I received this book for free from Netgalley in order to prepare an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
The Duchess Hunt (Once Upon a Dukedom, #2) by Lorraine Heath
Series: Once Upon a Dukedom #2
Published by Avon on September 28, 2021
FINAL DECISION: I absolutely loved the hero and heroine of this book. The slow-burn nature of these two, who are so obviously in love with one another from the start, just made my heart happy. I was a little disappointed by the dark moment at the end of the book, but not enough to diminish my overall love for this couple.
THE STORY: Hugh Brinsley-Norton, the Duke of Kingsland, failed in his first attempt to choose his own duchess as she was in love with another man and married him. He decides to try again, this time putting the choice to his most efficient secretary, Penelope Pettypeace. Penelope intends to pick the best match for Kingsland because she has been in love with him for years and wants him to be happy. But the duke can’t seem to care more about his possible future duchesses than he does for his secretary.
OPINION: Kingsland is a single-minded serious man. He is determined to be responsible for his legacy and his family. At his side for eight years has been his secretary, Penelope. The two have had a professional relationship. Kingsland doesn’t really believe that he has love in him and is determined to find a wife who is quiet and won’t disturb his life and work, and won’t expect much from him in terms of emotional connection. He prefers his business work with Penelope.
Penelope is efficient and strong and is definitely a match for the duke. She doesn’t have subservience in her, and I loved her. She has experienced such a difficult life, and I liked that she wasn’t hard and bitter, but instead clear-headed and had a good sense of herself.
The book handled well the “office romance” aspect of the book, and I thought that Kingsland had a modern (but completely appropriate) view of women’s roles and abilities.
This couple would definitely get five stars from me. I loved their interactions and so much of their behaviors make complete sense in the context of the novel. My only negative in his book was the “dark moment” at the end of the book that seemed somewhat contrived based on what went before. Indeed, the easy emotional resolution made it seem more like an excuse. Perhaps on a re-read, I might have a different feeling. This is definitely a book I will be re-reading!
WORTH MENTIONING: The book discusses childhood physical abuse.
CONNECTED BOOKS: THE DUCHESS HUNT is the second book in the Once Upon a Dukedom series. The book can be read as a standalone although the hero has a significant role in the first book. The book also introduces the men in The Chessmen series.
STAR RATING: I give this book 4.5 stars.
NOTE: I received an eARC of this book via Netgalley. I was not required to write a review or to write a positive review. All opinions contained herein are my own.