Michael Redmond, the Duke of Cortland, is not having a good night. He has just had his coach robbed, containing important documents for an upcoming vote. He is stranded, drunk and bootless. Arriving at an inn he is demands a room. The innkeeper doubts his word. No duke would be so dishevelled and stinking of drink. It is only when a fellow traveller comes to his aid and reveals she knew him is Michael believed.
Lilly Beauchamp, hoped to never see the man who broke her heart again. Michael was her first love and she has never recovered from his abandonment when he suddenly became Duke. Now widowed and bringing her step-daughter to London for a season, she is dismayed to discover her feelings never went away.
Michael believed Lilly never loved him, she did not wait for him when he went to care for his dying family. Instead she married within the month. Now engaged to someone else, he battles with his feelings for her.
I really liked the two protagonists and their love was realistic. I was rooting for them to find a way to be together. The issue I had was Lilly’s first marriage. Her father wanted her and her mother to be secure after his death, so insisted Lilly marry the man of his choosing. Even if it was her widowed brother-in-law. This is the part of the story I could have done without. It is not consistent for the time. No loving father would want his daughter to be in so dangerous a position. Why? Because firstly it was illegal. Secondly, she would be ostracised from both the local community and society at large. The marriage would not have been recognised so his daughter would face ruin and prison. This is covered in the book, but it’s used as a plot device. Something else could have been used here to cause a scandal.
Leaving that issue aside, I did enjoy this book. We are given a complete backstory to Lilly and Michael’s romance and its clear this is true love. The book was well plotted with a compelling balance of comedy, drama and one scene that was utterly heart-breaking.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advance copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. For more reviews please visit my blog: