“The Determined Duchess” by Erica Monroe Blog Tour-Review Stop

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Meet the Author:

USA Today Bestselling Author Erica Monroe writes dark, suspenseful historical romance. Her current series include Gothic Brides (Gothic Regency romances), The Rookery Rogues (pre-Victorian gritty working class romance), and Covert Heiresses (Regency spies who are the children of a duke). She was a finalist in the published historical category for the prestigious Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Romantic Suspense, and her books have been recommended reads at Fresh Fiction, Smexy Books, Smart Bitches Trashy Books, and All About Romance. Her favorite things include coffee, profanity, comic books, and television. She lives in the suburbs of North Carolina with her husband, two dogs, two cats.



About the Book


redoddDeath is just the beginning in this dark, emotional Gothic Regency Romance…

After the death of her beloved guardian, Miss Felicity Fields is left adrift, her future uncertain. Grief-stricken, she launches a plan to use the ancient art of alchemy to bring back to life the woman who was like a mother to her. The last thing this blunt bluestocking needs is the return of Nicholas Harding, the Duke of Wycliffe and rightful owner of her home on the wild coast of Cornwall. He stirs an unexpected passion within her, and Felicity has had enough change in her life.
When they were children, Nicholas never understood his aunt’s brilliant but unemotional ward, or her many strange scientific studies. He ought to take her back to London, so she can make a proper society match–except he can’t stop thinking about her. But with the line between life and death blurred by Felicity’s experiments, can he convince her that she’s no longer alone, and her proper place is by his side?

Gothic Brides Series


“You can’t be in here.” Felicity pushed past him, taking up a stance directly in front of the table.

He breathed a little easier, because she’d positioned herself in front of the strange jars. “I can go anywhere I want. My estate, remember?”

She scowled at him. “Not here. This doesn’t belong to you. It’s mine, and only mine.”

The fierceness in her voice took him aback. Once again, he got the sensation that he was in over his head. “What is all of this?”

“My work.” She turned, still blocking the jars, to place a pear-shaped glass container onto the burner. “And I have much of it to do, so you need to leave.”

He almost agreed, so eager was he to get the hell out of this room.  But if he was going to truly do what was right for Felicity, he had to endeavor to understand her.

He was not at all influenced by the fact that her round backside was framed lusciously by her black gown, or that her red hair had fallen from its coiffure to trail down her back, those silky strands calling out for him to touch them.


Whatever she was lighting in that burner had clearly affected his senses.

She turned back around, her frown deepening further when she saw him. “I don’t have time for this, Nicholas.” Her hands fell to her hips again, and he followed the movement, a certain part of his anatomy stirring eagerly at the thought of gripping her hips with his own hands.

He let out a long breath of air, trying to steady his racing mind. None of this was helpful.

“Tell me what you’re doing,” he said, in his most encouraging tone. She used to love talking about her experiments.

“Right now, I’m brewing tea.” She moved over slightly, and indeed, there was a teacup off to her left side. “And wishing you’d find someone else to pester.”

He ignored her last comment. After all the work it had taken him to get up here, he wasn’t leaving. Not until she agreed to consider going to London with him and Georgiana. “This is the same laboratory you had when we were children, isn’t it?”

She nodded. “You wouldn’t leave then, either.”

“I should think you’d like that,” he said, arching a brow at her. “I’m consistent, and you do so hate change.”

“I do.” For a second, pain flitted across her face—then it was gone, and her expression was back to its usual blandness. “Perhaps I dislike you more than change.”

He didn’t know why that stung him so, when she’d said far worse to him over the years, and vice versa. “I see.”

His face must have shown his hurt, because after taking the bottle off the burner, Felicity gathered another empty cup. She poured tea for both of them.  He hesitated—the cup had been awfully close to those jars—until she rolled her eyes at him.

“It is clean. I know what is in every single one of these beakers, and I assure you, that’s only ever been used for tea.” As if to prove her point, her hand snaked out to snatch the cup from his hand.

Except instead of stealing the cup from him, their hands brushed. It was the slightest of touches, skin upon skin for only a moment, yet it was enough to send a spark through him.

And apparently through her as well, for she jerked her hand back. The tea almost sloshed onto the table, but he righted the cup in time.

Her brows furrowed. She stared at his hand, then at his face, and then back at his hand. “That is curious.”

“Perhaps I do not hate you more than change, after all.”

My New Release Review


My Thoughts:

I loved this gothic novella with all of it’s twists in plot and surprising outcomes.

Felicity Fields may just be too intelligent for her own good. Her friend, guardian and a woman who was just like a mother to her has died. Felicity is certain that she has the knowledge to resurrect her friend from death’s clutches using her newfound knowledge of Alchemy. 
The last thing Felicity needs is the interference of the woman’s nephew, Nicholas Harding, The Duke of Wycliffe.

Nicholas has never really understood his aunt’s bluestocking ward, especially her love of science.
Now it seems she is delving into alchemy as well.

What will Nicholas think and do when he discovers the extent of Felicity’s experiments?
Will his newfound love for this bluestocking beauty override his shock of just what she intends?

This novella was previously released in Charmed at Christmas, part of the Castle Keyvnor series of anthologies.
Like all of the books/novellas contained in the Castle Keyvnor Anthologies it has a somewhat spooky Gothic feel.

I gave this well written novella 4.75 of 5.0 stars for storyline and characterization and a sensual rating of 3 of 5 flames. The intimacy in this book is sweetly contrived and not a hot romp between the sheets.
I received a complimentary digital copy of this book prior to it’s release as a single title to read and review. This in no way affected my opinion of this novella which I read and reviewed voluntarily.

The Series:

  1. The Mad Countess
  2. The Determined Duchess
  3. The Scandalous Widow (Release Date: 4/24/2018 ~ Previously released in It Started with a Whisper)

Gothic Brides Series Covers



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