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 historical romance with plenty of suspense and intrigue. The characters in this book were very well written. Daniel and Edmund areidentical twins with only their looks in common. Daniel is the good twin, and Edmund is the “bad seed”. Julia is the traditional good girl. She looks after her family and maintains high ethical and moral standards. The background characters such as Emily (Julia’s sister), Taunton (Julia’s father), Brett (Daniel’s business partner/friend), Robbie (Daniel’s childhood friend), and Jonathan (Emily’s adorable much younger brother) kept the story lively and moving along with no lulls. I am even hoping to see that this book is a series so I can read much more about their stories.
Daniel has been away in America for several years and returns after receiving a mysterious letter from England. He finds that Julia is engaged to Edmund and determined to marry him as soon as possible. He is determined to protect Julia from Edmund just as he did when they were younger. He is equal parts charming and literally charms the pants (or should I say dress) off Julia. Their first kiss and subsequent ones stoked a fire that would not die even though Julia was engaged to his brother. I just love the “against all odds and even though it’s not right” love stories. Daniel was very patient and allowed Julia to come to her own conclusions regarding Edmund. I loved that he was simply determined to be close enough to catch her if she fell and protect her from all harm. Throughout the story Julia analyzed the many ways that Edmund and Daniel differed including how they related to her family. Not only was Daniel patient and loving, but he was also tough. As he sought to thwart Edmund he received a few bumps and bruises but he stayed true to his mission, accomplished his objective, and got the girl in the end.
It was a great fast-paced read and a wonderful love story.
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