Eloise James has taken a rather well used plot, brothers who look the same and can swap places and has turned it into a really facinating story about suffering and redemption.
Rafe is the Duke of Holbrook and at the beginning of the story he discovers that he has an illegitemate brother, Gabe. Although they look very alike, even down to being born a few days apart, the two men could not be more different. Gabe is confident,well educated and has earned his own place in society without the use of his family name. Rafe has become a self-destructive alchoholic, escaping from the world through the bottom of a whiskey glass.He became the guardian of the Essex sisters in the previous books of this this series and now we have reached the turn of Imogen, Lady Maitland. Their two stories cross when she decides to take a lover, and her choice is Gabe.Imogen is attracted to Gabe because of his resemblance to Rafe, who is a lost cause as far as she is concerned. Rafe believes that he still has a duty to Imogen, and is stongly attracted to her. Thus the swap, and the beginning of a very enjoyable and well written story.
The detailed descriptions of Rafe and his slow recovery from alchoholism are detailed and give you a lot of understanding of the problems of this disease. It is interesting to see how it is set in the context of the Regency period, when men were judged on their ability to be a two bottle or a three bottle a night drinker. Rafe`s dependency on alchohol is set in the context of his need to escape from his pain and guilt over his brothers death.
I really enjoyed reading this book and if you enjoy stories by Lisa Kleypas and Liz Carlyle you are sure to enjoy this book.