Step into the genre of Regency Romance with these delightful reads! Although they are part of a series, you can read the books out of order, as they feature different characters.
General Mark Grimaldi is devoted to his service for the Crown, risking his life and giving up everything for his career. The political promotion he’s always wanted is now within his reach, but he needs to convince his estranged wife to return to England and play the role of happy bride in order for him to get the position.
Nicole Huntington Grimaldi has spent the past ten years in France, not having seen her husband since she left England. But now he’s on her doorstep, asking her to return with him, and Nicole sees the opportunity to get something out of this deal. So she agrees, on one condition: she wants a baby.
A Duke Like No Other is a Regency spy caper with Valerie Bowman at her best as husband and wife match wits and may just fall in love in the process.
This was a super sweet second chance romance that I really enjoyed! (And you know me, I’m ALL FOR second chance romances.) A Duke Like No Other features a resilient heroine who defies society’s norms, a secretive hero who’s aiming to become the head of spies in England, and… a marriage that failed ten years ago. Even though both characters are more mature, their chemistry is still undeniable.
“Their brief romance was another life. So many things had happened since then. So many things had changed. He’d changed. Had she?”
General Mark Grimaldi needs to show himself as a “family man” for his career, only he already has an estranged wife, Nicole, living in France. Once you add in a surprise ducal inheritance and a wife that wants a baby, everything becomes entangled. I really enjoyed Nicole’s character and how she wasn’t afraid of chasing after what she wanted. She was headstrong and also worked for the Bow Street Runners for a time. With both Mark and Nicole having a penchant for spying, it’s easy to see how they complement each other so well. Mark himself is known as the “stone cold man” because it seems like he has no emotions, but under that facade he’s brimming with familial loyalty and a flame for Nicole. A Duke Like No Other dealt with many subplots, such as Mark’s family, Mark and Nicole’s past estrangement, and a murder mystery that needs solving. Bowman did an excellent job in delivering all these aspects, along with the couple’s undeniable chemistry. Historical romance readers will really enjoy this one!
“Do not push away the people you love and who love you because they refuse to be the people whom you think they should be.”
This rating is closer to a 3.5 starts because although I enjoyed this book, it brings along familiar elements that historical romance stories have done before. Still a fun read, but more of a quick, sweet one than something I’ll come back to reread. There’s a fantastic blend of espionage, sizzling second chance romance, and friendships and family in this one!
Thank you Netgalley and St Martins Press for the review copy!
Lady Anne is shocked when Captain Lord Hartley Corry—her former fiancé who left for India after her father forbade their marriage—returns to England and acts as if everything is all water under the bridge. He never fought for her hand or eloped with her as he promised and he thinks she’d still be willing to marry him? Not a chance.
Hartley is equally shocked to literally run into his past love upon arriving at his brother’s house. Though he yearns to take advantage of this second chance to woo his beloved, he can hardly admit that he is secretly a spy—at least not until he can be sure he trusts her. But convincing Lady Anne to let him prove his sincerity by courting her respectably all over again might be his undoing. Because all he wants is to show her how much of a rogue he can be when the right woman is in his arms…
I thought this was a super sweet and light novella that I’m glad I found! A couple years back, I found out about Sabrina Jeffries’s historical romances and they’ve mostly been a hit. I’m glad to say that this latest installation is the same. The Risk of Rogues follows Lady Anne and Lord Hartley’s second chance romance as Anne decides she won’t be burned again and Hartley chases after the woman of his dreams.
“‘Do you want to know why I’m considered a confirmed bachelor? Because you were the only woman I’ve ever wanted to marry. Once there was no YOU…’”
I enjoyed both characters’ POV’s and finding out what their motives and reasonings for certain actions were. Anne’s father disapproved of Hartley and thought he was a fortune hunter, and instead of fighting for their love, Hartley ran off to the army. What Anne didn’t know, however, is that Hartley’s father also disapproved of their marriage and threatened to cut him off, so he went to the army to make money and earn his place in life. Now that they’re reunited, Hartley wants to do everything to gain Anne back while Anne tries to resist him.
There’s a push and pull element, sure, but I do think Hartley does a good grovel for leaving without word. I liked how Anne stood up for herself against him and overall it was a short and flirty historical romance (with some heavily anachronistic scenes). Because it was a novella though, I couldn’t get that invested into it. Still recommended for historical romance readers, especially if you follow this series!
Thank you Netgalley and Threshold Books for the review copy!