Saturday, December 14, 2019

BOOK REVIEW: Forever my Duke by Olivia Drake

I received this book for free from Netgalley. That did not influence my review.

Forever My Duke by Olivia Drake is book two in the Unlikely Duchesses series. The heroine, a feisty, twenty-six-year-old American named Natalie Fanshawe, is certainly an unlikely duchess. When her best friends, a missionary couple, were killed by British soldiers during a skirmish, leaving behind their six-year-old son, Leo, Natalie promised to bring the boy back to England to his grandfather. The grandfather had disowned his daughter for falling in love with an impoverished gentleman and running away to America. While on her way to deliver the boy, Natalie is trapped by a snowstorm at a small English inn. There, while chasing the mischievous Leo, she meets the hero of the book, Hadrian Ames, Duke of Clayton.

Hadrian is on his way to propose to Lady Ellen, daughter of his deceased father’s old friend and younger sister of the woman Hadrian was supposed to marry many years earlier. But Hadrian’s intended had eloped with another man, which had not disappointed Hadrian all that much. The younger sister is prettier and well-bred and docile, and he believes she will do for a wife as well as any other. It’s time for him to settle down and sire an heir, so he may as well carry out his father’s plan of uniting the two families.

Of course, after meeting cute, Hadrian and Natalie are thrown together to begin an off-kilter courtship. Hadrian falls for Natalie, but recognizes that they are from two different worlds. How can he wed a commoner? An American?

Natalie is as reluctant to wed an English lord as he is to marry “beneath” him. She is happy with the life she has in America and wants very much to return to it. She wants no part of English aristocracy.

And then there is the issue of Leo’s snooty, unpleasant grandfather. How can she leave the child with him? And what will Hadrian do about Lady Ellen, who is expecting a proposal?

The Romance is sweet. The characters are charming. The difficulties they face are real. But in true Romance fashion, love conquers all. To be released later this month, Forever My Duke is recommended for fans of Historical Romance.