Cheers To The Duke is fun, spirited, and romantic. This is a tale of two mature adults with plenty of life experience that finds that there is such a thing as second chances at happiness. From matchmaking to house parties to secret assignations, this book will charm, and you will root for a happy ending for these two deserving people.
Jo, the widowed Lady Havenridge, has put her heart and soul into the brewery that empowers and employs destitute women with their daughters. With both of Jo’s partners recently married, she is burdened with all the worries and difficulties of the entire operation. Jo is a spunky character. She is consumed with her work to the point of obsession. Jo has forgotten how to smile and enjoy life. Jo is so absorbed in helping others that she has forgotten she needs to see to her happiness, not just the satisfaction of running the home. I felt Jo was a lonely soul, unconsciously looking for someone to complete her. To her detriment, Jo’s singular focus could be frustrating at times, but it helped build her strong, independent nature. Jo was a force to be reckoned with.
Edward Russell, the new Duke Of Grainger, was a solicitor and widower who received the dukedom due to a freak occurrence of the death to all the immediate heirs. Edward has the most adorable son, Thomas, who stole every scene. Edward has a healthy dislike of the aristocracy as they see him not much above an ordinary worker that infiltrated their ranks. Edward’s love for Thomas is heartwarming and sweet. Edward is lonely, wanting companionship, passion, and a loving mother for his child. Edward’s sense of responsibility and capacity to love makes him a lovable, formidable character. Edward’s caring heart is precious and fragile and needs love and special care. He wants Jo to be the person who makes him whole.
Edward and Jo are thrown together at a house party by a bunch of matchmaker friends. Edward is more hopeful and smitten, where Jo is aggravated and uncertain. The attraction, although a little one-sided, is instantaneous. The couple’s compatibility is evident from their first encounter. The couple’s adventure into passion is full of seduction and a little humor. Jo is skittish and rightfully so due to her past, but I felt aggravated at her at times. The couple’s interaction with Thomas was compelling and handled with love.
The plot was exciting and moved quickly. The pace kept my attention. I enjoyed the premise and found myself cheering for the couple. There were many secondary characters from previous books, but they were well defined without the author re-hashing the previous books. I adored the ending. The entire story had substance without being dragged down with emotional baggage. Cheers To The Duke is the third book in this wonderful series, Widow’s Brew. Sally MacKenzie has done a fantastic job of creating a joyful story of two people on different paths that find happiness with each other. This is an enjoyable, lovable read that lightened my heart and had me believing in happy endings!
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advance copy of this book through Netgalley and the publisher. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Release Date: September 28, 2021