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The Duke Heist

de Erica Ridley

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Es mostren totes 5
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

It was the visual representation of what they'd found in each other. Happiness. Unconditional love. The ability to be oneself and to be bigger than oneself---to be a team, and a family. That was the most magical part of all. The painting was their soul on canvas.

The Wynchesters might have all been adopted by a baron but society still rejects the six siblings. When their adopted father, Baron Vanderbean, affectionately called Bean, dies from small pox, it becomes even more important for them to recover Puck and Sprites. The painting hung over their mantel until it was stolen by the Duke of Faircliffe, the man who originally sold them the painting. He left an angel vase in replacement but the siblings want the painting. When efforts to speak to Lawrence Gosling, the new Duke after his father's death, keep meeting a brick wall, the Wynchesters come up with a plan, lead by Chloe Wynchester, to steal the painting back.

Chloe the Chameleon, disappearing seamlessly into the background.

The Duke Heist begins the Wild Wynchesters series with somewhat of a frenzied pace, convoluted plot, and tint of silliness. The six siblings are said to all have their special talents, the older brother is an acrobat, while our heroine Chloe can disguise herself to fade into the background, making her unmemorable allowing her to create many personas. It seems that they individually and collectively use these special talents to sneak and run around London being good Samaritans, all a little too much for me at times. This heist requires Chloe to get invited to a book talk salon hosted by the woman, Philippa, that the Duke of Faircliffe, Lawrence, is said to be courting because it's rumored that he is going to gift Philippa with Puck and Sprites. Chloe plans on switching the painting out with a forgery painted by one of her sisters and stealing the family's painting back. This plan sounds fairly straightforward but the beginning was so full of character introductions, descriptions, background, and planning that it took awhile for me to cut the wheat from the chaff.

He was conscious every day that the Gosling name teetered on the edge of respectability.

Our duke's story was more straightforward, Lawrence needs to marry an heiress to replenish the family's coffers as his wastrel father bankrupt them and embarrassed the family name. He was ridiculed in school and isolated because of his father's actions and has some social anxiety now because of his childhood. This was actually a nice tie-in with Chloe and how growing up poor she felt isolated and then becoming one of the “wild” and “scandalous” Wynchesters isolates her from ton society. Lawrence's title affords him some protection but he's only ever wanted a loving family and Chloe has the loving family but wants to be “seen” for herself. It's easy to see how these two at first clash but then fit together.

He didn't see a pseudonym or a mask or a blank slate. He saw Chloe. And he wanted her to see herself, to be herself.

Chole's plan ends up going awry when she leaves the book salon with the stolen painting, only to have the Duke in the carriage and now thinking she is abducting him to force marriage. She plays along until she gets a promise for a favor from him for not compromising him. When Chloe gets home, they look at the painting and realize it's not their exact Puck and Sprites and they have to come up with another plan. Chloe calls in her favor and tells Lawrence that she wants him to tutor her in society manners and introduce her to eligible men. This will give her and her Great-Aunt Wynchester (who is just one of her sisters in costume) access to Lawrence's home where they can find their painting and steal it. Again, this comes off a bit convoluted to get these two together and added to the slapdash overall feel to the story.

He couldn't do it. Not to her and not to himself. He would not become the devil she feared in the night. Not even for a dukedom.

For the most part, we spend a lot of time in our couple's heads, instead of action. Chloe's wanting to be “seen” is ruminated over and over and became more of the lead than the romance. There are two bedroom scenes but this had almost a Disney feel, so if you like lighter, silly, and whimsical stories set in Regency times, this could fit the bill. I found the plot to be weak, the Bow Street Runners angle and how important the angel vase was to Lawrence's father was never flushed out and then having Lawrence spout a line of thinking for 90% of the story only to have an incredible in the very next chapter one-eighty turn around without writing/showing the thinking and emotion growth to get there was disappointing. If the lighter side and other siblings interest you though, I'd take this more as a introduction to the Wynchester family and anticipate the next in the series. ( )
  WhiskeyintheJar | Mar 5, 2021 |
I am voluntarily posting an honest review after reading an advance reader copy (ARC) of this story.

The Duke Heist, by Erica Ridley, is available at booksellers on 2-9-2021. Heist is book one in a new series, The Wild Wynchesters. There is a prequel to the series called The Governess Gambit if you'd like to start there. The Wynchesters are a culled together family. Orphans taken in by a loving, childless Baron. This gives us many characters stories to look forward to in the future.

I love that the Wynchesters had an unconventional upbringing. The characters have way more fun than a typical Ton figure. They have developed special skills and use them for good. Chloe is our first heroine & she's a good start. Chloe is the de facto leader of the group. She a skilled thief & that's how she gets involved with Lawrence, he has something she wants. He's a scared guy, trying to restore the family coffers and reputation. He and Chloe seem like polar opposites but in the end are really so much alike that their HEA is a given. Quite an enjoyable read. Lets get on to book #2.

#EricaRidley #TheDukeHeist #TheWildWynchesters #Netgalley #Forever #Romance #HistoricalRomance ( )
  FDarlene491 | Feb 12, 2021 |
I received an ARC of this book to read through NetGalley. All opinions are my own. The Duke Heist by Erica Ridley is the first book in what looks to be a delightful new series The Wild Wynchesters. Except for her family, most people tend not to notice Chloe Wynchester which makes her the ideal person to retrieve a family heirloom that was stolen, until she accidentally kidnaps Lawrence Gosling, Duke of Faircliffe in the process. He definitely notices her then.
A very lonely Duke who needs to marry for money meets the most intriguing and exhilarating woman who has everything he’s ever wanted except perhaps the money means that he must chose between love and preserving his families legacy. This is a lighthearted fun romp of a book and I highly recommend reading it. Nice balance of angst, humour and steam. Steam Level: Medium. Publishing Date: February 9, 2021. #TheDukeHeist #EricaRidley #HistoricalRomance #NetGalley #RomanceSeries #ForeverGrandCentral #bookstagram #bookstagrammer ( )
  nmgski | Feb 9, 2021 |
The Duke Heist by Erica Ridley
The Wild Wynchesters #1

The Wynchesers are a family built by Baron Vanderbean and known to his adopted children as “Bean”. In this book he is not longer with his now adult children and they are hoping to retrieve a family treasure that was stolen from them. The six siblings are as different one from the other as can be and each one is special in his/her own right. I can hardly wait to read all of their stories! But, this is the story of Chloe Wynchester and what a story it is!

What I liked:
* Chloe: a woman that has hidden depths. She is a woman that manages to blend in though she is so much more than the plain person she presents to the world. I liked her and loved how she drew Lawrence out but also grew too.
* Lawrence: a bit stuffy and rigid though he, too, had hidden depths and interests that when they began to emerge showed a man that might be perfect for Chloe. He saw her as nobody else ever had and that was rather special.
* Chloe and Lawrence together…in all ways always…mostly…there were some rough moments on second thought
* The siblings…as mentioned above…really want to get to know all of them better!
* Lawrence’s staff and how they and he interacted.
* The way the siblings worked together and were there for one another.
* Philippa: I think there is more to her than met the eye…and am eager to read about her and Tommy next.
* The twists and turns
* All of it really except…

What I didn’t like:
* The upper class treatment of those “beneath” them
* Knowing that the poor lived horrible lives back then…and no doubt still do

Did I enjoy this book? Yes
Would I read more in this series? Definitely!

Thank you to the author for the ARC – this is my honest review.

5 Stars ( )
  CathyGeha | Feb 7, 2021 |
4/5 stars!

The heroine and her siblings wanted a beloved painting back that the hero's late father stole from them. To get it back, the siblings enacted a plan to attend get closer to the woman who the hero was planning to ask for marriage. But after excruciating circumstances, the hero and the heroine becomes closer, even as each struggle with their own personal secrets and society norms.

Ms. Erica Ridley has such a refreshing voice. It shows in her writing style, her characters, and how the story flowed, even though I would have liked some more details in certain parts of it. I liked the integrity of the hero, the yearning of the heroine, the closeness of the siblings, and the new friendships that began in this book. I liked the couple together and as individuals, recognizing the chemistry that links them together. The premise of the next book is intriguing and I look forward to reading more Erica Ridley books.

**Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for a review copy.** ( )
  DilowRosas | Jan 7, 2021 |
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