Denying the Duke
Book 3, Lords & Ladies in Love
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Four years ago, Alex, a second son, had planned a life together with Lady Patience. However, when Patience was betrothed to his brother, the heir, Alex left his family's estate and joined the military.
Alex returns to assume the title Duke of Bedford when his brother unexpectedly dies. He is unprepared for both his new responsibilities and the reunion with Patience. The horrors of war are a heavy burden, and when he learns that Patience never married his brother, he is stunned.
Patience withstood the bullying of her fiancé and her father for four long years. She refuses to marry Alex just because he's the duke, especially if he no longer loves her. How would that be better than what she has already endured? Promises made in their youth are not enough to overcome the changes life has wrought for them but love can grow and transform, if only Patience could believe that.
Each book in the Lords and Ladies in Love series is a standalone story that can be enjoyed out of order.
Book #1 Seducing the Marquess
Book #2 Marrying the Wrong Earl
Book #3 Denying the Duke
Four years ago the hopes and plans Alex and Patience had for a future together were shattered when they learned that their fathers announced that Patience was to be betrothed to Alex’s brother Cyrus, heir to the dukedom. Devastated, Alex convinced his grandfather to buy him a commission in the army. He spent three years on the continent in war. He spent the last year in America chasing and capturing a traitor (who managed to escape shortly after he was turned over to authorities). Just before his return to England, he received word that his father and brother had died, Cyrus recently in rather scandalous circumstances, and that he was now the duke.
Upon his arrival back home, Alex discovers that Cyrus and Patience never married. He is pleased, but doesn’t know what that means for him and Patience. Almost immediately the Earl of Wilton begins to push Alex to marry Patience. The couple still cares for each other, but both have changed and would like some time to get to know each other again. Alex would like to learn to handle his duties and responsibilities as Duke, before they take a permanent step. Patience wants to be free of her abusive tyrant of a father. She simply wants someone to love her for herself. Is it possible these two will find in each other what they need to be happy? It looks a little doubtful for a while.
Denying the Duke has an interesting, slightly complicated plot that unfolds as the hero and heroine take a long ride on an emotional roller coaster. There are secrets, plots, betrayal, mystery, kidnapping, a little bit of humor, and of course, romance. Alex is plagued by nightmares of the war and filled with uncertainty about his new life. Patience does come across as immature, but that can be contributed to the abusive life she has had. She has never had a chance to experience life and grow up. There is a lot for Alex and Patience to work out. Alex’s friends and Patience’s cousin are wonderful characters who are there to help them find their way. All in all, an entertaining read that holds your attention from beginning to end.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley. I voluntarily reviewed it and the comments are my own.