Ne’er Duke Well

St. Martin’s Griffin. Jul. 2024. 352p. ISBN 9781250910943. pap. $18. HISTORICAL ROMANCE
DEBUT Orderly, proper, on-top-of-it-all Lady Selina Ravenscroft has much to do. She must organize most of the ton, there are plenty of matchmaking duties to undertake, letters to her grieving brother to write—and erotic novels to order for her clandestine, anonymous, and very popular circulating library for women. When Peter Kent, the new, and a bit bumbling, Duke of Stanhope returns to London from New Orleans, she is happy to correspond about him, but less inclined to be involved with him—until he turns to her for help. He needs aid with his young siblings—both keeping them in line (his sister in particular is heading directly to the scandal pages by way of jail), helping them feel loved, and gaining custody of them to start with. Good thing Selina knows everyone and how to solve everything—but she cannot seem to fix the problem of her own heart, which she begins to lose to the endearing duke.
VERDICT Vasti deftly builds a lovely world to set her story, full of endearing characters to cheer for, born and found families, plenty of good feeling, and details of libraries, book covers, and catalogues.
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