About the Book:
A duke meets his match in the last place he’d ever expect in this charming Regency romance by the New York Times bestselling author of My One and Only Duke.
Wrexham, Duke of Elsmore, is overrun by family obligations. With three sisters to escort about Town, a legion of cousins to look after, and aunties who insist he dance with every eligible young woman, he barely has time to manage his dukedom. When he finally carves out a moment to evaluate his family’s finances, he learns that he―and his sisters―are on the verge of social catastrophe.
Eleanora Hatfield has an uncanny knack for numbers, but she knows from experience that dealing with the peerage can only lead to problems. Though she wants nothing to do with any titled gentleman, she reluctantly agrees to help when Rex seeks aid from her employer. What starts out as an unwanted assignment soon leads to forbidden kisses and impossible longings. But with scandal haunting Ellie’s past and looming in Rex’s future, how can true love lead to anything but heartbreak?
Click on title below for direct buy link: Forever and a Duke: Includes a bonus novella (Rogues to Riches Book 3)
Wrexham “Rex” Dorset, Duke of Elsmore, suspects there is something very wrong with his finances. Any hint of impropriety will be a death knell for his bank and his reputation. Since Elsmore has also decided that it’s about time he started to look for a wife, it’s even more critical to put his house in order now, before marriage settlements cause attorneys to scrutinize his ledgers and find discrepancies. Elsmore’s fellow duke, Walden, also owns a bank, and has an auditor whose stellar reputation is known throughout the industry. Elsmore asks his friend to temporarily lend him the services of Mrs. Hatfield to unravel his mess.
Eleanora “Ellie” Hatfield has worked hard to earn her reputation, and she has no desire to perform any tasks for someone outside of her own bank. She especially has no desire to keep company with another duke. However, she can’t refuse when her boss requests that she meet with Elsmore, have a preliminary look at his records, and advise him. Ellie soon sees that there is definitely a problem, and chances are that it’s very close to home. Though unwilling, her own nature causes her to reluctantly agree to help Elsmore.
Ellie is a bit of a curmudgeon. Her dislike of peers stems from a betrayal by an earl years ago which upended her whole family, taking them from respectable to having to survive literally on the streets. Though Ellie admits she might admire the duke’s form, she has no need for sweet talking, charming men. She soon learns that Elsmore is genuine, not just superficially charming. He offers her every courtesy that he would show a lady of the ton, he’s honest and caring, and he cheerfully supports a seeming multitude of relatives.
When they are forced to retreat from town to one of Elsmore’s outlying estates to complete the investigation of his books, Ellie decides to indulge the attraction she’s begun to feel for this outstanding man. While Elsmore is just as eager, he’s not looking for a temporary affair. He’s found a lovely and intelligent lady, one who has a mind of her own and isn’t afraid to stand up to him. He’s found the woman he wants to be his duchess.
I love Elsmore’s character – he’s a genuinely good man who wants to do the right thing. He has no qualms about Ellie being not good enough for him. To him, a lifetime spent with her is worth any gossip or fleeting scandal. But Ellie is determined to not destroy the duke’s life and reputation. He doesn’t know that she’s keeping another secret, one in which a member of her own family has wronged him. He is persistent, but Ellie is resistant.
I always find it so sad when someone close betrays another, especially when that person has been nothing but good to them. When the disloyalty is brought to light, it’s just another burden that Elsmore must bear. His strength of character carries him through, and allows him to win his reluctant lady love. FOREVER AND A DUKE is a warm and charming read, with a strong and unusual heroine and a swoonworthy hero. Though part of the Rogues to Riches series, this book easily reads as a standalone. For those who have read book one, you’ll enjoy the glimpses of Quinn (Walden) and Stephen, whose book I eagerly await. I recommend FOREVER AND A DUKE to historical romance fans who prefer character depth and an unusual plot. ~Rose