Title: What The Duke Doesn’t Know
Series: The Duke’s Sons #2
Author: Jane Ashford
Genre: Regency Romance, Historical Romance
Published: September 6, 2016
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
My Rating: 4 stars
A proper English wife, or the freedom of the sea?
Lord James Gresham is the fifth son of the Duke of Langford, a captain in the Royal Navy, and at a loss for what to do next. He’s made his fortune; perhaps now he should find a proper wife and set up his nursery. But the sea calls to him, while his search for a wife leaves him uninspired. And then, a dark beauty with a heart for revenge is swept into his life.
He can’t have both, but he won’t give up either
Half-English, half-Polynesian Kawena Benson is out to avenge her father and reclaim a cache of stolen jewels. There’s nothing for James to do but protest his innocence and help Kawena search for the jewels, even though it turns his world upside down.
Titles in this series include: Heir To The Duke, What The Duke Doesn’t Know, Lord Sebastian’s Secret (Jan. 2017)
Read on for my thoughts on What The Duke Doesn’t Know. No true spoilers, promise.
James and Kawena’s romance is fun, adventurous, sexy, touching with an ending that is absolutely perfect for this couple. That doesn’t mean that there aren’t going to be some misunderstandings, mistakes or missteps along the way. But eventually this sea man and his lovely lady will work through it all to find a happy ending that makes absolute sense for them.
Although born of English and Polynesian parents, Kawena has grown up on the island. She certainly has been taught how to be a proper English lady, but she is happier just being herself and rarely pays attention to those rules of etiquette she was once taught. James’ ship docked on her island, and soon after her father’s jewels, the inheritance that was meant for her, were stolen. She assumes that James is the thief and sets out to right the wrong done to her and her family. Only it wasn’t James.
Once he convinces her of his innocence it’s now time to go and talk to the crew members who have scattered after the ship had been decommissioned. Their adventure to find the culprit is both entertaining and dangerous. And if along the way they fall into love, what’s one more risk for this couple.
Like many real life couples, if James and Kawena has actually talked to each other, told their real feelings and opinions instead of trying to say the right thing they would have had lees trouble finding their happiness.
I enjoyed What The Duke Doesn’t Know very much. And it was fun to run into characters already known. Kawena is a refreshing character, a woman who doesn’t give a wit about proper behavior and simply is herself. James is also a bit unconventional, but he keeps putting his foot in his mouth as he tries to say the right thing to get Kawena to stay – he should have just spit it out, but then we wouldn’t be entertained by his fumbling attempts.
If you love Historical or Regency Romance then this is a story and a series that you’ll want to pick up. Funny, charming with characters who will have you shaking your head at their antics and sighing over their love for each other.
*I received an e-ARC of What The Duke Doesn’t Know from the publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca 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