Forever My Duke
St. Martin’s Press, Dec 31, 2019
Author’s rep via NetGalley
The cover doesn’t particularly appeal to me. It seems to lack the richness that we have come to expect from top-notch romances lately. The background simply fades in spite of its bright yellow coloring. While the bright green of the lady’s dress seems glaring in this setting. Too bad, because the story deserves a good cover.
She’s Natalie Fanshawe, an American of dubious English descent. She has brought the young son of her best friend to London so that he can live with his family. His parents were killed during the war in America and his mother’s last request was that Natalie bring her son back to England to her family. Natalie would gladly have taken him into her own home and raised him as her own, but it was her friend’s dying wish and so she will honor it. Natalie has no patience or understanding of the class system in England, nor does she want anything to do with curtsying to those who consider themselves her betters. She’s an America and considers all people equal.
He’s Hadrian Ames, the Duke of Clayton, but Natalie thinks he’s just Mr. Clayton when he introduces himself as Clayton. As long as he’s Mr. Clayton she can deal with him just fine even though he is dressed in the finest clothes she’s ever seen, travels with a most superior valet and has a rather polished attitude himself as well. Clayton is on his way to speak to a young lady about marriage when he meets up with Natalie and her young charge at an inn. No, he’s not in love. This is a choice based on the fact that she’s lovely, acquiescent and of a suitable family.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading how the fiery American and the rather staid English Duke find their common ground as they come together, working out their differences. Each giving a bit here and a bit there as they realize what’s important to them and what doesn’t really matter when it’s love at stake. How each starts to look at the other with new eyes and sees things of themselves. This is, of course, a normal historical romance and it doesn’t really break any of the rules except the “bowing/curtsying to one’s betters’ one. I really loved it when Prinny dropped in for the ball when he was specifically not invited because she didn’t curtsy to her “betters”. But what’s a duke to do when he’s in love with a rebellious American? Yes, I certainly do recommend this one!