Rating: 4 stars out of 5
Every gentleman has something to hide.
Meeting Heath Blackwood, a gorgeous English farmer, is probably the most exciting thing to ever happen to small-town landscaper Theo Brody, who has lived in quiet Maplehurst, New Hampshire, all his life. The sexy and secretive Brit shakes the foundations of his orderly world as they are swept up in a springtime romance neither can resist.
But Heath’s secrets run deeper than Theo ever imagined. He’s actually Heathcliff Pierrepont Blackwood, Duke of Kingston, in hiding from recent death threats. Suddenly there’s more separating them than the Atlantic Ocean, and Theo doubts he’ll ever fit in with English nobility. Though Heath and Theo are opposites in almost every way, their love might bridge the gap—if they’re willing to take the risk.
Duke in Hiding is a lovely friends-to-lovers story with a fairy tale twist. It’s a slow burn account of two men from two different worlds coming together to enjoy the simplicity of life in a small American town.
Heath comes to Maplehurst, NH to hide after receiving death threats. He’s the Duke of Kingston but is assuming the identity of a British farmer to avoid recognition. There isn’t much to do in town but his luck changes when he meets Theo Brody, a landscaper moonlighting as a bartender.
The night a brooding Brit entered the bar he worked part-time, Theo found him infuriating, but the more time they spent together, the more they learned how much they had in common. Through their daily meetings and following dates, we get to see how their relationship developed into true love. They had great chemistry, and their friendship was the base of their relationship.
There’s a lot happening in this story and more characters than necessary. Even when I enjoyed the story, I think it has a pacing problem. Some parts are too slow, and others are taken care with a line or two. We get unnecessary details through the story. And areas, where the reader might want to know more, were ignored.
Perhaps a little less time learning about plants and more getting to see more of the story resolution would have given this book a higher rating.
Rusty Topsfield did an excellent job making both main characters realistic. The author did create two distinct men, rooted in their countries’ characteristics and the narration helped the overall enjoyment of Heath’s and Theo’s relationship. All the secondary voices were spot on and gave the story a deepness that only reading couldn’t accomplish.
Paul Richmond’s cover matches the rest of the Dreamspun Desires series and the cover model fits Heath’s description.
Narrator: Rusty Topsfield
Length: 5 hours and 8 minutes
Published: May 16, 2016 (Audio Edition) by Dreamspinner Press
Edition Language: English