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The Duke I Once Knew

Unlikely Duchesses

This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.


When two childhood sweethearts find themselves together after years apart, does their romance have a chance to be rekindled now that he’s a duke and she’s a governess? Olivia Drake’s new Unlikely Duchesses series begins with The Duke I Once Knew, where first love is always the sweetest...

For years, Abigail Linton devoted herself to caring for her parents and her siblings’ children. Now, eager to create a life of her own, Abby seizes upon a position as a governess on a neighboring estate. Unfortunately, her absentee employer is Maxwell Bryce, the Duke of Rothwell, the notorious rake who once broke her youthful heart. But since he hasn’t set foot on his estate for fifteen years, Abby assumes she’ll never have to lay eyes on him ever again. Then, from out of nowhere, Max appears. He is stunned to come face to face with the girl next door he fell for years ago—before he went away, and she stopped writing to him. . .even though Abby swears that he is the one who left her without a word. Could it be that this spirited, witty spinster has won Max’s heart all over again—and that they may have a second chance at love?

Olivia Drake’s novels are:

“Lush.”—Fresh Fiction

“Compelling…filled with intrigue.”—Affaire de Coeur

“Skillful…readers will rejoice.”—RT Book Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Nov 12, 2018 – Drake (The Scandalous Flirt) delights with this scintillating historical romance series launch. Abby is no longer considered a young gentlewoman; she's approaching her 30th birthday, still unwed. Rather than become a helpmeet for her siblings and their families, she strikes out on her own and takes a post as a governess at Rothwell Court, the ducal estate belonging to her childhood love. Max, Duke of Rothwell, has stayed away from the estate for 15 years, avoiding memories of his mother's death and the ending of his love for Abby. Now an infamous rake, he returns home unexpectedly only to find that she's the new governess for his young sister, Gwendolyn. What follows is an intricate dance with mischievous mistresses, troublesome socialites, and a pair of scorned lovers who both believe themselves to be the injured party. By equal measures endearing and sumptuous, with only a few overly tangled plot threads to its detriment, the novel immerses readers in a beautifully developed world.

Customer Reviews

Not great, but not terrible

Lots of fill, over explaining, and repetitive information, but the characters and the story weren’t terrible.


Second chance romance, where both main characters have resigned themselves to a life alone on their terms.
Fifteen years ago Maxwell the Duke of Rothwell and Abigail Linton had what they thought was a romance that would last a lifetime. When Max’s father took he and his sister to London after his wife died, their romance ended even with promises of love letters and marriage.
Abby cared for her parents for fifteen years until their death, now with her older siblings fighting for who she must help with next she has decided to apply as governess to Lady Gwendolyn Rothwell.
Max has strived to stay away from his boyhood home, but a case of the Measles at his friends home has sent he and is traveling companions to Rothwell Court. This throws him directly in the path of the one person he has no desire to see, Abby. Max did not know his Aunt hires Abby as Gwen’s governess and will see that she is relieved of her post immediately. Max agrees to let Abby stay on until he and his companions leave and to stay out of his way.
The more time spent in the company of each other the more they realize they just might of wasted fifteen years and what a lonely life they have lead. And just maybe there’s a fine line between love and hate.

Great story

One of my favorite tropes, this is a second chance at love story, after 15 years have passed. Abigail has been taking care of her family it seems forever. First her elderly parents and then other family members and they always seemed to make her decisions for her. Determined to set out on her own, she takes a governess position on a estate nearby. What she did not expect was that the man who broke her heart many years ago, would come home after being absent since she had last set eyes on him. Max was really not happy when he saw who the governess was for his sister's children. His remembered she had pushed him away all those years ago.
But as the two meet again, it seems there are a lot of angst between them they may never be resolved. Can they now find those feelings they had once? I really enjoyed this tale and know you will too! The first in a new series I look forward to the next book!! I read this through NetGallery.

The Duke I Once Knew
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  • $7.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Historical
  • Published: Dec 31, 2018
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Seller: Macmillan
  • Print Length: 336 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, iBooks 1.5 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings