It Had to Be the Duke by Christi Caldwell
Barbara’s rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Series: All The Duke’s Sins #0.5
Publication Date: 7/23/21
Period: Regency London
Number of Pages: 109
This author’s books are always well written and compelling and this one is no exception. All the Duke’s Sins will feature the stories of the illegitimate children of Geoffrey Meadows, the Duke of Bentley. Since this is a novella and the prequel to the series, it will be difficult to tell you much without telling you the entire story. However, I will tell you that I absolutely adored Geoffrey.
Lydia Mayweather and Geoffrey Meadows grew up together, played together, and fell head-over-heels, soul searingly in love with each other. They planned to marry and Geoffrey longed for the family they’d make. Then, suddenly, without warning, Lydia ended it all and married Geoffrey’s friend Lawrence Brandeis, the soon-to-be Earl of Chombley. After thirty-two years, they have their second chance at a HEA.
I really wish this novella had been just a tad longer because it just left me wanting more and it also made me sad. Yes, there was a HEA, but I was so very sad for Geoffrey and the life he had during those thirty-two years. Frankly, I didn’t feel nearly as much sympathy for Lydia – after all, she made the choice to end the relationship and marry someone else all to make the life of a selfish sister easier. I was supposed to ‘admire’ Chombley, but I couldn’t figure out why. He supposedly loved Lydia before they married – and he was supposed to be Geoffrey’s friend. If truly loved Lydia, he wouldn’t have married her knowing she loved someone else and was being forced into the choice. I was really, really tired of reading the phrase about her being happy in her marriage and coming to love her husband. Anyway, I would have preferred the novella to be a little longer to explain or justify or something, these things.
This was a good set-up for the series and shows you what happened in Geoffrey’s life and how he came to have illegitimate children. My heart still hurts for him and I hope we see a lot more of him in the subsequent books in the series.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.