My Dearest Duke

Sourcebooks Casablanca. (Cambridge Brotherhood, Bk. 2). Nov. 2022. 408p. ISBN 9781728234342. pap. $8.99. HISTORICAL ROMANCE
As Lord Rowles Haywind, a newly minted duke and former divinity scholar, tries to keep his mentally ill mother safe in his ancestral home, he worries about inheriting the illness himself—or passing it along to his heirs if he ever has any. With his father gone and the ducal duties causing ever more pressure, he turns to his friend’s sister, the steady Lady Joan Morgan. Joan is searching for answers to a secret that could change her life, and identity, forever, and is afraid to share with Rowles that she works as “the Saint,” a codebreaker for the crown. As Rowles and Joan fall in love, they must work together to overcome their own personal scandals and tragedies. Thankfully they have their faith, friends, and each other.
VERDICT Vayden’s second book in the “Cambridge Brotherhood” series (following Fortune Favors the Duke) is a closed-door Regency-era romance with Christian elements that contains lovely writing and some surprisingly heavy themes, especially regarding mental illness, which is identified as dementia in the afterword.
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