“The Duke of Nothing” by Jess Michaels is an entertaining glimpse into the lives of the aristocracy of Regency England with the added twist of interactions with a few of those troublesome Americans thrown into the mix. The responsibilities accompanying inheriting a title and the care of the dependents for a family is nicely portrayed. Given the purported closeness of the members of the club, I am surprised that Baldwin did not confide in his band of “brothers” but I think the author did a good job of showing his guilt and pride and why that tied his hands. I’m a little disappointed that he goes so far with Helena, given the apparently insurmountable issues, but I can’t deny the bond they seem to forge effortlessly. I ache for the background that Helena was dealing with and her current circumstances, but I was most startled by the uncharacteristically generous gesture that is pivotal in the final resolution of the conflict as it seemed out of character to me.
Despite that, I enjoyed this story and was able to read it as a stand-alone tale although I am sure it will be enhanced once I read about all of the characters from previous books who have cameos. I was surprised at the easy familiarity that was offered in a society that is characterized by strict formality and adherence to rules but I daresay that underscores the uniqueness of this group of folks. I don’t remember having read works by this author before, but I definitely want to read more of her books!
The fifth thrilling romance in the 1797 club series by USA Today bestseller Jess Michaels
Baldwin Undercross, Duke of Sheffield, has a secret he’s keeping from almost everyone he knows and loves. He is destitute, thanks to gambling by his late father and his own bad decisions. There is only one option now, marry for money and do it soon. An opportunity presents itself when a rich American woman arrives in Society hunting for a title in trade for a huge dowry.
Helena Monroe is the companion to her entitled cousin and she is miserable. But once she encounters Baldwin on a terrace, her time in England starts to look up. She quickly realizes he believes she is her cousin and everything starts to fall apart.
Baldwin is now torn between a future that will save his family legacy and one with a woman he is growing increasingly attached to. Will he choose safety or passion, obligation or love?
Length: Full Length Novel (70,000 words)
Heat Level: Wear gloves while reading - eye protection optional.
The Duke of Nothing can be read as a stand-alone book, but is part of a series (The 1797 Club).