Kelly Bowen’s novella, Night of the Scoundrel, was an unexpected favorite of mine last year and I was excited to finally dip into her backlist.
Maximus Harcourt arrives home from two years at sea to find his 18-year-old sister on the run and Miss Ivory Moore, of Chegarre& Associates, re-dressing the dead earl his sister left tied to her bed. Ivory’s job is to fix the unfixable and she’s brilliant at it, but Max isn’t letting her fix this one on her own.
Oh, also he’s the Duke of Alderige and she’s a widowed duchess but this book is extremely unconcerned with that aspect of their identity. This is not the book for people who want historical accuracy.
Most of my favorite romance novels have heroines like Ivory, she’s ultra competent, a little flinty and the best at what she does. Max is just along for the ride and they spend most of the story working out clues and trying to out clever each other. This book read like a police procedural tv show if the unresolved sexual tension between the two leads was on a speed run.
The audiobook narrator, Ashford McNab, is a favorite who I’ve reviewed a few times for her work on the Maiden Lane series. She has this dramatic husky voice that is so easy to listen to.
Bowen crafts a suspenseful story wrapped in a tenuous, sultry, slow-burn romance–perfect for readers toe-dipping into romance from the mystery genre.
I feel like Kelly Bowen was victimized by the cutsie-fication of historical romance titles in the 2010s. Duke of My Heart isn’t so bad but her debut is called I’ve Got A Duke To Keep Me Warm and last book in this series is called Between The Duke and the Deep Blue Sea. Why so long ?