This is the third book in a series. DO NOT READ THIS BOOK UNTIL YOU HAVE READ THE OTHER TWO. It is definitely not a stand alone. I spend the first several chapters attempting to figure out what was going on.
The novel opens a prologue explaining why Perdita is the widowed Duchess of Ormonde. Her husband, Gervase, was abusive. He is holding a knife to Perdita's throat while her friend, Georgina, and sister Isabella are attempting to keep him from killing her. He ends up dead.
Now that her mourning is over, Perdita is in London. Her sister, Isabella, has married Gervase's heir and is the new Duke of Ormonde. Isabella and Georgina were getting threats, but they were resolved in their books. Now Perdita is getting the notes and other threats. Lord Archer Lisle was the previous Duke's secretary and is the current Duke's secretary. He has loved Perdita since Gervase married her. He has appointed himself as her protector and wants to marry her.
While I liked the characters of Perdita and Archer, I really disliked the feeling that I was missing something the entire novel. The love story of Archer and Perdita seems secondary to figuring out who is threatening her to the point it almost seemed an after thought and the author had really wanted to write a murder mystery.
The conclusion of the book was disturbing. Rather than having Perdita's persistent suitor, Lord Dunthrop, be the villain and wrap it up neatly, there is a totally unexpected villain. The villain has a bizarre and truly not needed back story that I found put a damper on what I did like about the book.
Just an odd thing that I found annoying is when Archer married Perdita, he referred to her as Mrs. Lisle. Archer is the youngest son of a Duke, thus he has a courtesy title. As his wife, Perdida would be referred to as Lady Archer.
There was enough of this book that I did like to give it 3.5 stars. I am going to have to read the first two so I can enjoy this one.
I received this book as an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.