A Duke Like No Other (Playful Brides, #9) by Valerie Bowman

General Mark Grimaldi is devoted to his work for the crown. First as a soldier in the Napoleonic wars, then working for the war office. His ambition to reach the top is finally in reach. The home office is searching for a new home secretary and believe Mark would be perfect. They encourage him to marry to secure the position. There’s only one problem, Mark is already married, and his wife wants nothing to do with him.

Nicole Huntington Grimaldi, moved to France ten years ago and has not seen her husband since she left English soil. Surprised to find her husband on her doorstep after all these years. Reluctantly agreeing to her husband’s plan, Nicole has one caveat. She wants a baby in exchange for playing the dutiful wife.

The characters were well matched. Both are strong-willed, intelligent, passionate people with similar interests and unfortunately both share the inability to communicate properly.

A large portion of this book is spent either reliving the past or trying to solve a murder. While it is well written I would have preferred if more time had been spent on developing the romance.  The title is also a bit of a misnomer. Mark does not hold a title.

I do enjoy a second-chance romance, particularly where the couple are married but estranged. While not the best I’ve read recently (it seems to be a popular theme now) I did find this enjoyable read.


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