The Return of the Duke

Avon. (Once Upon a Dukedom, Bk. 3). Jul. 2022. 384p. ISBN 9780063114593. pap. $8.99. HISTORICAL ROMANCE
Marcus Stanwick, the would-be heir to the Duke of Wolfford, has lost everything, but he is pleased to know that his siblings have found love and happiness in their new lives. His investigations into his father’s ill-fated assassination plot have endangered his life and he’s finding more dead ends, which force him to reach out to the last woman he would ever want to speak to: his father’s ex-mistress. Esme Lancaster is not what she seems, and she has her own reasons for wanting to find the same men Marcus is looking for. When he arrives on her doorstep unannounced, they are both surprised by the flickers of attraction they feel; they cannot resist seeing each other again, even if they excuse it as using each other for their own gain. The danger they find is not only from their investigation, but also to their hearts.
VERDICT In Heath’s third installment to the “Once Upon a Dukedom” series (following The Duchess Hunt), readers can finally enjoy Marcus’s story, and it is well worth the wait for those who love a strong heroine who breaks down all the preconceived notions that the hero has of her. Hand to readers who already love Heath, as well as fans of Stephanie Laurens and Lisa Kleypas.
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