Is it just me or is there a hot crop of Duke books hitting the hist-ro shelves. Personally, I have been sort of turned off on Dukes ever since Ralph Fiennes portrayal of the Duke of Devonshire. Not that I don’t love Ralph, but it gave me a distinct taste that Dukes would be pompous and overweening.
In any case, this book is part of a series called The Bachelor Chronicles (read more about them on Boyle’s website). Of course, I never seem to read them in succession. But I didn’t find myself lost or in dire need of backstory.
Instead, Mad About the Duke cruised along at a nice clip. And in the lately experienced serendipity of hist-ro selections to purview, this one is another about a Duke in disguise. Our heroine, Lady Standon, mistakes the Duke of Hollindrake for a solicitor, and struck dumb by love at first sight he does not, against character, correct her.
She has a big problem. In order to rescue her young sister’s guardianship from a villianous step-father, she has decided she needs to align herself in marriage with one of the most powerful peers in the realm.
So, using The Bachelor Chronicles she sets out to find the most eligible Duke.
She is a bit cautious, a product of an awful first marriage, and seeks the council of the brutishly handsome solicitor. Of course, we know that the rogue is not a solicitor but a starched up and possibly mad Duke.
What follows next are missed opportunities, machinations, and intervening supporting characters, most of whom known the Duke’s true identity.
Boyle has a seamless style of writing that helps focus the action, and while I didn’t find myself falling directly into the pages, I did discover a perfect nightime companion who wouldn’t overtax my tired imagination.
Recommended for mature audience who love mistaken identity plots and hubba hubba handsome heroes, Mad About the Duke delivers a delicious dalliance with the peers and perils of the ton.
(3.5 out of 5) Solidly written, delivers on expectations with little disappointment. Won’t blow your mind, or hist-ro convention, but definitely an enjoyable read!
Readers are giving it an average of 4 out of 5 stars.
Several intimate scenes, discussions of deviant sexual behavior, gambling. Recommended for mature audiences only.