Lady Eleanor Palmer, a practical young widow, wants a family of her own. Her first marriage was an adventurous disaster, so this time, nothing but the most proper sort of man will do. Absolutely not who she’s looking for? The impulsive, roguish Duke of Hampshire…even though she has secretly loved him as long as she can remember.
Nicholas Langford, the Duke of Hampshire, has always relied on Eleanor’s humor and good sense. Who else would guide him through a scandal with laughter and grace? He would do anything to ensure his old friend’s happiness—even help Eleanor find a suitable new husband.
As Eleanor makes plans for a new life without him at its center, Nicholas realizes the depth of his own feelings. But he can offer Eleanor nothing she thinks she wants. How can he convince her he is everything she truly desires?
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Lady Eleanor Palmer, her brother Sidney, and Nicholas Langford, the Duke of Hampshire, have a long term friendship that goes back to their childhood. When Eleanor made her debut, she realized her feelings for Nicholas had turned to love, and waited three seasons for him to notice her as a woman. That never happened, and finally Eleanor gave up her dream and decided to marry a man she was mildly fond of, and who made her laugh. Unfortunately, her now deceased husband quickly laughed his way through her dowry, disillusioning Eleanor even further. When she was widowed, Eleanor moved back in with Sidney, but now he and his wife have a new baby, and Eleanor feels it’s time to move on. Though she just turned thirty, she still has time to remarry and have children. She just needs to find a suitable man, and one who’s not too jolly this time.
Though his friendship with Eleanor suffered a bit during her marriage and widowhood, now that she’s back in society, Nicholas is finding out all over again how much he enjoys her company. He knows her marriage was not ideal, and wants to see her happy, so he determines that he’ll screen the candidates for her future husband. Who knows? Maybe at the age of thirty-one, it’s time he settled down too. Though Eleanor still loves Nicholas, he can’t see what’s right in front of him – until Eleanor accepts a marriage proposal from another man.
I’m a sucker for a friends-to-lovers story, and MY SCANDALOUS DUKE pushes all the right buttons. I love both Nicholas and Eleanor, who are so likeable and so right for each other. I was thrilled that Eleanor finally, after years of unrequited love, ‘fessed up about her feelings. Nicholas’s gift to Eleanor, when he learned that her deceased husband sold her pianoforte, was truly swoonworthy. Though the passion was not as explicit as Theresa Romain’s usual style, the emotional impact was substantial, and the steam was definitely felt. I highly recommend this delightfully romantic and satisfying novella. The ending will leave you with a smile and a happy sigh.