A Dukes Behaving Badly Novel , Book 4
Avon Books
ISBN: 978-0-06-241282-9
August 2016
Historical Romance

London, 1844

When Edwina Cheltham's husband died, he foolishly left the running of his business to his brother, who promptly ran it into the ground. This was after Edwina had managed to build it up during their marriage. Now she has to find a job to keep herself and her six-year-old daughter Gertrude housed, clothed, and fed . . . no easy matter for a woman. Edwina's friend Carolyn of The Quality Employment Agency sends her on an interview with the Duke of Hadlow.

The duke has been having trouble finding a new secretary. The candidates so far have all been as unintelligent as the one he recently let go. If there is anything the duke dislikes more than stupidity it's irrationality. He considers himself highly logical . . . most others find him cold and intimidating, but he's a duke, after all. When Hadlow sees the new candidate is a woman, he logically keeps his mind open and gives her a chance. Edwina impresses him with her intelligence and knowledge of business, and he hires her, completely disregarding, of course, the fact that she's stunningly beautiful . . . .

Edwina is thrilled with the position, the salary, and the fact that she can move into the lovely big house where there is room for Gertrude and lots of staff to mind her. Railroads are the coming thing these days, and Hadlow has been looking at several for an investment. Edwina, whom the duke calls Cheltham—she's to call him Hadlow—is a big help in the endeavor. She finds the duke attractive, and he's even good with Gertrude, but Edwina knows she's way below him in status and these feelings will not do. They manage to get along well with Hadlow loosening up a bit, but then trouble comes in the form Edwina's brother-in-law.

The Duke of Hadlow's character is very well done. We get to watch this supremely controlled man discover feelings. (Society has said of him that his only friend is his dog.) Prepare to be amused and fascinated by the duke and the secretary in this trip back to Victorian England.

Jane Bowers