‘The Forbidden Duke’ by Darcy Burke

tfd dbSTORY: Spinster Miss Eleanor Lockhart is suddenly homeless and employment is her only option. Ruined after succumbing to a scoundrel’s excessive charm nearly a decade ago, she’s lucky to obtain a position as a paid companion and committed to behaving with the utmost propriety. She definitely shouldn’t be in the arms of a man capable of utterly destroying what little remains of her reputation…

Titus St. John, Duke of Kendal, is known as the Forbidden Duke, a mysterious, intimidating figure who enters Society just once each year at his stepmother’s ball. A decade ago, he was a devil-may-care rake until his idle roguery brought about the ruin of Eleanor Lockhart—and his resulting self-imposed isolation. Now she’s back, and she needs his help. But by “saving” her, he may just ruin her life all over again.

REVIEW: St. Ives England – 1811

Miss Eleanor (Nora) Lockhart has learned that her father has lost a great deal of money in a bad investment and can no longer afford to support her. Nine years earlier, Nora returned from her second season in London with no prospects of a husband, in addition to leaving behind a scandal where she was caught kissing a gentleman. Since then she has lived a very quiet life with no prospects of a husband. Knowing she would not be welcome to live with her sister and husband, she decides to seek a position as a companion.

Titus St. John, fifth Duke of Kendal, is a man who prefers his own company. Titus was age 5 when his mother died and his father remarried a woman who has become a good mother to him. Now that his father has passed away, his stepmother has remarried and is now Lady Satterfield. She has decided to hire a companion.

When Nora is interviewed for the position, she is hired immediately. Lady Satterfield is very kind to Nora and includes her in with the friends that she entertains. In fact, she is so taken with Nora that she decides to sponsor her and give her a season. At age 27, Nora hopes that she is not too old to attract a husband.

When Nora is introduced to Titus as Lady Satterfield’s new companion, he remembers what happened in the past and how young rogues like himself were responsible for trying to steal a kiss from young ladies. Feeling bad for his past behavior he leads a very strict and quiet life taking his responsibilities of being a Duke very seriously. He does not tolerate the silly absurdity of society and avoids it. People know he prefers his privacy and they give it to him. Thus, he has acquired the nickname of The Forbidden Duke.

Titus generally does not attend soirees but begins to show up more as he has become attracted to Nora and she to him. There are other suitors vying for her hand, but her heart is with Titus.

Will he be able to open his own heart and allow her in? Will they find their own happy ever after?

This is a delightful story and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The characters are very well written. Don’t miss this one.

Complimentary copy provided by the publisher

Connie for b2b

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