Reviewed by Heather C
Title: A Duke by December
Author: Sabrina Darby
Series: A Year Without a Duke
Hero/Heroine: Nathaniel Hughes/Elizabeth Smith
Genre: MF Historical Romance
Release Date: February 8, 2016
Available at: Amazon
Add it to your shelf: Goodreads
Blurb: A YEAR WITHOUT A DUKE
The duke has died. Long live the duke! The only problem is no one knows who the new Duke of Beckworth is. All of England wonders, but no one more so than the people who depend upon Beckworth for their livelihood. In 1816, a year so cold that the word “summer” is a cruel joke, that livelihood is even more uncertain. However, they are all about to find out, there is nothing more warming than scandal and love…
A DUKE BY DECEMBER
Elizabeth Smith is secretly in love with the tall, handsome golden-haired man who rescued her from Arkansas Territory and offered her a new life. Unfortunately, she knows he’ll never see her as anything more than his secretary.
Nathaniel Hughes has spent the majority of his life in America amassing his fortune. When he discovers he is the next Duke of Beckworth, he must reluctantly travel to England, face down his past, and rehabilitate an estate to save those who live on it. But every duke requires a duchess and an heir.
He’ll figure this out somehow with Lizzie, his loyal and capable secretary, at his side. Once at Beckworth, he finds it increasingly difficult to deny a powerful attraction to the woman he has vowed to protect—even from himself. Can he find the strength to choose duty over desire?
A Duke by December is the fifth and final book in A Year Without a Duke series and also one of my favorites.
We found out in the previous book, An Affair in Autumn by Jennifer Haymore, that Nathaniel Hughes has been discovered to be the new Duke of Beckworth. He must travel from America back to England and take charge of his new estate and the residents that remain. The problem? Nate doesn’t want to conform to society…and he’s discovered that his feelings for his “lady” secretary have become more than that of a guardian.
I really enjoyed this story, but again, way too short. That’s how it has been with every book in this series: good, engrossing stories that leave me wanting more of the characters.
I loved the sexual tension between Lizzie and Nate and how it took them a long time before they became lovers, even with all the gossip surrounding them. The love scene at the end was sexy, but damn I wanted the story to go on longer!!
Can this be read as a stand alone? Sure. But all of the couples from the previous stories are mentioned, and some even make appearances.
I also enjoyed the conclusion of Reginald Tompkins and Mrs. Pemberley’s little romance by letter…and their HEA.
Sabrina Darby is a new to me author and I will be looking to try more of her work in the future.
Overall Impression: I Really Liked It
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.*