Never Met a Duke Like You

Forever: Grand Central. (Taming of the Dukes, Bk. 2). Nov. 2023. 384p. ISBN 9781538737767. pap. $16.99. HISTORICAL ROMANCE
Howard continues her “Taming of the Dukes” series, after Always Be My Duchess, with a bright, charming love story of childhood friends and second chances with shades of Jane Austen and the ‘90s rom-com Clueless. Lady Vesper Lyndhurst is the perfectly proper daughter of a duke, at least by appearance, who has sworn off romance but found a knack for matchmaking. Aspen, Duke of Greydon, is the estranged childhood friend of Lady Vesper, back in town from America to address his estate’s funds as well as rumors of his death abroad. Sparks fly between the two immediately, hindered by miscommunication and pride as well as a welcome focus on weightier issues from both: Vesper is devoted to uplifting and educating the poor while Greydon works passionately for asylum reform. This depth of character combines with snappy dialogue and simmering sexual tension, doing justice to the story as a romance and as an homage to a romantic comedy classic.
VERDICT Readers who enjoy a sense of modernity in their historical romance will enjoy the witty back-and-forth between “Lady Viper” and “Lord Ass,” even as the story explores the less romantic aspects of Regency society.
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