Last Duke Standing by Julia London
Tracy’s rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Series: A Royal Match, #1
Release Date: February 22, 2022
With the imminent death of her father looming and a whiff of scandal in her past, Justine Ivanosen, the Crown Princess and heir to the throne of Wesloria it is suggested that Justine would benefit from the advice of Queen Victoria and that she should find a husband as quickly as possible, and for that task, her mother and the prime minister have hired the services of the celebrated matchmaker, Lila Aleksander. So with her younger sister, Princess Amelia in tow, they set out for England. But unbeknownst to Justine, the prime minister has managed to coerce the Scottish Duke of Hamilton and Brandon to have his son and heir William, Marquess of Douglas and Clydesdale to act as a spy on his behalf, not realizing that William and Justine have a history.
William would rather not have to babysit a spoiled princess, but with a fresh scandal dogging him and a father that is bent on bankrupting the dukedom, he really has no choice. He remembers the princess from her last visit to England eight years ago and is not prepared for the lovely young woman he is introduced to when he calls on her. At first, Justine is annoyed by William’s presence, but as time passes, they form a friendship and she comes to trust him and his insights about her suitors. Suitors that are clearly not right for her, in fact, the only man that is right for her is William, but with her scandal, still fresh in everyone’s minds, she needs a groom with an impeccable reputation and that is not William – or is it?
This was a well-written, fun read that is loosely connected to the previous “A Royal Wedding” series. The book is filled with humor, witty banter, warmish love scenes, wonderful leads, great secondary characters (including Beck from the previous series), secrets, scandals, a bit of heartache, and a truly heartwarming ending, complete with an epilogue. If you follow my reviews then you know that incorrect titles/formal address are my biggest pet peeves and sadly mistakes are abundant in this book, but I liked the story and writing style so much that I have just accepted that this is the way it is going to be in all Ms. London’s books and I can’t let it ruin the story. That said, I am happy to recommend this title, it is a great start to a new series with ties to the previous series and I will enthusiastically be looking forward to Amelia’s story.
*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that I requested and was provided to me by the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.*