The Duke’s Unexpected Bride is a Regency romance from Harlequin/Mills and Boon and is set in London during the summer of 1819.
Sophie Trevelyan has escaped from her overcrowded family home in Devon to become the latest companion to her eccentric Aunt Minnie, and minder to pug Marmaduke. Giving her the slip one day, whilst returning from the park, Marmaduke’s burst for freedom abruptly stops Max and his sister Hetty, neighbours of Aunt Minnie. Sophie’s lonely existence shows as she shuns etiquette and chatters freely to them. We later read that Hetty is staying with her brother in hopes of finding him a suitable wife.
Sophie’s days are hard to fill, but she does enjoy sketching. A drawing, from memory, of Hetty, provides a talking point when Max finds her in the park, on another occasion. He is enchanted by Sophie and her outspoken freshness, yet his sense of duty makes him cold and abrupt. The search for a wife is paying a heavy toll, as is the long held guilt and anger over the death of his previous betrothed. Serena died of poison ten years ago, and he’s never forgiven the man he blames for her death.
Sophie’s deep sense of compassion for all and her fiery passion for much of life draws Max in. He escorts her to an art exhibition, causing much gossip amongst his peers. Just days later, when he sees another man showing too much interest in Sophie, he steps in with a bold announcement. Could Sophie, the daughter of a country vicar, ever fit into the shoes of a society Duchess and bend to his demands?
This is a sweet romance which reveals the fiery passion of two people who, at first, seem an unlikely match. The copy I read leaned more towards the American reader with words such as dog-leash and stroller replacing the English ones for dog-lead and perambulator, which I expected due to the book’s era and setting. There are also a few typos which have missed the keen eyes of the editing team.
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Sophie Trevelyan has been enjoying her visit to London, even if her closest companion is an overweight pug! Then she encounters the dashing Duke of Harcourt, who intrigues her more than is strictly proper
Max knows he must marry. He’s looking for the opposite of his high-spirited fiancéeLife in the Regency era, who died some years ago, so he tries to keep his distance from bubbly Sophie. But when her life is endangered, Max feels compelled to rescue her with a very unexpected proposal!
About the author
Lara Temple writes strong, sexy regency romances about complex individuals who give no quarter but do so with plenty of passion. Lord Crayle’s Secret World was published by Harlequin Mills & Boon in March 2016, The Reluctant Viscount in September 2016, and her next book, The Duke’s Unexpected Bride, is due in May 2017.
When she was fifteen Lara found a very grubby copy of Georgette Heyer’s Faro’s Daughter in an equally grubby book store. Several blissful hours later she emerged, blinking, into the light of day completely in love with Regency Romance but it took three decades of various fascinating but completely unrelated careers in finance and high tech before she returned to her first love.
Lara lives with her husband and two children who are very good about her taking over the kitchen table for her writing (so she can look out over the garden and dream). She loves to travel (especially to places steeped in history) and read as many books as possible. She recently went looking for that crowded little bookstore but couldn’t quite remember around what corner it was…hopefully it is still there and another girl is in the corner by the window, reading and dreaming…