Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Review: The Duchess Hunt by Lorraine Heath

The Story in 4 Sentences or Less: Reading letters from candidates is the last thing Penelope Pettypeace wants to do, she's been in love with Hugh Brinsley-Norton, the Duke of Kingsland for quite some time, but she'll do what she must to help him. Until anonymous letters addressed to her start to arrive with threats to expose her past and the duke finds out and is determined to help her. Spending so much time together causes Hugh to doubt his method in finding a duchess, since the more he gets to know Penelope, the more he questions whether he wants a business arrangement for a marriage or one built on love.

Like It? Hate it? Love it? Why? What's a duke to do when he is in need of a wife and his last attempt to secure one ended with the lady in question falling in love with another man? Why a duke asks candidates to write a letter describing why they would be the perfect choice to be his duchess and leaves the choosing to his ever dependable secretary that's what he does! 

Penelope is a great character, I loved her! She's grounded, smart, efficient, and most of all she's confident in her skills as a secretary. She knows her worth professionally and it balanced out her lack of confidence in her worth as a person. By the end of the book, Penelope was confident in herself as a person but realistic about the world she lived in at the same time. I loved her practicality and her determination to do the best she could with the hand life dealt her. 

King was a little harder to get to know. He's so in control of his space and determined not to let anyone, including readers in to know him as a person. He's responsible and stern but not unkind. He has convinced himself that doing the right thing for his title is more important than doing what's right for him as a person. I loved watching him learn that being a martyr isn't all it's cracked up to be and that he had the perfect duchess for him all along.

The romance between Penelope and King took a while to develop but it felt natural in its progression. I loved that they got to know each other outside of their professional relationship. I felt like they built a friendship before they built a romance, there's a reoccurring theme of trust throughout the novel and it was important to stress that these two characters had to trust and forgive each other's pasts in order to have a real romance. King and Penelope didn't just fall in love, they had to grow it together, and the way it happened made The Duchess Hunt feel more real to me and made it that much more romantic at the end.

Click It or Skip It? Click It. King and Penelope's practical personalities get a major upheaval as they start to find out more about each other and I was 100% onboard with the journey. 

Publisher: Avon
Release Date: September 28, 2021 (A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for the purpose of an honest review. )

New York Times bestselling author Lorraine Heath continues her Once Upon a Dukedom series with this lush love story of a duke who discovers what he desires in a wife may not be what he needs...

Hugh Brinsley-Norton, the Duke of Kingsland, is in need of a duchess. However, restoring the dukedom—left in ruins by his father—to its former glory demands all his time, with little room for sentiment. He places an advert encouraging the single ladies of the ton to write why they should be the one chosen, and leaves it to his efficient secretary to select his future wife.

If there exists a more unpleasant task in the world than deciding who is to marry the man you love, Penelope Pettypeace certainly can’t imagine what it might be. Still, she is determined to find the perfect bride for her clueless, yet ruthlessly charming employer.

But when an anonymous note threatens to reveal truths best hidden, Kingsland has no choice but to confront the danger with Penelope at his side. Beguiled by the strong-willed, courageous beauty, he realizes he’s willing to risk everything, including his heart, to keep her safe within his arms. Could it be the duchess he’s hunting for has been in front of him all along?

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