Janna MacGregor returns to the blog with the first in a new Regency Series, The Widow Rules with
A Duke in Time
Starting with a death, the young Katherine learns that the unexpected death of her husband came with many surprises. Two other women appear, both claiming to be married to him – and all are far less well off because of his actions. So we start with a triumvirate of scorned and mistreated women, and somehow, because of Katherine’s innate kind nature – they bond.
Christian, the newly christened Duke and brother-in-law of the three women is far different to his profligate brother. Upstanding and also kind – he’s determined to get to the bottom of the mess with his brother’s three widows. He’s never particularly cared for his birth family, but now as the head of the house and a Duke – he’s got a mess to sort. Discovering that Katherine has worked tirelessly to build a textile empire, and now employs the other two women she met through her late husband’s death is one thing – to discover that he’s attracted to Katherine, and now in business with her is another.
So – it was a twisted mess from the beginning – and like many family stories, there were reasons (good and bad), choices and ramifications that seemed never ending. But there was something missing here for me – whether it was a flouting of the conventional while crafting an historic romance, the conversations and conventions that were far too modern, or even the *pause for effect* last minute threats entered into the story for dramatic effect – it just didn’t work for me. I felt the characters, while flushed out, still felt formulaic and flat: the expectations of “kind” and “hard-working” were there, but the need to know how or more was missing. And I didn’t feel the connection and romance between Katherine and Christian as much as I expected it for that was what the entire story was leading to – with plenty of stops and breaks for some steamy scenes that didn’t fit into the backstory and virginal nature of the heroine that we were led to believe. The writing was ok – I’ve read better from this author, and engaged more fully in the story, twists and characters than I did in this book. Fans of dramatic overload and a predictable storyline will find this story amusing – if they can ignore the shortcomings.
Title: A Duke in Time
Author: Janna MacGregor
Series: The Widow Rules #1
Genre: Historical Romance, British, Family Saga, Friendship, Historic Elements, Humor elements, Late Regency, Romantic Elements, Setting: Britain
Published by: St. Martin's Press
Published on: 29 June, 2021
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Audio Length: 11 Hours: 25 minutes
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Downpour ♦ IndieBound ♦ Book Depository ♦ Google ♦Audible ♦Direct from Publisher
Katherine Vareck is in for the shock of her life when she learns upon her husband Meri's accidental death that he had married two other women. Her entire business, along with a once-in-a-lifetime chance to be a royal supplier, is everything she's been working for and now could be destroyed if word leaks about the three wives.
Meri's far more upstanding brother, Christian, Duke of Randford has no earthly clue how to be of assistance. He spent the better part of his adult years avoiding Meri and the rest of his good-for-nothing family, so to be dragged back into the fold is…problematic. Even more so is the intrepid and beautiful Katherine, whom he cannot be falling for because she's Meri's widow. Or can he?
With a textile business to run and a strong friendship forming with Meri's two other wives, Katherine doesn't have time for much else. But there's something about the warm, but compellingly taciturn Christian that draws her to him. When an opportunity to partner in a business venture brings them even closer, they'll have to face their pasts if they want to share each other's hearts and futures.
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.