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Her Majesty's Rebels
St. Martin's Paperbacks
ISBN: 9781250907363
December 2023
Historical Romance

England - 18th Century

Tess Townsend has had an interesting wedding night. Forced to marry the elderly Duke of Wansford, Tess awaits her new husband in her bed, but when the old fellow arrives and beholds his young bride, he keels over and dies. So now, nineteen-year-old Tess is the Dowager Duchess of Wansford. Thanks to her two close friends, Ellie and Daisy, Tess will use her new title to open an investigative service, King & Company. And one of their first clients is none other than Queen Charlotte!

Tess, does, however, yearn to know what it's like to know physical pleasure. So, with Daisy and Ellie, she travels to an event where everyone wears a mask, thinking that if she can find a man who will kiss her, she will at least know that feeling. Upon arrival, though, Tess is immediately attracted to the only man not wearing a mask. Her evening is very satisfying.

Justin Thornton, a wealthy businessman, is shocked to be informed that he is the new Duke of Wansford. Not particularly thrilled by this, Justin can not legally turn down the title. He's not interested in marriage, or producing an heir, and he supposes that he will have to meet the supposedly elderly dowager duchess. Attending a party thrown by a friend, he is greatly attracted to a masked woman in a red gown, and she makes it clear that she's fascinated by him, too. What ensues makes for quite a lovely evening.

It isn't until Justin travels to London to meet the duchess that he realizes that not only is she young and beautiful, but she is the woman in red! How convenient for him, and possibly her, if they wed, and, after some time in the city, Justin can return to his business, and his duchess can live on her own. No other commitments. At least that's the general idea. 

Tess agrees to Justin's plan, hoping that she doesn't fall in love with him, as he's made it clear that he will not fall in love with her. Plus, she still has to finish investigating Queen Charlotte's issue. Can she work both, keeping her heart, and finding the items the queen wants retrieved? 

SECOND DUKE'S A CHARM is a delightfully different premise with two protagonists who try very hard to stand by their standards. But it isn't easy for either of them. And then there is King & Company and their work. Don't miss the first book in this new series by Kate Bateman.

Jani Brooks

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