How to Marry a Duke
Forever, Jan 3 2011, $7.99
In 1816, the Duke of Shelbourne knows it is past time to get married and raise an heir, but so many women have wanted this most eligible bachelor he has delayed his decision until the clock has run out on him. However, Tristan Gatewick has problems with a horde of females wanting him; he does not want to spend his life with the inane boneheads that seem to be all the Ton offers.
After mangling her fan at a gala, Tristan hires matchmaker Tessa Mansfield to find him a suitable wife with a brain. Tessa arranges a contest between twenty-four eligible ladies desiring to become the next Duchess of Shelbourne. The games begin with fierce competition in every venue imaginable. However, as the debs are sent packing until two remain, Tristan kisses Tessa whose former suitor has returned. Someone aware of Tessa’s dark secret blackmails her and other threats more dangerous to her surface; which only strengthens Tristan’s resolve to declare that the matchmaker has won the contest.
Although having a last woman standing contest is not a new concept (see A Peculiar Proposition by Diane Henderson). Vicky Dreiling provides a charming romance as she runs the ducal games in accordance with acceptable Regency aristocratic behavior. The cast is solid as they bring humor, shenanigans, and deportment, but the tale belongs to the duke and his matchmaker as he knows who he wants as his duchess. Sub-genre fans will welcome Ms. Dreiling with pressure of matching the enjoyment of this engaging historical with “how to tame” a rakish Hawk.