A Lady for a Duke

Forever: Grand Central. May 2022. 480p. ISBN 9781538753750. pap. $15.99. LGBT ROMANCE
As he has proven in his winning contemporary romances, Hall (Boyfriend Material) is a brilliant draftsman, with a top-of-class ability to fashion deeply immersive settings and vibrantly engaging characters. In this Regency-set wonder of a book, he draws readers into a world coping with the bloody terror of Waterloo. Justin de Vere, the Duke of Gracewood, searched in vain among the dead and dying to find his best friend, only to return home wounded in body and soul, facing a bleak existence he deadens with too much drink and laudanum. Viola Carroll escapes the killing fields as a trans woman with a new life, one she pays for by the loss of Justin. When circumstances place the two together, Justin is instantly bound again to Viola and slowly imagines a future for them that she fears impossible. With secondary characters that sparkle as vividly as Viola and Justin and through achingly wonderful dialogue, deftly crafted scenes, and a tender story arc that leads readers deep into a fabulous HEA, Hall evokes a jumble of literary lineages, from Jane Austen and Oscar Wilde to Lisa Kleypas and Erica Ridley.
VERDICT Don’t miss this. Consider it essential for opening-day collections.
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