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To Love a Duchess

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From New York Times Bestselling Author Karen Ranney comes the first book in a royally romantic and deeply emotional new series about taking risks and allowing the power to love satisfy the questions of the heart... Undercover as a majordomo, spy Adam Drummond has infiltrated Marsley House with one purpose only—to plunder its mysteries and gather proof that the late Duke of From New York Times Bestselling Author Karen Ranney comes the first book in a royally romantic and deeply emotional new series about taking risks and allowing the power to love satisfy the questions of the heart... Undercover as a majordomo, spy Adam Drummond has infiltrated Marsley House with one purpose only—to plunder its mysteries and gather proof that the late Duke of Marsley was an unforgivable traitor to his country. At the same time, Adam is drawn to a more beguiling puzzle: the young and still-grieving duchess—a beauty with impenetrable secrets of her own. For Drummond, uncovering them without exposing his masquerade will require the most challenging and tender moves of his career. That a servant can arouse such passion in her is too shocking for Suzanne Whitcomb, Duchess of Marsley, to consider. Yet nothing quickens her pulse like Drummond's touch. It's been two years since the duke lost his life in a tragic accident—and even longer since she's been treated like a woman. But when Drummond's real mission is revealed, and the truth behind Suzanne's grief comes to light, every secret conspired to tear them apart is nothing compared to the love that can hold them together.


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From New York Times Bestselling Author Karen Ranney comes the first book in a royally romantic and deeply emotional new series about taking risks and allowing the power to love satisfy the questions of the heart... Undercover as a majordomo, spy Adam Drummond has infiltrated Marsley House with one purpose only—to plunder its mysteries and gather proof that the late Duke of From New York Times Bestselling Author Karen Ranney comes the first book in a royally romantic and deeply emotional new series about taking risks and allowing the power to love satisfy the questions of the heart... Undercover as a majordomo, spy Adam Drummond has infiltrated Marsley House with one purpose only—to plunder its mysteries and gather proof that the late Duke of Marsley was an unforgivable traitor to his country. At the same time, Adam is drawn to a more beguiling puzzle: the young and still-grieving duchess—a beauty with impenetrable secrets of her own. For Drummond, uncovering them without exposing his masquerade will require the most challenging and tender moves of his career. That a servant can arouse such passion in her is too shocking for Suzanne Whitcomb, Duchess of Marsley, to consider. Yet nothing quickens her pulse like Drummond's touch. It's been two years since the duke lost his life in a tragic accident—and even longer since she's been treated like a woman. But when Drummond's real mission is revealed, and the truth behind Suzanne's grief comes to light, every secret conspired to tear them apart is nothing compared to the love that can hold them together.

30 review for To Love a Duchess

  1. 5 out of 5

    Barbara Rogers

    Series: All for Love #1 Publication Date: 7/31/18 This is a lovely read that is emotional and compelling. It is well paced, well plotted, and well written. The characters are fully three-dimensional and very likable and relatable. It is also very sad and melancholy in its telling of grief, despair, and loss. Suzanne Whitcomb, the Duchess of Marsley, is merely existing. There is no joy, no happiness, no goodness – just nothing left in her life. All that mattered in her life died two years ago in a Series: All for Love #1 Publication Date: 7/31/18 This is a lovely read that is emotional and compelling. It is well paced, well plotted, and well written. The characters are fully three-dimensional and very likable and relatable. It is also very sad and melancholy in its telling of grief, despair, and loss. Suzanne Whitcomb, the Duchess of Marsley, is merely existing. There is no joy, no happiness, no goodness – just nothing left in her life. All that mattered in her life died two years ago in a terrible accident. She just complies with everything now – her father orders her to attend a function and act as hostess – she does it – no questions, no arguments. Her disagreeable maid orders her to take her potion – she takes it – even though it makes her feel strange and her mind feels fuzzy. Adam Drummond is a spy – a member of the Silent Service. He joined the army when he was just a small boy and he was grateful to have done it. He’d been born and raised in a tenement in Glasgow, so the army providing food, safety and warmth were more than he’d ever had. He’d become a decorated hero and was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant. He’d also lost his wife six years ago in a terrible, terrible attack. He’d left the army and joined a new part of the War Department called the Silent Service. Adam’s latest assignment was different than any he’d had before. He was undercover as the majordomo at the home of a duke that the War Office had reason to believe was a traitor. It was Adam’s task to find the proof and he was determined to complete his mission successfully because he thoroughly despised that particular duke and he was sure that the War Office was correct in believing the duke to be a traitor. It didn’t matter that the duke was now dead. What mattered was finding justice for all those deaths that he was sure the duke had caused. What Adam doesn’t count on is the very sad, grieving duchess. How can such a lovely creature be so mournful over such a dastardly man? She seems haunted – and sometimes she doesn’t seem to be totally there. Does she drink? As the weeks move on and they have more and more interactions, he learns her story and is more and more attracted to her. He knows, of course, that a boy born in a Glasgow tenement cannot have a duchess. However, the attraction is mutual and as the case comes to an end – he can hardly say goodbye. I love how he actually listens to her, to her opinions and then believes her. I also love how she comes to trust him and always feels safe around him. Their journey into love and an HEA is a lovely thing. Please check out my reviews at: Blog: https://flippinpages.blog/ Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/flippinpages... Twitter: https://twitter.com/FlippinPagesRev Twitter: https://twitter.com/BarbBookReview "I requested and received this e-book at no cost to me and volunteered to read it; my review is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher."

  2. 4 out of 5

    Sissy's Romance Book Review

    To Love a Duchess Karen Ranney is the first book in the All for Love series. This is the story of Adam Drummond and Suzanne Whitcomb, Duchess of Marsley. Adam went into the military at a very young age but now in his later life he is working for the War Department in the Silent Service department which has him being a Spy. This has lead him to go undercover to prove that the deceased Duke of Marsley was a traitor. But when he meets the grieving widow Suzanne he is intrigued and attracted to her. To Love a Duchess Karen Ranney is the first book in the All for Love series. This is the story of Adam Drummond and Suzanne Whitcomb, Duchess of Marsley. Adam went into the military at a very young age but now in his later life he is working for the War Department in the Silent Service department which has him being a Spy. This has lead him to go undercover to prove that the deceased Duke of Marsley was a traitor. But when he meets the grieving widow Suzanne he is intrigued and attracted to her. Suzanne is just going through the motions and doesn't really care about much since her lost. If not for the family and servants she would not be doing anything. But then she meets Adam and he sparks feelings in her that she thought were buried deep....but she doesn't know his true identity. Really enjoyed this emotional, exciting and hard to put down read!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Bambi Unbridled

    To Love a Duchess is the first book in Karen Ranney's new series,All for Love. This first book is a flipped power dynamic, where our hero is a member of the commoner class, and our heroine is a grieving duchess. The story took a bit to draw me in, but I ended up liking it quite a bit by the end. Adam Drummond is employed by the War Office, and has been sent on assignment to pose as a majordomo at the deceased Duke of Marsley's estate to try to find proof that the man was a traitor to country and To Love a Duchess is the first book in Karen Ranney's new series,All for Love. This first book is a flipped power dynamic, where our hero is a member of the commoner class, and our heroine is a grieving duchess. The story took a bit to draw me in, but I ended up liking it quite a bit by the end. Adam Drummond is employed by the War Office, and has been sent on assignment to pose as a majordomo at the deceased Duke of Marsley's estate to try to find proof that the man was a traitor to country and comrade. He never expected to be feeling protective and intrigued by Marsley's grieving widow, deemed Marble Marsley by her staff. But the more Adam learned about our heroine, the stronger the attraction and feelings grew. Yet he still had to carry out his mission, which left him somewhat conflicted. Even though I am usually partial to the dark and dangerous dukes, I quite liked Adam. He was honorable, loyal to his country, and protective of those weaker than him. He was fair with the other service staff, and seemed to be well-liked by all. Suzanne Hackney Whitcomb, Duchess of Marsley, has been buried in grief for quite some time. She has been letting others, including her maid, push her around and dictate nearly every facet of her life. I had a very hard time with this heroine at first. I felt like she had no back bone and couldn't believe she willingly drank the tonic that her maid kept pushing on her. But I started to cut Suzanne some slack and she did snap out of it and start taking up for herself by the end. I appreciated that once she started to come out of her fog, she didn't turn into a fickle heroine, or one that ran when things came to light. The relationship between Adam and Suzanne was more sweet than steamy. He took care of her when she was fragile, and made her realize that she couldn't let grief overtake her life. Their coming together seemed natural, despite the class difference and issues they would have faced during that time period. I will be interested to see what types of couple and class pairings we have in the future with this series. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book that I received from the publisher, Avon.

  4. 4 out of 5

    The Book Junkie Reads . . .

    A historical trip back to a time when romance was elusive and reserved. It took time to grow and be cultivated but not in the realm of the elite. But for a duchess and a servant/spy, things have a way of making use of just the basic elements of life. There was elements of emotional complexities. The characters were rich and developed. This was very much an enjoyable read for the weekend or a Sunday afternoon. The duchess (Suzanne) was so much more than met the eye. She was well to do and a title A historical trip back to a time when romance was elusive and reserved. It took time to grow and be cultivated but not in the realm of the elite. But for a duchess and a servant/spy, things have a way of making use of just the basic elements of life. There was elements of emotional complexities. The characters were rich and developed. This was very much an enjoyable read for the weekend or a Sunday afternoon. The duchess (Suzanne) was so much more than met the eye. She was well to do and a title to boot but she was just barely making her way in the world. The lofty, intelligent servant was more and less of what I was expecting. He was a male that listened, payed attention to the non verbal cues and was tuned in to this environment. Of course that may have had a few things to do with his job. But the one this it was not was just another job. Adam and Suzanne were more good together because apart Suzanne was not living. Needing a love that grows with patience and confidence this is the read you need to pick up. Get a foot in the door for this new series from Karen Ranney. Next up will be To Wed and Heiress. The year will be long but it just give me more time to read more of Karen Ranney's descriptive romantic journeys to historical Scotland.

  5. 3 out of 5

    Emily S.

    This book was full of sadness that kind of permeated my mood. It made me unhappy, and the ending wasn’t enough to drive that away.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Lori D

    "Are you a spy Drummond?" as she put her hands on his chest to push him away. When I see a new book by Karen Ranney, I automatically know it will be a great story. I have read everything by her and have bookmarked almost every one as a to be read again. She expertly combines her historical knowledge with an emotional tale that is compelling and powerful in this heartfelt romance. The heroine, widow Suzanne Whitcomb, Duchess of Marsley seems to be going through the motions of life, her past sorro "Are you a spy Drummond?" as she put her hands on his chest to push him away. When I see a new book by Karen Ranney, I automatically know it will be a great story. I have read everything by her and have bookmarked almost every one as a to be read again. She expertly combines her historical knowledge with an emotional tale that is compelling and powerful in this heartfelt romance. The heroine, widow Suzanne Whitcomb, Duchess of Marsley seems to be going through the motions of life, her past sorrow is so deep since the loss of her son she walks around like a ghost. Adam Drummond has come to Marsley House, her home, disguised as a majordomo to find proof her deceased husband was a traitor to his country. Adam cannot figure out why Suzanne is still grieving after two years that her rotten husband has passed. But he starts to find out the depths of her grief due to the loss of her son and feels a protectiveness of her. As the two start spending time together, there is a almost magical attraction. I could not put this book down once I started and am still thinking about it long after I turned the last page. Cannot wait for more in this series!!

  7. 3 out of 5

    April

    To Love a Duchess: An All for Love Novel by Karen Ranney is an interesting and entertaining Regency Romance. The writing style was steady paced, interesting, intense at times and flowed seamlessly. Emotional and compelling. Well developed characters, who were engaging, with twists and turns, danger, secrets, suspense, determination, intrigue with a HEA. A romantic tale of sacrifice, and finding love. I was compelled to keep turning pages to find out the answers. Great read by Karen Ranney. I rece To Love a Duchess: An All for Love Novel by Karen Ranney is an interesting and entertaining Regency Romance. The writing style was steady paced, interesting, intense at times and flowed seamlessly. Emotional and compelling. Well developed characters, who were engaging, with twists and turns, danger, secrets, suspense, determination, intrigue with a HEA. A romantic tale of sacrifice, and finding love. I was compelled to keep turning pages to find out the answers. Great read by Karen Ranney. I received a complimentary copy, however, all opinions are my own. Rating: 4.5

  8. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    This might be my most favorite Karen Ranney book yet. It's highly emotional, intriguing, and captured my attention from page one. I'm rather in love with Adam. Suzanne Whitcomb, the Duchess of Marsley, lost her husband in a tragic accident and since that day, she has simply been making it through each day, surviving. She feels no joy, no inspiration in living until a new man enters her life—her new majordomo. For the first time in her life, she feels as though she exists. He listens to her, hear This might be my most favorite Karen Ranney book yet. It's highly emotional, intriguing, and captured my attention from page one. I'm rather in love with Adam. Suzanne Whitcomb, the Duchess of Marsley, lost her husband in a tragic accident and since that day, she has simply been making it through each day, surviving. She feels no joy, no inspiration in living until a new man enters her life—her new majordomo. For the first time in her life, she feels as though she exists. He listens to her, hears her opinions, and when her story comes to light, believes her. As a companion, he makes her feel less alone but as a man, he awakens something in her she’s never experienced before. But she’s a duchess and he, only a servant. Adam Drummond is a spy. He is a member of the Silent Service. Growing up in Glasgow was hard so as a boy, he joined the army which provided him with food, safety, and place where he could feel he belonged. Still his life wasn’t easy even as his career was successful. A decorated hero, he obtained the rank of Lieutenant. But then grief visited him in the form of losing his wife in a truly horrible attack. Now as member of an exclusive part of the War Department, he has been given the mission of gathering proof that the late Duke of Marsley was a traitor to his country. Going undercover as the majordomo in the home of a man he despised in life proves to be one of the most difficult assignments of his career. Positive the duke was guilty, he knows it’s his grieving duchess who will pay the ultimate price and now Adam is torn between his duty and his growing affection for the beguiling and puzzling widow. How can such a lovely, deserving of better woman grieve so desperately over such a horrible man as the Duke of Marsley? More so, how can he ever leave her once his mission is done? A lowly boy from Glasgow can never have a duchess. I loved this story, I inhaled this story. It was an emotional heart-breaker from the start. The depth of emotions these two lived with was so incredible that I worried neither would ever open up to the other but when they did, the journey to falling in love and their eventual HEA was worth the perils. Tragedy, history, secrets, along with twists and turns, danger, suspense, and the determination of these two extraordinary characters, Suzanne and Adam, create a compelling, page turning experience that makes the ending all the sweeter. This is now my favorite Karen Ranney read. She poured so much heart and sorrow into these two lovers that their attraction was a must or they would surely have been swallowed by their own deep sadness. Plus, Adam is now very high on my book boyfriend list. I highly recommend this to anyone who loves a read where they become so wholly engrossed in the emotions of a story and the love lost then newly gained that they will sit down with a full box of tissues and not stop reading until they get their HEA. This is one of those reads. I can’t wait to see what the rest of trilogy brings us. Huzzah, Karen. ***print copy provided by author and in return, I am sharing an honest and unscripted review in appreciation.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    4.5 stars. I’m knocking off half a star for no epilogue. Otherwise I loved this book.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Marilyn Rondeau

    Adam Drummond is a spy working for the Home Office posing undercover as a majordomo in Marsley House with one mission - gather proof that the late Duke of Marsley was an unforgivable traitor to his country. Usually Adam never strays from mission but the very beguiling young and still-grieving duchess has him more than concerned for her safety and health. Not only is she one of the most beautiful woman he’s ever met but she has secrets which he feels must be exposed - did she know or was she a pa Adam Drummond is a spy working for the Home Office posing undercover as a majordomo in Marsley House with one mission - gather proof that the late Duke of Marsley was an unforgivable traitor to his country. Usually Adam never strays from mission but the very beguiling young and still-grieving duchess has him more than concerned for her safety and health. Not only is she one of the most beautiful woman he’s ever met but she has secrets which he feels must be exposed - did she know or was she a part of the traitorous acts perpetrated by the late Duke? Suzanne Whitcomb, Duchess of Marsley has not been herself for some time yet she is shocked that a servant such as the new majordomo has aroused her passion. Two years of grieving since the duke had lost his life and Suzanne can’t comprehend how the touch from a mere servant has quickened her pulse. There are other dangers in Marsley House that Drummond is discovering that must be dealt with and when his real mission is revealed, along with the truths of Suzanne’s extreme grief are exposed - will it tear them apart or enforce the love that has begun to bring them together. Another excellent and extremely beautifully written sensual love story written by one of my very favorite historical romance authors. Characterizations of the principals and secondary characters are always spot on and motivations are clearly shown. The quick pace of the story make the book feel shorter than the 384 pages. So happy when I can begin a series with book one and I’ll be looking forward to the next book by this extremely talented author. Marilyn Rondeau

  11. 3 out of 5

    Becky

    Reviewed on my blog, Becky on Books, on 7/31/18. A new series from Karen Ranney--woot! I loved Suzanne and Adam's story. It went in many directions I wasn't really expecting, which made reading it feel anything but ordinary. I spent a lot of the book not knowing things--why was Suzanne so sad? What was that tonic she was drinking, and who wanted her to drink it (and why)? Was Adam going after the right culprit as he searched for evidence of a traitor? Was he truly working for the good guys? Were t Reviewed on my blog, Becky on Books, on 7/31/18. A new series from Karen Ranney--woot! I loved Suzanne and Adam's story. It went in many directions I wasn't really expecting, which made reading it feel anything but ordinary. I spent a lot of the book not knowing things--why was Suzanne so sad? What was that tonic she was drinking, and who wanted her to drink it (and why)? Was Adam going after the right culprit as he searched for evidence of a traitor? Was he truly working for the good guys? Were there good guys? Overall. the story had a much darker feel than I was expecting, and for much of the book I wasn't sure what to make of that. But the characters of Suzanne and Adam drew me in to their lives, and before I knew it I was 100% invested. I don't know a thing yet about the next book in the series other than the title ( To Wed an Heiress ), but you'd better believe it was on my TBR as soon as I knew it existed! Rating: 4 1/2 stars / A I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sharyn

    This was a very well done story. Adam Drummond is a spy in the war office, acting as the majordomo for the Duchess of Marsley in order to find proof that her late husband the Duke was a traitor in India during the war. Suzanne, the Duchess, is going through life in a haze of grief, even two years after the death of her husband. I thought the whole storyline was really fantastic. Slow moving at first as I tried to figure out why Suzanne is so sad. Once that is revealed the romance starts to grow. This was a very well done story. Adam Drummond is a spy in the war office, acting as the majordomo for the Duchess of Marsley in order to find proof that her late husband the Duke was a traitor in India during the war. Suzanne, the Duchess, is going through life in a haze of grief, even two years after the death of her husband. I thought the whole storyline was really fantastic. Slow moving at first as I tried to figure out why Suzanne is so sad. Once that is revealed the romance starts to grow. There is also the mystery of the proof of the Duke being a traitor which I found very engaging. The one quibble I had was that Marsley House, apparently the London townhouse for the Dukes of Marsley, seemed to be owned by Suzanne? I’m not sure if I missed an explanation of that, and since I listened to the audiobook I can’t really skim backwards. To me, I would think the house would belong to the new Duke and that the townhouse is entailed, especially since it has the Duke’s title in the name.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Laura J.

    The storyline of a romance between majordomo/ex-soldier/spy and a duchess seems far fetched. The author, however, does such a great job of presenting two people that are more than their occupation/title and the connectivity between them that I had no trouble believing this romance. The depth of the emotions of the main characters, the mystery of the traitor, the slow building of friendship then love made this a 5+ star read.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Charlene

    3.5 stars, raising to 4 Set in 1864 England, after treachery occurred in India. Quest in England is to find identity of British traitor. Also a romance novel, but the plot seems a bit more element of the story for most of the book.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Nancy

    Nice story

  16. 5 out of 5

    Diane Bowden

    Although the characters were interesting, the plot and social situation seemed very improbable.

  17. 4 out of 5

    EileenNH

    You can't miss a Karen Ranney book.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    Can't recommend this author enough! Such great stories.

  19. 3 out of 5

    Ewa

    I read some reviews saying that it's a very sad story. Maybe I'm too hardened but it never felt that angsty to me. Very good writing - as usual from Ms. Ranney.

  20. 3 out of 5

    Norah Gibbons

    Owned book ... not a review copy. Karen Raney never fails to tell an engrossing story. Quite steamy with mystery and spies and nasty villains. Well written characters. I very much enjoyed it.

  21. 3 out of 5

    Eden Church | The Required Reading List

    To Love a Duchess featured an interesting concept-- a flip of the Duke and servant girl trope-- where the Duchess and her majordomo begin an affair, and it was very well done. I also really enjoyed the character development throughout the story.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Bethany

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ellen

  24. 5 out of 5

    Ama

  25. 3 out of 5

    Caro

  26. 5 out of 5

    BonnieL

  27. 5 out of 5

    Laura Hall

  28. 4 out of 5

    Kdny71

  29. 3 out of 5

    Anna

  30. 5 out of 5

    Rochelle

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