Series Name: The Cambridge Brothers #1
“Quin made a silent vow to watch over the ladies of the house. It was the least he could do for Lady Catherin, and an honor he could do for his brother’s memory. Honor. The word resonated with him, gave him a peace that had long felt lost.”
If you’re looking for a sweet and earnest historical romance, Fortune Favors the Duke is a must read.
The new Duke has a proper scandal brewing.
Quinton Errington is perfectly happy teaching at Cambridge, with his elder brother carrying the duties of being the Duke of Wesley. But when a trip to celebrate Wesley’s last week of bachelorhood ends in tragedy, Quinton, who becomes the Duke of Wesley, would give anything to have his brother back.
Now, under the most heartbreaking circumstances, Wesley’s would-be bride, Catherine Greatheart, is left wanting. Her only protection left, her grandmother, has fallen ill, and Catherine has nowhere left to turn but to the family she was so close to being part of. The new Duke is kind, and she could use a friend who understands what she’s going through.
Between learning how to be the head of his family’s estate, mourning his brother, and trying not to fall in love with his late-brother’s fiancée, Quinton will need some help—and it’s a good thing he’s not alone.
First off, Quinton and Catherine are an adorable couple. Quinton and Catherine are not supposed to be together: Catherine should be married to Quinton’s brother, Wesley, and Quinton should be a professor at Cambridge. But the book begins with a twist, and not only does Wesley die tragically during his bachelor weekend but so do all of his friends. The story picks up six months later when Catherine is coming out of mourning and ready to begin her life again. Both Catherine and Quin have lost something major: their life plans. Both are adapting and trying to figure out where they belong in their worlds. Their individual struggles are beautifully played out in the book. Kristin really develops Catherine as a strong independent character who does have a sad backstory and very few people in her life that she can depend on. We discover that Catherine is smart and good with numbers, which her fiancé encouraged while many men brushed off. Quin, our charming academic, not only finds her attractive but is entranced by her intelligence as well. Watching Catherine learn to be fierce and independent on her own during the story were some of my favourite character arcs.
Now Quin is sweet and dreamy. He’s the younger brother of a duke and was never expecting actually to be the duke. He has some serious guilt he’s dealing with: he doesn’t want to be duke; he’s mourning Wesley and feeling some survivor’s guilt because he was supposed to go with his brother to the weekend party but bailed. Quin also has some strong sparks when it comes to Catherine but feels like she is off-limits because she was engaged to Wesley. He wants to help her find the next chapter in her life out of a sense of obligation but discovers he wants to be her next chapter. The two have a slow-burn relationship that really develops from them trying to be friends first. And then they realize that they do love each other. Now friends, maybe I’m a bit of a sadist, but I wanted more yearning, more tension and more angst between Quin and Catherine as they try to overcome emotional and social hurdles to be together. Their path seemed just a little too easy for my liking. But, when they did declare their love, I was so happy. They had been through so much emotional pain, and they really deserved their happy ending. As a side note, this is a closed-door romance, but man, would I have loved to see what Quin was like when he finally had his way with Catherine.
There is a plot twist near the end of the story, which I loved. It made me sit up and scream in happiness. I loved what Kristin suddenly threw at her characters. Let’s just say that the villain in this story is terrible and has a heartbreaking story, and whew, a couple of characters will need some serious therapy after the ending of the book.
This is clearly the first in a series. While it tells us about Catherine and Quin, it also sets up the series well. The secondary characters – many like Quin the second brothers of aristocrats whose lives suddenly changed after one night – are interesting and engaging. I will read the next book for sure.
Thank you to Sourcebooks for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.