Leopold Dautry, Duke of Villiers, has decided to collect his six illegitimate children and raise them himself. There are a couple of problems with his plan besides illegitimate children having no place in polite society in 1784. The two biggest are: Leopold doesn’t have a wife and he doesn’t know exactly where his children are! He does know that he will need to marry a high ranking woman to have his children even marginally accepted which means a Duke’s daughter, of which there are two unmarried ones. Now, if he can proceed if he can convince one of them to defy convention and become a mother to his children.
Eleanor Lindel, the Duke of Montague’s daughter, has declared that she will not marry anyone less than a Duke. She did this after the man she loved and gave her virginity to, Gideon; the Duke of Astley married someone else. She knew she would always love Gideon and she would not marry for anything other than love. But Leopold intrigues her. Could it lead to something more? Better still, does Eleanor want it to?
Lisette is the daughter of the Duke of Gilner. She’s known to be mad and is never seen in London though her father speaks often in the House of Lords. Lisette is engaged to a neighbor’s son who has been out of the countries for the past 6 years. Could he be trying to avoid Lisette?
The only way Leopold can make a decision is to visit Kent and Lisette’s home. Eleanor’s mother isn’t going to let another Duke get away from her daughter so their off to visit Lisette too. Coming along is Leopold’s oldest son and Leopold plans on checking at a local orphanage to see if his twin daughters are there. It should be an interesting house party.
This book should come with a warning label saying something like Danger…You will not want to put this book down. Do not plan anything important while reading it. I started this book at work and was almost ignoring my customers, which is not like me. Then, later when I began reading at home, I lost complete track of time only to realize that it was way past when I normally go to sleep and I still didn’t want to put this book down. I became so wrapped up in this story that nothing else seemed to matter!
A Duke of Her Own has lots going on making each turn of the page the start of a new adventure. It doesn’t feel rushed or busy but exciting. Lisette is a free spirit that doesn’t conform to society’s rules or conventions. She seems to flit from project to project. Leopold is drawn to Eleanor but torn as Lisette seems to do better with his children. Eleanor has feelings in return that are stronger than she’s ever had before. And that’s not including the things Leopold’s children get into and Eleanor’s puppy!
The characters have life and personality making them fun and believable. None of them are perfect which makes them even more interesting. In fact, there really aren’t any characters to hate! You’re hoping that Eleanor and Leopold figure a way to come together yet you want Lisette to have happiness too. And poor Gideon comes into play making a muddy situation even muddier.
Briefly, almost in passing, characters from other books are mentioned. This is due to the fact that there are several books with some of the same characters in them. They do not need to be read in order to enjoy this individual book though the later the book the more you would know about couples from earlier books. However, given how well written these books are, I would grab any of them!
A duke must choose wisely . . .
Leopold Dautry, the notorious Duke of Villiers, must wed quickly and nobly—and his choices, alas, are few. The Duke of Montague's daughter, Eleanor, is exquisitely beautiful and fiercely intelligent. Villiers betroths himself to her without further ado.
After all, no other woman really qualifies. Lisette, the outspoken daughter of the Duke of Gilner, cares nothing for clothing or decorum. She's engaged to another man, and doesn't give a fig for status or title. Half the ton believes Lisette mad—and Villiers is inclined to agree.
Torn between logic and passion, between intelligence and imagination, Villiers finds himself drawn to the very edge of impropriety. But it is not until he's in a duel to the death, fighting for the reputation of the woman he loves, that Villiers finally realizes that the greatest risk may not be in the dueling field . . .
But in the bedroom. And the heart.