The Duke Alone

Montlake. Oct. 2022. 319p. ISBN 9781542033954. pap. $12.95. HISTORICAL ROMANCE
Caldwell’s (Desperately Seeking a Duchess) latest Regency romance draws inspiration from the classic holiday movie Home Alone. The romance centers on Lady Myrtle McQuoid, who is left behind by her large family at Christmas, and Val, the taciturn Duke who lives next door and has pulled away from society following the tragic death of his wife. Caldwell conjures plenty of Christmas magic with her setting, and readers familiar with her inspiration will find humor in the running thread of the two burglars that worry Myrtle. Though the book takes place over only a few days, Caldwell builds a strong relationship foundation between the pair that seems substantial. The character arcs are well-articulated and feel earned. As so much of the book is spent with only Val and Myrtle, Caldwell has the opportunity to truly examine their personalities and their interactions without any other subplots or characters to interrupt. The romance takes center stage, with only the running threat of the burglars to interrupt.
VERDICT Caldwell’s chaste, emotional romance will charm readers looking for a Christmas story that mixes melancholy with joy.
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