Isle of Synne, Book 2
From the publisher:
A fake engagement becomes the real thing in this historical romance that New York Times bestselling author Grace Burrowes calls “first-rate Regency fun!” and is perfect for fans of Netflix’s Bridgerton series!
Lady Clara Ashford had no intention of ever getting married. A rogue took advantage of her innocence when she was young, and she’s spent her whole life trying to make sure no one finds out. But now that her sister is engaged, Clara’s well-meaning aunt has set her sights on Clara. Desperate to avoid the matchmaking schemes, Clara’s not sure what to do—until her neighbor, the new Duke of Reigate, shows up on her doorstep in need of her help.
Quincy Nesbitt reluctantly accepted the dukedom after his brother’s death, but he’ll be damned if he accepts his brother’s fiancée as well. The only polite way to decline is to become engaged to someone else—quickly. Lady Clara has the right connections and happens to need him as much as he needs her. But he soon discovers she’s also witty and selfless, and if he’s not careful, he just might lose his heart.
This was a really good historical romance with both a strong female protagonist as well as a strong male lead. Oftentimes one is more powerful than the other, but for some reason here it doesn’t feel that way despite the fact that the lead is a Duke. Lady Clara is just as strong, and in fact often rescues the Duke. That especially comes to bear when the Duke’s horrible mother decides he needs to marry his older brother’s fiancée.
The Duke of Reigate was the youngest son, and when his father passes away, he overhears his mother plotting to send him into the Navy. Instead, the 14-year-old gets a job on a ship to America. We don’t see his life there until he returns to England, having sold off his successful Boston business. When he finally screws up the courage to visit his mother, he is shocked to learn that all of his brothers are now dead, leaving him with the title he never wanted. His mother is as hateful as ever – in an aside, I didn’t really understand this. From all the reading I’ve done in this genre, it seems like he would have all the power and the control of the money, and if he so desired, he could send his mother off to live somewhere far, far away with no ill results. But that doesn’t happen here. Instead, she is conniving and controlling and a general pain in the butt.
But when she tries to force him into a marriage with the reticent young woman who had been promised to his brother, Lady Clara comes to the rescue by announcing she is engaged to the Duke, so he cannot marry the other woman. The fake engagement is a popular trope in romance and in this case, has the usual result of the fake couple falling in love. But Clara has some serious history and that lends more depth to this story.
This is a really good series. The first book, A Good Duke Is Hard to Find, was terrific and I am looking forward to the next.
7/2021 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch
SOMEDAY MY DUKE WILL COME by Christina Britton. Forever (January 12, 2021). ISBN: 978-1538717509. 352 pages.