A DUKE IN TIME - Janna MacGregor
The Widow Rules - Book 1
St. Martin's Paperbacks
June 29, 2021
Katherine, who prefers to be called Kat, is at her husband's solicitor, Mr. Hanes, who informs her that Lord Meriwether Vareck has died. Kat married Meriwether, or Meri, a year ago but doesn't feel much grief as he abandoned her a few hours after the marriage. He took her small dowry of two-hundred pounds. She needs it back for her business. While they wait for Meri's brother Christian Vareck, the Duke of Randford, to arrive, another woman, obviously pregnant, enters the office. She introduces herself as Lady Meriwether Vareck. Before long, a third Lady Meriwether Vareck arrives.
When the Duke of Randford arrives and learns this, he demands Hanes find a solution to another of his half-brother's messes. When he turns to leave, Meri's legal wife Kat confronts him telling him the scandal will affect all of them and the other two wives will be ruined. He needs to help them. He leaves.
Willa has been with Kat since she served as her nursemaid and came with her to the solicitor. She insists Kat take the two other wives home with her as they have no place to go. She reminds Katherine she does the same for other women by giving them work in her business, Greer's Emporium. Now once again misses, Constance Lysander, who is pregnant, and Miss. Blythe Howell, the sister of a viscount, gladly go with Kat.
Christian has only been back in London a week since returning from the war in France and finds that he is acclaimed as a war hero. Shortly after leaving Hanes office, guilt makes him order his carriage driver to return. Outside the office, he finds a beggar asking for coins who he recognizes as one of his soldiers. When Christian finds his men thrown away after returning from the war, he hires them. It makes him angry the public ignores the returning soldiers and what sacrifices they made for England. When he is told the women have left, and that Kat took them in, he is surprised.
Katherine's mother was an actress, and after she died, Willa continued to take care of her. While poor, both women loved her and did whatever it took to take care of her. Christian came from a wealthy family but was disparaged, ignored, and shamed by his father and stepmother's profligate and dissolute parties. They loved Meriwether but ignored him. It was the reason Christian had escaped to the army and the war against Napolean. When he visits Katherine, he discovers she owns a business that helps support unmarried mothers and homeless women and decides he wants her to help do the same for homeless soldiers. The more they are in each other's presence, the stronger their initial attraction grows.
A DUKE IN TIME has great characters and the story involves many twists and turns plus some passion. While a strong love grows, both Kat and Christian have secrets. The story will captivate readers.