“It had an air of authenticity to it that really added to giving this book a real sense of being in that time.”

~ Under the Covers

Robert Rothmere had spent most of his life in an asylum until his younger brother came for him. Since then he has spent years hiding and under his brother’s care, happy with the world thinking he was dead and allowing his brother to take the mantle of Duke of Rothhaven. However, with his brother’s marriage he now must take the reins of the dukedom. But not everyone is happy with it especially as his ailments come to be known. With a scheme to take Robert’s wealth and freedom in the making, he must take action and find himself the right duchess…and he knows just the lady for the position.

I was so incredibly excited for this book after reading A Duke by Any Other Name, the previous instalment in the series, about Robert’s younger brother Nathaniel. I wanted to know more about Robert and after such a hard life I wanted him to find happiness. Robert has the “falling sickness”, which today we would call epilepsy. He has the seizures you usually associate with epilepsy as well as absence seizures. He also has the trauma of having being in an asylum for years where he was subject to abuse. Needless to say, Robert is wary of the world and all the people in it.

In modern day I would hope people would know having epilepsy doesn’t make someone less of a person. It doesn’t make them stupid or incapable. However, this book is set in the 1800s where medical science and society in general wasn’t so well educated. I’m no historian but it really felt like Burrowes had done her research on how the falling sickness and health issues were tackled. It had an air of authenticity to it that really added to giving this book a real sense of being in that time. Which, just made the unfairness all the more infuriating and heartbreaking as you consider that the events that happened to Robert would really have happened to real people at the time.

Then we have our heroine Lady Constance Wentworth who has her own demons to battle; I won’t go into details as I don’t want to spoil the book. But, she was a woman who had been through a lot in her life and still had a deep well of compassion. Both Constance and Robert were excellent characters that you found yourself routing for from the very first page.

On to the romance itself, this wasn’t a book full of mad passion and fireworks. Instead it was two adults, each with their own secrets who come together. There was a deep underlying friendship between them that evolved into more. It didn’t have any sparks flying or very man steamy scenes. It was low key but lovely.

Like I have already touched on and as is the case in every Burrowes’ book I have read, this book really made you feel you were in the 1800s. From the research that had been done on the subject of the book, by the style in which she writes and the dialogue her characters engage in, it’s an immersive experience.

This was a great read the touches on some important subjects such as alcoholism, unwanted pregnancy, mental health, illness, and poverty. I don’t think this will be for everyone, especially if you prefer something with a faster pace, but I really loved it and can’t wait to read the next book.

What did you think of our review?
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[about-author author=”Grace Burrowes”]

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  1. This sounds like an interesting book. Having epilepsy in the 18th century definitely wouldn’t have been a picnic, I remember a novel about Prince John of England, who was kept out of the public eye because the royal family didn’t want anyone to know a royal had it. I’m always looking for good historical fiction books that give the reader a sense of what life was like at the time. Will definitely add this series to my TBR

  2. I haven’t yet read this author but when I first heard about this it reminded me of The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie, which I really enjoyed so I may give this a try.