Title: A Duke Like No Other
Author: Valerie Bowman
Published: 1 May 2018
Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
First comes love, then comes marriage. Unless it’s the other way around. . .
General Mark Grimaldi has sacrificed everything for his military career, working his way through the ranks without the benefit of a nobleman’s title. Now, his years of dedication are about to pay off—with an offer for a prestigious promotion to Home Secretary. There’s only one condition: Mark must be married. Aside from the small matter of not actually wanting to be wed, Mark faces another troubling problem: he already has a wife.
Nicole Huntington Grimaldi has spent ten contented years in France without her husband—and without regret. When Mark asks her to return to London and play the part of his beloved wife, she sees her chance. But neither of them is prepared for news that will throw Mark’s future into chaos…nor the undeniable desire they’ve rekindled. Maybe happily-ever-after can happen the second time around in A Duke Like No Other, the next Regency romance from Valerie Bowman.
I really enjoyed this book, honestly I did, I even overlooked the seemingly random discrepancy in the plot (possibly due to the book not being edited properly it is after all an e-Arc) but I truly felt the plot for this book was lackluster and weak.
The first few chapters started out strong and full of possibilities on the ‘why Nicole and Mark broke up’ mystery; could it be Nicole or Mark cheated on each other? Could it be Nicole had to backstab Mark? What is it? So my hopes on the why was sky high and it was shot down when the truth of their estrangement was explained and the reason just felt inadequate to me.
The reason for their estrangement could be more fleshed out and the author could have gone more in depth because the duration of their estrangement which is 10 years, you would think the reason would be some cataclysmic event or something so when you find out that it is over something petty you start to think really? Really? That was it?
Another reason that my enjoyment for this book was diminished was because Mark was written to be this suave spy-master, all smart, cunning and just overall a pretty intelligent guy hence I was expecting so but instead what I got was this guy who was a bumbling idiot. He interpreted things wrongly or guessed the wrong culprit, like if it was once or twice and had something to do with Nicole I’d understand; estranged wife and mixed emotions can muddle your brain, but it seems like he got everything wrong so again it made me wonder this is the spy-master? Jesus, if he was spy-master then I’m Queen of England.
Last reason that I did not enjoy the book so much was the cheesy ending, it’s just not my cup of tea. I like happy endings but I dislike the cheesy dialogues and the whole ‘Omg, you’re the love of my life BS’, the cynic in me is just like STFU will you. I felt like if you loved each other so much then why 10 years passed before ya’ll did anything? I get back in the day communication isn’t as fast as now what with social media and whatnot but honestly even back then 10 years estrangement is a bit of a stretch.