The Determined Duchess (Gothic Brides, #2) by Erica Monroe

‘Death had taken everyone Felicity Fields had ever loved’

Miss Felicity Fields is no stranger to loss. Having recently lost her guardian, Felicity is determined to use her knowledge of alchemy and create a philosopher’s stone to reanimate her.  Time is running out as her guardian’s remains will only last so long. Complicating matters, the heir to the estate will come to claim his property.

Nicholas Harding, the Duke of Wycliffe, has long been fascinated by his aunt’s ward. Bitter at the defeat of his first Bill in the House of Lords, he returns to his aunt’s home in time for Christmas.

Will he support Felicity in her macabre experiment or force her from the only home she has ever known?

This gothic novella is certainly not for the faint of heart. There are descriptions of autopsy and embalming. However, I found myself engrossed in the story. I loved Felicity as a character she is not a typical heroine. The locals consider her strange. She is blunt spoken, unable to understand emotion or metaphors, obsessed with science and awkward in social situations. It would not be for another one hundred years that autism became a recognised condition. 

The issue with the book was the romance. While I did like both characters and felt they were made for each other, it was rushed. The obstacles were overcome too easily. An otherwise excellently detailed story was let down by this.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advance copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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