A duchess in time saves a noble line …
In theory, the Duke of Candover is the most eligible peer in the realm. But in truth, he has a deep aversion to the merest hint of marriage, not to mention two botched engagements which have marked his jaded soul. Now, after a debauched bachelor party that causes public outcry, the Prince Regent is demanding that it’s Candover’s turn to be brought to heel. And Prinny secretly believes that Isabelle Tremont, the Duchess of March, is precisely the lady up to the challenge.
Isabelle must marry, but a day of reckoning with the man she’s loved for years is her greatest fear. If Candover insists she’s too young and innocent for a seasoned world-weary man like him, there’s no shortage of other candidates. Gentlemen of prestige and position. Gentlemen whose attentions are driving Candover to jealous distraction. Yet one abandoned moment under the stars hints that if they can put aside pride and duty, then a love once denied might just be their destiny.
Review: Historical fiction, especially those set in Regency England, is one of my favorite genres and The Once and Future Duchess by Sophia Nash did not disappoint. With a refreshing set of characters who weren’t straitlaced as most nobility would be there was an undercurrent of lightheartedness to the story line. The letters from HRH, The Prince Regent, trying to marry off the Dukes and Duchesses were amusing and got to the heart of the matter. The Duke of Candover ( James) and Duchess of March (Isabelle) were so right for each other but they each held back and when Isabelle tried to force the issue it backfired. Watching each of them suffer but trying to get on with their lives was heartbreaking and I could feel their pain. Calliope was a fourteen year old who seemed wise beyond her years but mostly acted her age and she was a breath of fresh air as was Amelia. There were several love stories and romances going on at the same time among different characters and they held my interest due to the fast pace of the story line. There was ultimately a happily ever after on several fronts and I hope to meet up with them again in future books in the series. The book did end too abruptly for me and there would have been better closure in an epilogue.
This is the fourth book in the series and I need to go back and read them to fill in some of the back history although I didn’t feel I missed out on anything by not having read them in order. I do hope the series continues since there is more story to tell. There was an excerpt in the back of the book of book one in the series, Between the Duke and the Deep Blue Sea. Nash is a new to me author and I will be adding her to my always growing TBR pile!
Favorite Quote: Calliope wrinkled her nose and then giggled. “Everyone knows that young boys are useless.”