Type: Historical Romance
Publisher: Berkley Publishing
My Copy: Sent
Lady Julia Chandler fears she will be walking down the aisle with a silver-tipped cane if she waits for the Duke of Bedford to seal their engagement. Seeking to quicken his pace, she decides to find her duke, kiss him senseless, and post the wedding banns. It is a good plan, until she mistakes her fiancé’s long-absent twin for her duke.
Ten years ago, Lord Daniel Bryant sailed to America to find his fortune and flee his cruel brother who inherited the family title. A cryptic note draws him back to England: Come home and claim your destiny. Before seeking anything, Daniel must first determine who set the fire that nearly took his life and precipitated his flight abroad. Now with the taste of Lady Julia warm on his lips, the stakes are raised higher than before as he seeks to claim both his destiny and the lady of his heart. The Heart of a Duke is a truly enjoyable historical romance with intrigue and a mystery to solve. I so enjoyed the characters throughout this book and look forward to more from this author.
Lady Julia Chandler is the daughter of an Earl, betrothed to a duke, Edmund Bedford. To most she is living a wonderful life and she would believe it, if only her groom would come back to her and decide on a date for their marriage. To be fair, Julia postponed the wedding twice because of her family but that was a while ago and she is more than ready to be married. When she hears he is finally home she goes to see him, is it fortunate or unfortunate that she meets his twin Daniel, newly returned from Boston instead of Edmund?
Daniel was a sickly baby and not expected to live and Edmund was the more robust future duke. While the two were growing up Edmund had a mean streak and was abusive to Daniel and when their father died and Daniel’s home, Lakeview Manor burned to the ground with him in it, he left for America and a new life, always wondering if the fire had been deliberately set. Ten years later he receives a letter from his father’s solicitor that states “come home and claim your destiny”.
Daniel always liked Julia and knows she deserves better than Edmund he just needs to convince her. While Edmund is away, Daniel tries to solve the mystery of what happened years ago with the help of his friends Robbie and Brett and when Julia is caught in a compromising position and Edmund is furious things get dangerous for them all.
I love historical romances and when you add a bit of mystery, intrigue and danger it just makes it that much more enjoyable. This is the first book from this author I have read, however I have another in my bookcase that I will bump up on my TBR list as this was just so good. The pace of the story started slow but picked up when the danger ramped up as they got close to finding answers.
Julia is such a wonderful character, so intelligent and an extremely caring person always thinking of others, she was really shocked when Daniel called her out on the fact that no one takes care of her, she had to pause and think about it. I also really love Daniel, he took so much from Edmund when they were little that he about explodes when they are together as there is so much pent up rage. I also really enjoy the camaraderie between his friends, Robbie and Brett; they are funny and have that brotherly love that true friends have. Other characters in the story help round it out perfectly, her sister Emily has some secrets and I like that Brett is intrigued by her and I absolutely adored their brother Jonathan, the five year old who is full of energy.
The relationship between Julia and Daniel is a friends to lovers classic, they have known each other for years and enjoy being together, yet love comes slowly, they both took a long while to trust their feelings and that was a bit frustrating for me, but I love the banter between the two; it is witty and fun as they spend time together to find answers. The chemistry, as with the love, comes slow but they are perfect together. I highly recommend this book for those that love historical romances with a mystery to solve.
I give The Heart of a Duke by Victoria Morgan 4.5 stars!