Miss Elsie Stanhope resided in Nottinghamshire, an area so rich in titled gentlemen, so felicitous for marriage-minded mamas, it was called”the Dukeries.” Indeed, Elsie had been betrothed since childhood to the heir of a dukedom. She had no expectation it would be a love match. Still less that she would enter into a shockingly scandalous affair with an altogether different sort of lover. And the very last thing she imagined was that the mysteries of his birth would be unraveled with as many unforeseen twists and turns as the deepest secrets of her heart.
Review: Jane Goodger is an author who is new to me, so I wasn’t sure what to expect with this historical romance. Let me say, I was pleasantly surprised and will now look for other Jane Goodger books to read.
The story for When A Duke Says I Do revolves around Elizabeth (Elsie) Stanhope and a muralist’s apprentice, Alexander. Elsie, betrothed to the heir to a dukedom, is quite taken with the mute apprentice as she watches him paint her mural. She finds it easy to talk to him and she feels safe since the death of her sister. Even when she discovers that Alexander can in fact talk, she doesn’t make a big deal of it, instead she relishes in the fact that her best friend can now share his story with her. She knows she shouldn’t be trying to get closer to Alexander, but he’s everything she wants and can’t stop herself.
Alexander has had much to talk about for twenty-two years. Saved from an asylum by a friendly doctor and adopted by a muralist who’d lost his family, Alexander has cherished his new life with his adoptive father. But when he meets Elsie, something about her draws out the man he thought was locked away forever. While in another life he may have been the second son to a Duke, in this life he doesn’t feel as if he’s good enough for her. He tries to stay away from her, but always seems to be drawn back.
When A Duke Says I Do is perfect example of why I love historical romance novels. The hero and heroine buck conventional society to do what they feel is right in their hearts. And when things go bad between them, it’s because they are trying to conform to societies rules.
A wonderfully written novel with an emotionally scarred hero who needs our strong, talkative heroine to prove to him that what they have is worth fighting for.