Once Upon A Romance

Once Upon A Romance's Review Of...
Duchess of Sin by Laurel McKee


Cover art: Duchess of Sin Reviewer: Robyn Roberts
Title: Duchess of Sin - 2nd in the Daughters of Erin trilogy
Author: Laurel McKee
Publisher: Forever/Grand Central Publishing
ISBN-13: 978-04465-4476-4
Release Date: December 2010
Genre/Sub-genre: Historical Romance
Year/Setting: Dublin 1800
Overall Rating: 4.0
Sexual Content Rating: Sensual
Language (Profanity/Slang) Content Rating: Mild
Violent Content Rating: Minimal
Laurel's Website/Blog: ammandamccabe.com/mckee

Lady Anna Blacknall is supposed to be finding a reasonable match during her season. Too bad for her mother that she’s really after adventure and mischief. Her friend gets her into Dublin’s most notorious hall—where vices and perversions are celebrated and indulged. While there, Anna runs into a familiar Irishman. Even though they are all masked, Anna knows he is really Conlan McTeer, Duke of Adair.

Conlan has come to Dublin to work with rebels fighting to keep Ireland free from falling under England’s rule. With bribes and payoffs swaying the vote in Ireland’s parliament, it will take subterfuge and cunning to keep the vote the way the people want.

After their impassioned meeting, Anna finds herself in the midst of danger—danger aimed at Conlan. Someone wants him dead, and they will do whatever it takes to get to him. Including harming or killing those he holds dear. Anna would like to pursue Conlan, but he is everything she is supposed to avoid in a mate. Will she follow her heart or go with the dictates of society?

Anna is a fun gal. I don’t think she means to be as mischievous as she is. A lot of the time, trouble finds her—even when she didn’t seek it out. She reminds me of others I know who have the same problem with trouble coming to them. She has such life in her that rooms sparkle when she walks into them.

Conlan holds himself out to be an outlaw and not worthy of consideration or love. Yet, he knows he is the hope for a free Ireland and that he must lead the charge at any cost—even if it means his life. When the assassins hired to get him keep missing, he knows it won’t be long before they succeed. How can he keep himself safe and protect Anna? He knows that by being near her, he is risking her life as well as his own. But Anna draws Conlan to him like bees are drawn to flowers. She is the bright flower in Conlan’s life.

I was swept away by the story woven around true historical events. Anna and Conlan both try to hold themselves apart from others, yet they both continuously deny the attraction they have for each other. Conlan comes across as such a harsh man, but it didn’t take long to see the young man yearning to be loved, as he had never really been. His treatment of others told more about the true nature of his character more than anything else could.

Anna is sweet and innocent…yet, she’s worldly in some ways. She is quite a dichotomy and reminds me of many of my own friends so I instantly felt bonded to her. She comes across as prim and proper and an airhead; but beneath the airhead act lies a brain that is constantly looking for amusement and a little bit of trouble. She likes to be on the cutting edge of trouble. I think I’d have a great time with her in real life!

The story ebbs and flows with the political passions of the day. There are some very memorable moments—especially in the countryside. I found myself transported back in time and enjoyed this story very much. I’m looking forward to reading the third book in the series.


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