TITLE: A Duke, the Lady, and a Baby by Vanessa Riley
My rating: ❤️❤️ of 5 stars
Format: ARC~Kindle Edition (320 pages)
Published: June 30th, 2020 by Zebra
Genre: Historical Romance
Blurb: When headstrong West Indian heiress Patience Jordan questioned her English husband’s mysterious suicide, she lost everything: her newborn son, Lionel, her fortune—and her freedom. Falsely imprisoned, she risks her life to be near her child—until The Widow’s Grace gets her hired as her own son’s nanny. But working for his unsuspecting new guardian, Busick Strathmore, Duke of Repington, has perils of its own. Especially when Patience discovers his military strictness belies an ex-rake of unswerving honor—and unexpected passion…
A wounded military hero, Busick is determined to resolve his dead cousin’s dangerous financial dealings for Lionel’s sake. But his investigation is a minor skirmish compared to dealing with the forthright, courageous, and alluring Patience. Somehow, she’s breaking his rules, and sweeping past his defenses. Soon, between formidable enemies and obstacles, they form a fragile trust—but will it be enough to save the future they long to dare together?
I had high hopes because this cover is beautiful and HRs featuring black characters are in short supply. This story fell quite short and was actually difficult for me to maintain interest as I read it.
It started off with Patience Jordan sneaking into her former home to nurse her baby boy. We quickly learned that Patience was an imprisoned widow, cast out after her husband Collin was found dead and placed in an insane asylum. The West Indian heiress married Colin Jordan, an Englishman and moved to England with him. When Collin was found dead of a suicide, Patience found herself accused of his death, penniless and without her newborn Lionel. Colin’s uncle Markham seized control over everything including the baby and had Patience put into Bedlam.
The good news was that the rightful heir, Busick Strathmore, Duke of Repington, believed there was something fishy about his cousin’s supposed suicide. So the disabled military man traveled to his estate to take control and investigate his dead cousin’s death. Busick quickly hired Patience to be the wet nurse to the baby, not knowing Patience’s true identity and connection to baby Lionel. They quickly developed a friendship and later it became more. Together, they began unraveling what was really going on. This journey was dreary to me. I had a hard time with the author’s storytelling and writing. It didn’t flow smoothly and I wasn’t able to connect with the characters. I did admire Patience’s strength, grit and resourcefulness but I didn’t really believe her with Busick. Busick seemed like an honorable military man, but he really wasn’t endearing. He was just blah. There was no build up of chemistry between this two. It felt like a relationship of convenience. The story of Widow’s Grace was definitely educational. I love learning new historical facts since that period was such a painful one for women and people of color. There wasn’t much of a romance here to smooth out the rough storytelling.
I struggled to finish it and I am unsure if I will read more in this series.
*Special thanks to Kensington Books and Netgalley for the e-book given in exchange for an honest review.