It Had To Be a Duke

Avon. (The Liar’s Club, Bk. 1). Nov. 2023. 384p. ISBN 9780063143128. pap. $9.99. HISTORICAL ROMANCE
Lorret (Never Seduce a Duke) begins a new series with this sprightly and fun fake-engagement tale that quickly deepens into a bit of a Cinderella/caper/family story. Verity Hartley is on the verge of becoming a spinster, the seemingly least beautiful and vibrant member of her notorious family. Pushed to the limit by a spiteful acquaintance, Verity manufactures an engagement to a duke. Too bad she picks Magnus Warring, the Duke of Longhurst, who loathes her family and is in the middle of a tricky engagement of his own to an heiress. To get them both out of the mess Verity has made, Magnus suggests a quick real engagement and an even quicker cry off. Once engaged, and much to their surprise, they discover each other and deepen their relationship. It is a lovely tumble and manages to be funny and serious at once. As the plot picks up and Verity and Magnus become enmeshed in decades-old secrets and plans, Lorret adds in more characters to set up the series.
VERDICT Fans of Tessa Dare and Grace Burrowes will be happy to find Lorret. This is a strong start to a series that should be in all collections.
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