This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: Historical Romance
Published by Zebra Books
Released on June 20, 2020
Once a West Indian heiress lively and happy in her Caribbean home, now a widowed, penniless and desperate woman fighting to keep her own child and forced to ally with a domineering duke used to war and command. This was setting up to be an exciting, tantalizing Regency Era Romantic Suspense by a new to me author I have been meaning to try so I gathered up this first in series with great eagerness.
The book opens with Patience Jordan in disguise and making a clandestine night-time visit to her former home to be sure the scoundrel who is now in possession is taking care of her baby son. That very night, she sees relief show up in the form of the Duke of Repington, her son’s legal guardian. He needs a nurse and she will do what it takes to get near her son and free them both. She has learned that the English are wary of foreign-looking people like herself and she has been taken advantage of and hurt by unscrupulous, greedy men. But, in Repington, she has finally discovered an honorable ally though he is demanding as well.
Busick Strathmore, the Duke of Repington, knows war and has the injuries and scars to prove it, but he is unused to the kind of private war that Patience Jordan is engaging in. He is a protector and her fierce spirit starts turning his ordered world upside down. He struggles to believe his cousin’s suicide and there are questions that need answering about all involved. Patience and his ward need the truth to come out as well so he finds himself partnering her and wanting more for the first time.
I spotted the blurb on this one and I could not wait to dive in. I don’t know what I expected, but the author’s style of writing was the first thing I noticed. It’s whimsical and different, but doesn’t always feel in sync with the time period so I was distracted as often as amused. The overall story was good and I enjoyed seeing the social and cultural elements that were included like Patience running afoul of a villain and ending up the unlawful party and criminal and of Busick suffering physical and mental injuries as a war survivor. I liked the strength in them both and as partners bent on setting things right.
The romance, however, was so-so for me. I just didn’t feel it between them. Everything else was strong in this story particularly their roles in the suspense side, but the romance needed more development. Most of the time they were antagonistic and in a battle of wills. There was no frisson of attraction beneath that- or at least I didn’t notice any. They didn’t communicate well together and I felt I was told they were a romance pair rather than see it develop before my eyes.
I do like the premise behind the series and would try another now that I’m used to the author’s style. It was an overall engaging experience and I can recommend it to historical romance fans who don’t mind some modern-sounding dialogue and ideas cropping in.
I rec’d this book via Net Galley to read in exchange for an honest review.
New Release #100
Historical Fiction #74
Romance BINGO #20 ‘duke’ in the title
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