The Duke Deal by Valerie Bowman

The Duke Deal (The Whitmorelands #1)Barbara’s rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Series: The Whitmorelands #1
Publication Date: 1/1/23
Period: Regency
Number of Pages: 161

This is a nice, short introduction to a new series. I enjoyed the read and liked the characters quite well – especially Sebastian. One of the themes throughout the book that resonated with me is that life is all about choices – our choices – and how they affect our lives and the lives of others. Another thing I really liked about the book is that Veronica actually admitted she was wrong and apologized for it – you often see that with the male characters in books, but not the female, and in this case, she really was the one in the wrong.

Veronica and Sebastian have only lived together for two months during their two-year-long marriage. Both were blissfully happy until a major misunderstanding occurred and Veronica left Sebastian and went to the country estate. They haven’t seen, spoken to, or corresponded with, each other in all of that time. Now, Veronica must ask Sebastian to spend Christmas with her family at her grandfather’s estate and pretend they are still happily wed. Will he agree to her request? Hmm – he might – but with stipulations of his own.

I really liked Sebastian who was solid and steady and still ready to love Veronica even though she’d left him. I liked Veronica as well but kept thinking she was holding on to her ‘issue’ much too long – until I actually looked at the timeline of the story. While the conflict lasts through most of the story, the entire story lasts only a few days, so I came to realize it wasn’t an unreasonable amount of time. Both Veronica and Sebastian had issues with which they had to deal before they could find true happiness, and they had to come to terms with the choices they’d made and the reasons behind those choices. Once that was done, they had a chance at a real future with true happiness.

I enjoyed the story and am looking forward to the next book in the series. I perceived a historical inaccuracy in this book, but I’m not sure it was actually spelled out, so I will be interested in seeing Justin’s book to learn more about that. Sorry – I’m just weird that way. Anyway, the story was nicely written and I did enjoy the read. I hope you will enjoy it as well should you choose to read it.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Avid reader/reviewer of historical romance and historical mysteries.

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