Title: The Duke’s Accidental Wife
Series: The Dukes of War #7
Author: Erica Ridley
Genre: Regency Romance, Historical Romance
Published: March 1, 2016
Publisher: Intrepid Reads
My Rating: 4 stars
Miss Katherine Ross is a wealthy, eccentric socialite who knows precisely what she wants: No husband. No children. No candlelit tête-à-tête with the insufferably emotionless Duke of Ravenwood. She’s convinced his heart is ice — until she touches that chiseled chest for herself. One lapse in judgment is all it takes to turn both their lives topsy-turvy…
The Duke of Ravenwood isn’t cold and haughty, but a secret romantic who has always dreamt of marrying for love. Instead, he gets Miss Katherine Ross — a headstrong hoyden intent on unraveling his carefully ordered world. He doesn’t know whether to kiss her or throttle her. Can they survive each other’s company long enough to turn a compromise into love?
Read on for my thoughts on The Duke’s Accidental Wife. No true spoilers, promise.
We’ve come to the final story in The Dukes of War series. It’s been an amazing journey with some of my favorite characters. It seems fitting that we started in the home of the Duke of Ravenwood, and we’ll end there as well. This is the story of the one Duke who actually did not go to war, instead he remained in London taking up the mantle of the Dukedom to ensure that the title went to its proper owner, not some upstart. He worked behind the scenes, often times a vital part of each of the other Dukes’ stories.
Lawrence Pembroke, Duke of Ravenwood has hidden behind a cold, aloof mask for years. In actual fact, Lawrence is painfully shy and not at all comfortable in public appearances. He’d much rather be holed up in his home, or his gardens writing the poetry that releases the other side of his soul. But.. when he took the mantle of the Dukedom, he took all of the responsibilities, even the not so pleasant ones – like showing himself in Society.
Miss Katherine Ross is an independent miss who absolutely never intends to marry. She has a full life with her causes and friends – and she has her reasons to avoid marriage, and not all of them are to keep her money and her independence secure. She is outspoken, has no problem flaunting the rules of the ton and she is fiercely loyal to her friends. And her opinion of the Duke of Ravenwood is not a very kind one as she is certain that a colder man could not exist within their society circles.
Soon she will have the ability to put that opinion to the test – although perhaps not in a manner that she wanted.
During an event at her museum, Katherine and Lawrence are found in a compromising situation – not that either one of them had arranged this or even thought what it would look like, but the reality of their times came down heavily on this couple. Even though it was the absolute last thing either one wanted – they were married in haste.
Reputations now secured they will quickly discover how different they truly are… and how much those differences don’t really matter in the end if love is included in the mix.
I have read this entire series, and I must admit to always having a soft spot for Ravenwood. A man of honor and of few words, he always seemed a bit sad underneath it all, to me at least. He meets his match in Katherine, and while opposites will often attract, this couple had so much against them at their start and so much that they could give to each other if they only would take the risk. The sexual tension between them is obvious and entertaining in many ways. Ravenwood wants and needs an heir. He might not have chosen his bride, but he at least could finally have his heir. Unfortunately… Kate intends to never, ever have children. So that her request for Lawrence to use a condom (yes they did exist although not truly by that name or product in use today) it was obvious that his desire for an heir was beyond what his partner wanted.
As so often happens in romance of any kind, if the couple had actually spoken to each other so many misunderstandings would have been avoided. It was charming to watch Lawrence slowly leave his shyness behind and for Katherine to realize that some fears are well worth overcoming.
In a way, I’m sad to see this series come to an end. Yet, The Duke’s Accidental Wife was an excellent wrap up story. Now the wait to see what delightful tales Erica Ridley has in mind for us next.
If you love Historical or Regency Romance then this series should have been on your radar, but it’s not too late, dive right in with the first story and get caught up in the lives of some amazing characters.
*I received an e-ARC of The Duke’s Accidental Wife from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. That does not change what I think of this novel.*
Available in paperback and for the Kindle