The Duke Effect by Sophie Jordan
Tracy’s rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Series: The Rogue Files, #7
Release Date: October 27, 2020
Constantine “Con” Sinclair had been serving in the army for years when he got the letter he never expected to receive – his uncle, the Duke of Birchwood is calling him home, all three of Con’s cousins have died and as improbable as it seems, Con is now the duke’s heir. He returns to London and throws himself into learning all there is to know about the dukedom and will do whatever it takes to please the duke and duchess, who took him in and raised him when his parents died, even marry his cousin’s betrothed. He is feeling overwhelmed and when the duchess suffers from one of her “spells”, Con recalls a doctor he corresponded with while he was in the army. He sets off to the home of the Duke of Warrington in Brambledon to talk to Dr. Langley and hopefully convince him to treat the duchess.
Eleanora “Nora” Langley now lives with her sister Marian, the Duchess of Warrington at Haverston Hall and has taken over her father’s role of doctor in the community. She has also continued to correspond with some people, using his name. She wants to be a doctor, but it is not possible for her to study medicine at a university in Britain. Instead, she uses the knowledge she learned from her father and from studying to offer aid to those in need. She has become quite proficient with pain management and had concocted many a remedy – to varying and in the case of her sister Charlotte, surprising results. Much to her sister’s dismay, she really has no interest in marriage or men. But all that changes when she comes across a very naked man swimming in a pond on Warrington’s estate – after falling in the pond herself, she firmly tells the man he is trespassing and demands that he leave. She returns home and is informed she has a caller asking for Dr. Langley. She enters the drawing room to learn the man from the pond is none other than Col. Constantine Sinclair, a man she has been exchanging letters with for years under the guise of her father.
Con is enraged when he learns the truth and refuses her offer to help – in fact he is so angry he says he is going to expose her deception. Nora can’t let that happen and even though he refuses her offer for help – she follows him to London and insists on treating the duchess. She will prove her worth and return to the country – because no matter how handsome Con is, he is not for her – or is he?
This was a well written, fast paced story with an interesting assortment of characters, a very slow burn romance, that has lots of obstacles keeping the lovers apart. I really have mixed feelings about this story, on one hand it was well written and the storyline was fresh, but Nora was not easy to like and Con really didn’t impress me. In addition to that, their romance – if you can call it that – was seemingly out of the blue and I don’t even know if they would have ended up together if the woman Con was courting didn’t basically tell Con to marry Nora. All in all, it was a fast, easy read, it is the seventh book in the series, but they are very loosely connected and can each be read as standalone titles.
*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an uncorrected eARC that I requested and was provided to my by NetGalley and the publisher. All opinions are my own.*