About the Book:
A wayward duke must choose: will he be the bad hero in a love story gone awry, or the brave and clever hero who risks everything for true love?
The acclaimed Penhallow Dynasty series continues in this fresh, fun, funny tale!
Life’s no bowl of cherries for Anthony Farr, the Duke of Radcliffe. Duty demands he remarry to provide a spare to go along with the heir — and eligible ladies keep trying to finagle him into a proposal. All he wants is to be a good father to his 8-year-old son, see the Duchess (his truly terrific pig) win first prize at the harvest fête, and stay single. Even if that makes him a Bad Duke. Maybe the Worst Duke in the World.
Then Miss Jane Kent, a long-lost relation of the illustrious Penhallow family, arrives in the neighborhood and is promptly befriended by the Duke’s son. Jane, Anthony comes to realize, is smart and fun and also very kissable and dazzlingly desirable. Still, that’s not enough to melt his resistance to marrying again. He made a stern promise to himself, and promises must, of course, be kept.
But what if that’s just his head talking, and his heart… is saying something entirely different?
Anthony Farr, Duke of Radcliffe, just wants to enjoy life on his country estate, spend time with his beloved son, Wakefield, and never have to go to town or marry again. Anthony was never the heir to the title, but when his older brother died, his father insisted that Anthony marry his brother’s fiancée, Selina. The couple was a total mismatch, the marriage was a disaster, and the only good thing that came of it was Wake, now eight years old. Anthony’s father died, and his wife died, yet Anthony was still not left in peace, as his older widowed sister, Meg, returned to live with him. Meg is a miserable person, making those around her miserable, as well. She is constantly inviting house guests (read – single young ladies) in the hope of forcing Anthony to marry again. At regular intervals, she berates Anthony, declaring him to be the worst duke in the world.
Jane Kent has lost her last relative, and is unsure what her future will be, when she unearths a letter from years ago, one that shows she is related to the wealthy Penhallow family. Using the last of her meager funds, she travels to the family home to see if they may be willing to bestow some charity on her. To her surprise, she is warmly embraced by her great grandmother, and immediately taken in as part of the family. Because her education has been sadly lacking, Jane is sent to the vicar to attend classes with the only other student, Wakefield Farr. Though Jane is twenty, she and Wake have an immediate rapport and liking for each other. Soon, he invites her home for lunch, where she meets his father, Anthony.
Jane, Anthony, and Wake are all quirky characters, therefore they greatly enjoy each other’s company. Anthony is comfortable with Jane, something unusual for him, due to his bitter experience with his deceased wife. Jane is invited to the house more and more, and before long, Anthony discovers that kissing Jane is a delectable experience. Their closeness grows, and is soon noticed by both their families, and neither approves. When Jane’s great grandmother decides to whisk her off to London, Jane decides to confess her love to Anthony, who immediately becomes terrified. His reaction here is the one thing he did that I absolutely hated his doing in the book. So heartbreaking! Jane goes off to London to try to forget him, and Anthony pines for her so much that it affects his health.
I loved reading this book so much! Offbeat characters appeal to me, and other than his one misstep, I found Anthony to be one of the best dukes. He’s courteous, kind, and loves his son dearly. He tolerates his awful sister, rather than sending her away. (Actually, I wish he would have sent her away!) When he realizes the huge mistake he made with Jane, he goes all out to make things right. I love Jane’s honesty and strength. I admire her for admitting her love, then giving Anthony another chance without being a pushover. And now, for Wakefield – he is a show stealer, a charming, intelligent, lovable and loving young man with a penchant for butchering words that is adorable. Together they make a perfect family. THE WORST DUKE IN THE WORLD is mostly lighthearted and entertaining, with the sad part thankfully brief. I totally enjoyed the read, the romance, the smiles, and the wonderful happy ever after. ~Rose