ROMANCE

A Duke, the Lady, and a Baby

Kensington. (Rogues & Remarkable Women, Bk. 1). Jul. 2020. 320p. ISBN 9781420152234. pap. $15.95. HISTORICAL ROMANCE
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DEBUT West Indian heiress Patience Jordan never expected to be welcomed into her husband’s English family with open arms. But being widowed, taken from her baby, and thrown into Bedlam by her husband’s dastardly uncle was beyond her worst imaginings. Luckily, the Widow’s Grace, an organization that helps women in distress, breaks her out of the madhouse and sets her up as her own baby’s nanny. The boy’s new guardian, the wounded military hero Busick Strathmore, has never met Patience and doesn’t suspect she’s really his ward’s mother. Like Patience, he also mistrusts the villainous uncle and goes to great lengths to guard the house in order to protect the baby. Working together to ensure the child’s safety, the two begin to fall in love. Though the plot touches on serious subjects, the characters’ quirky behavior keeps the overall tone light: Patience dresses up as a male servant, Strathmore sets a military-like schedule for the baby, etc.
VERDICT There’s enough camp in this story to house an army, but debuter Riley delivers a fine first outing in what looks to be a promising new series, welcoming a determined West Indian heroine to the Regency subgenre.

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