is an entertaining and thought-provoking historical romance, and reader favorite Laura Lee Guhrke has given her Dear Lady Truelove series a most promising beginning!