My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Poor health and I went back to read my comfy genre, historical romances. When the Duke Returns is the story of Isidore and Simeon who have been married to each other by proxy and after long 11 years of absence, Simeon is back to claim his dukedom and decide matters about his wife. Both Isidore and Simeon are unexpectedly genuine and that is the only factor I loved in this book. Their approach to each other and Isidore’s impulsiveness and Simeon’s calm and unperturbed attitude made for some good humorous scenes
But what irritated me the most is the use of “Middle Way” as a loveless and stupid way of life in the story. In fact that is a problem I have had with many authors in the historical’s genre as the concept of so many things in India have been utterly muddled that sometimes it feels silly and insulting. I am not an expert of Buddhism but to finally say that following Middle Way is like having No life and No love was somewhat crap.
If one can forget that irritating part, the book is engaging and fun and brings the much needed smile on your face. There’s a sub -plot that runs in the story about Jemma and Elijah, maybe it continues in the other series because there was no proper end to that sub-plot.
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The Duchess of Cosway yearns for a man she has never met . . . her husband.
Married by proxy as a child, Lady Isidore has spent years fending off lecherous men in every European court while waiting to meet her husband. She’s determined to accept him, no matter how unattractive the duke turns out to be. When she finally lures Simeon Jermyn back to London, his dark handsomeness puts Isidore’s worst fears to rest—until disaster strikes.
The duke demands an annulment.
Forsaking his adventuresome past, Simeon has returned to London ready to embrace the life of a proper duke, only to find that his supposed wife is too ravishing, too headstrong, and too sensual to be the docile duchess he has in mind. But Isidore will not give up her claim to the title—or him—without a fight.
She will do whatever it takes to capture Simeon’s heart, even if it means sacrificing her virtue. After all, a consummated marriage cannot be annulled.
Yet in forcing Simeon into a delicious surrender, will Isidore risk not only her dignity—but her heart?