Her job as a writer is the most important thing in Eliza's life. But she hasn't had many stories published in the paper lately. The scandalous return of the Duke of Wycliff might change that. Her boss has given her the assignment to get the gossip on Wycliff --and put together a titillating article-- or consider her career as one of the so-called "Writing Girls" to be over. She accepts the challenge and decides to go undercover as a maid in his household.
Wycliff has been away from London for many years, exploring the world. He's traveled the seas, been to exotic locations, and experienced different cultures. The stories of his exploits are legendary. Now that his father is dead, he must take over the dukedom, but his passion still lies in exploration. More than anything he wants to return to his travels and become the first Londoner to journey to Timbuktu and back.
As a maid, Eliza has unfettered access to the duke and she quickly begins amassing information for her column. But she never expected the attraction that begins to burn between her and Wycliff. As a relationship grows between them, she must weigh her ambition with her growing feelings for her subject... because her scandalous articles are wreaking havoc on his already tenuous reputation. Add to that, a nefarious man from her past, the duke's financial troubles, and his jilted ex-lover and things grow even more complicated.
I liked the story overall. Eliza is spunky and it doesn't take long for her conscience to catch up with her. Wycliff is sexy and worldly and free thinking. I was happy to find a heroine who was not a prim miss --one who works hard to take care of herself and direct her own life. However, I did have some issues.
I felt like the amount of time it took Wycliff to figure out Eliza's identity was ridiculous. In addition, I thought the character development was only slightly beyond superficial. Other than a desire to escape the confines of London and to indulge his wanderlust, we don't see much depth to Wycliff. We do get a better glimpse into who Eliza really is, thanks to the unveiling of a major event in her past. But speaking of which, the resolution to Eliza's personal obstacle to their relationship was dispensed much too easily. And there was no sex until the very end.
This is book three in Maya Rodale's Writing Girls series. And while some of the previous couples are secondary characters, this works very easily as a standalone. 3 1/2 stars.