I read “The Guardian Duke” a few months ago and LOVED it. I really wanted to read the sequel. Thankfully, the sequel did not disappoint. “The Guardian Duke” left off with Alex and John sailing off to Iceland while Gabriel watched, unable to do anything.
However, since he is the Duke of St. Easton and has resources available to him that others may not, he is able to figure out what needs to be done. He decides that it doesn’t matter what the Prince Regent wants, he is going after Alexandra, and will put his resources at her disposal to find her parents.
Throughout this book, Gabriel’s wants are subverted at various times and by various factions. He is constrained by family, duty, rivals, and his deafness. One of the most beautiful things in this book is how Gabriel comes to deal with his deafness. The lights that he saw in the first book continue in the second, and play a huge role in allowing him to become “accepting” of his disability. He also comes to realize that the only thing he needs to rely on is God, and that also helps him accept his shortcomings.
Often in Regency fiction, dukes are shown as infallible and proud. Gabriel certainly starts out in that fashion, but this book really makes him more human. His story is very interesting, especially given the fact that he is trying to act as though he can still hear, and this is before sign language.
Another interesting plot in this book is the story of John and Alexandra. She is still captivating and caring, but she begins to realize how some relationships feel right and others don’t…even if they started out feeling right. I did not like John’s character, there just seems to be something “off” about him. The interaction between Alexandra and John feels wrong. The relationship is resolved during the course of the book, but I don’t want to give away the ending.
Something to look forward to in book 3 – there is news of Alexandra’s parents in this book and I can’t wait to see how the journey turns out.
I was provided with a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.