Practical Charlotte Barton can’t be bothered with suitors, busy as she is helping her widowed father run his successful pottery works. And yet Lord Charles Randell, having ridden all night to deliver the news that Charlotte’s father lies ill far from home, cannot seem to forget her. Before he can speak to her of his feelings, his cash-strapped brother, the Duke of Walmer, pursues Charlotte for what he supposes is her large inheritance. Now Charles must decide whether to reveal his brother’s true motives or to stand aside so the lady he loves can become the next Duchess of Walmer.
Publisher and Release Date: Musa Publishing, December 2014
Time and Setting: Regency England
Genre: Historical Romance
Heat Level: 1
Reviewer Rating: 3 stars
Review by Susan
A cozy read, The Duke’s Offer takes the reader into the household of Charlotte Barton, the sole daughter of a potter. Her relationship with her father bears similarities to the bond between Belle and her father from Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. Theirs is a love that the author spends a great deal of time nurturing and explaining to the audience. Charlotte’s sorrow over her father’s illness is thoroughly explored as the author walks the reader through her feelings, using language that is strong enough to affect the reader and make them hope for his speedy recovery.
Lord Charles Randell is a polite young man who has been friends with the Bartons for some time. His attentiveness to Charlotte’s feelings and needs makes him a likeable character with a calming temperament and courteous demeanor that is reminded me a little of Laurence (“Laurie”) from Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women. He has shown Charlotte only platonic affection, but it is revealed that his feelings run deeper and he wants to be her protector, her provider, her husband. Their love is wholesome and their need for one another is apparent to the reader.
Though Charles’s brother Richard, the Duke of Walmer, comes into the picture as a potential suitor for Charlotte’s hand, it is a flimsy attempt to inject doubt into the story, because Ms Goforth’s narrative style clearly shows that Richard’s charming words are superficial. The two brothers never have a confrontation over Charlotte, which is a disappointment. The last few chapters wrap up the story neatly as it is discovered that Richard’s intentions are mercenary and Charles comes in to save the day and proposes to Charlotte.
There are few surprises in the story and the characters have limited facets which is a bit of a disappointment. The intimate scenes lack sensuality but are laden with words of affection. The tale has a fairytale feel as Charlotte, in her most desperate moment, is rescued by a chivalrous gentleman whose love for her is unconditional.