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Book Review: Project Duchess

When Fletcher “Grey” Pryde’s mother’s third husband dies, he goes to his mother’s side. Especially since she asked for him to be there. It doesn’t matter that he’s got some serious baggage when it comes to his family. Grey does what he must.

What he doesn’t expect is to be embroiled in a seeming murder mystery or have his heart entangled with his mother’s newest project – the decidedly penniless and on-the-shelf sister of the groundskeeper and prime suspect in his stepfather’s suspicious death, Beatrice Wolfe.

As for Beatrice, please don’t call her Bea, she’s got baggage of her own. Orphaned at a young age she is decidedly a poor relation. She knows she’s long in the tooth and only has modest hopes for her prospects. She has no chance of landing a duke for a husband, no matter how much Grey makes her heart swoon.

Besides, she doesn’t like him anyway…

So one super huge piece of advice… there’s a family tree at the beginning of the book. Read it. Memorize it. Bookmark it. You will need it. Seriously. The hero’s mother was married three times and has a total of five children all of whom have their own sets of cousins and family that are relevant to the plot.

That being said. I kind of liked that you needed to know who was whom and that the author provided this. It was a Chekhov’s gun and it was a fired one.

I also really liked Grey and Beatrice as characters. Grey is just this side of being an alpha asshole. He’s an alpha. He’s sometimes an ass. But he doesn’t tip over into asshole. He’s got a troubled past, but it’s one that makes sense. And it’s plot relevant.

Beatrice is never too stupid to live, which is depressingly common in Regency heroines I can’t even begin to tell you. She’s spunky. And totally willing to speak her mind. But even better, she knows when to refrain from speaking. She doesn’t run around with a half-cocked tongue. She also has morals and standards and is willing to sacrifice her own happiness for them. She’s also protective of those she cares about in her way.

The story deals with trauma and some fairly triggering things including child abuse, sexual harassment, neglect, and emotional and verbal abuse. So if you have triggers in that direction bear that in mind. They are handled fairly well considering the limitations of the time. And the AUTHOR handles the delicate subjects well. Which is a huge plus in my book.

I really got into the various plots and sub-plots. There’s definitely a murder mystery running through this that seems to be an over-arching series plot.

Frankly, I liked this book. Sabrina Jeffries is a new-to-me author and I’ll definitely be checking out more from her. The next book features a hero with an honest-to-gods disability and PTSD in the Regency… and I am so here for that.

So because I loved this book and was inspired to check out the next book in the series…

Five Stars.

If this is your jam, you can get it here.

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