My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Swoontastic romance between an employer and employee set in historical times, what’s not to love in Lorraine Heath’s The Duchess Hunt, book #2 in Once Upon A Dukedom series. This is good to be read as a stand-alone but I would love to read book #1 in the series ASAP.
Penelope Pettypeace is unlike other females of her times, the fact that she has been working as a secretary to The Duke of Kingsland for almost 8 years makes her a rarity for the era she is living. The slow burn romance that develops between the leads is delicious, the unrequited love that both the hero and heroine keep hidden afraid to alter the status quo of the working relationship provides the necessary angst and drama to this historical romance.
The secondary characters like the Duke’s mother who plays matchmaker and then of course the intriguing Chessmen for whom I hope a series is in the works were lovely to read about. The mystery of Penelope’s past when it does come to light evoked sympathy and seeing that it had the potential of earth-shattering scandal, I was happy that Hugh pulled his head out of clouds and handled it in the best way possible. There are a few hiccups in the story like Penelope’s taking the blackmail letter to Hugh when all along she is worried about her past coming calling; Hugh taking almost a decade to realize what is under his nose all the time. Hugh’s secret was way more shocking given that the readers are never made aware of even smoke in his life till then.
Lorraine Heath’s characters are quite appealing and one can see the potential for a spin-off of almost all the characters in the story and that epilogue, was a WOWZER. Hardly ever seen in any historical romances, the epilogue set in 2021 was touching.
One of Amazon’s Best Romances for October 2021
New York Times bestselling author Lorraine Heath continues her Once Upon a Dukedom series with this lush love story of a duke who discovers what he desires in a wife may not be what he needs…
Hugh Brinsley-Norton, the Duke of Kingsland, is in need of a duchess. However, restoring the dukedom—left in ruins by his father—to its former glory demands all his time, with little room for sentiment. He places an advert encouraging the single ladies of the ton to write why they should be the one chosen, and leaves it to his efficient secretary to select his future wife.
If there exists a more unpleasant task in the world than deciding who is to marry the man you love, Penelope Pettypeace certainly can’t imagine what it might be. Still, she is determined to find the perfect bride for her clueless, yet ruthlessly charming employer.
But when an anonymous note threatens to reveal truths best hidden, Kingsland has no choice but to confront the danger with Penelope at his side. Beguiled by the strong-willed, courageous beauty, he realizes he’s willing to risk everything, including his heart, to keep her safe within his arms. Could it be the duchess he’s hunting for has been in front of him all along?
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