on February 20th 2018
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Duke. Scoundrel. Titan of business. August Faulkner is a man of many talents, not the least of which is enticing women into his bedchamber. He’s known—and reviled—for buying and selling companies, accumulating scads of money, and breaking hearts. It’s a reputation he wears like a badge of honor, and one he intends to keep.
Clara Hayward, the headmistress of the Haverhall School for Young Ladies, on the other hand, is above reproach. Yet when she’s reunited with August, all she can think of is the way she felt in his arms as they danced a scandalous waltz ten long years ago. Even though her head knows that he is only back in her life to take over her family’s business, her heart can’t help but open to the very duke who could destroy it for good.
~~Reviewed by AnnMarie~~
A Duke in the Night is the first book in The Devils of Dover series by Kelly Bowen.
Clara Hayward is a teacher. During her normal classes, she teaches the normal curriculum. In her summer classes, however, she teaches women to look past class and expectations and to see themselves and others as equals. To see the person and not their standing in society. She wants them to experience a taste of the vocation they would have if they were allowed, be it a landlord, a doctor, a landscape gardener etc and arranges for them to have it.
One of Clara’s summer school students is the sister of August Faulkner, the Duke of Holloway. He doesn’t know that she has gone to Dover to take part in the classes, and it’s one of the reasons he goes tearing off after her. He is terribly overprotective of her. The other is that he remembers Clara and a lost opportunity 10 years ago with her. He treated her badly and has felt bad about it ever since. Sadly he doesn’t just want to renew his acquaintance with her. He has heard that her family are struggling financially. It’s his aim in life to make sure that he and his sister never have to suffer financially ever again, and despite being rich he is always on the lookout to make more money. He wants to buy Clara’s brother’s shipping business which is floundering. He wants to make a profit on it and knows he can. He just needs to get Clara to introduce him to her brother and the rest he thinks will be easy.
So, he finds himself in Dover where he realises that not only is he going to have problems with buying the shipping business, but he’s also going to find himself fighting a huge attraction to Clara. He has his secrets, ones that will surely come between any hope of a future with Clara if she were to find out. The fact that she too is attracted to him only makes matters worse. Perhaps he could fight his attraction to her if it was onesided, but he can’t fight so hard knowing that it isn’t.
I enjoyed this nice fresh approach to seeing another side of a Regency-era woman. OK, perhaps our heroine could come across as way too modern for the era, but who is to say that a very forward-thinking woman like her didn’t exist then? I like to think she did. I also like that Clara is a straight thinker and can see two sides to a story. She’s a no-nonsense woman and I like that.
There were jilted men, kidnappings, shootings, as well as the light-hearted side of this romance and I was happy to never find myself wanting to skip pages or skim through long drawn out descriptions of rooms, or scenery in the book. The story captured my attention and kept it from beginning to end. I hope the next book will be about August’s sister because it’s obvious she has romance in mind with August’s man of business. Reading their story will be just as wonderful as reading this one I am sure.
I voluntarily reviewed an advanced readers’ copy of this book.