I’ve fallen off the historical romance bandwagon. When I started reading romance, I mostly read historical romance but last year I only read one. To get back into the genre I decided to start with an indie historical romance. I‘ve always been curious how the subgenre is handled outside the restrictions of traditional publishing.
This book caught my eye because it’s a marriage of convenience between Emmaline Townsend, a young widow and the man who killed her husband–Lionel Maitland, Marquess of Axbridge (who is somehow the titular Duke ?)
Axbridge is an honorable man and no stranger to deadly duels, though after windowing Emmaline he vows to never duel again. Despite needing to marry Axbridge to save herself from ruin Emmaline holds her own against him. I like how we got to see her figure out what didn’t work with her first marriage before going all-in on her second.
Honestly, the book isn’t as dark as it sounds. It has its humorous moments and the tension between Emmaline and Axbridge leans more towards the dramatic. There are plenty of ballrooms in this plus a sliver of intrigue as Axbridge investigates a blackmail conspiracy.
This book is right in the middle of a series but reads just fine as a standalone. I imagine if you’ve read the series the carousel of side characters might stand out more.
This is the first full-length self-published historical romance I’ve read and I thought it might break a few rules associated with historical romance but, apart from the slightly more heated scenes, it felt pretty much by the book.
This audiobook is narrated by Marian Hussey. She was pitch-perfect and everything you want from a historical romance narrator. I’m adding her to my list of go-to historical narrators.
I wonder where Burke found the cover for this book. You can see all the detail on the model’s dress.