The Duke I Once Knew by Olivia Drake
Publisher & Release: St. Martin’s, December 31, 2018
Time and setting: Regency, London
Genre: Historical Romance
Book Length: 333 Pages
Heat Level: 1 Flame
Rating: 4.5 Gold Crowns
When two childhood sweethearts find themselves together after years apart, does their romance have a chance to be rekindled now that he’s a duke and she’s a governess? Olivia Drake’s new Unlikely Duchesses series begins with The Duke I Once Knew, where first love is always the sweetest...
For years, Abigail Linton devoted herself to caring for her parents and her siblings’ children. Now, eager to create a life of her own, Abby seizes upon a position as a governess on a neighboring estate. Unfortunately, her absentee employer is Maxwell Bryce, the Duke of Rothwell, the notorious rake who once broke her youthful heart. But since he hasn’t set foot on his estate for fifteen years, Abby assumes she’ll never have to lay eyes on him ever again. Then, from out of nowhere, Max appears. He is stunned to come face to face with the girl next door he fell for years ago—before he went away, and she stopped writing to him. . .even though Abby swears that he is the one who left her without a word. Could it be that this spirited, witty spinster has won Max’s heart all over again—and that they may have a second chance at love?
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This is the first book I’ve read by Olivia Drake in quite some time, and I enjoyed it. Thanks goes to the publisher, via Net Galley, for the chance to read and review. My opinions are my own and are not influenced in any way.
The Duke I Once Knew is an entertaining Regency romance with engaging characters and an intriguing plot. The writing flows beautifully, and the pacing is excellent. The book has just the right amount of details, while still allowing me to use my imagination.
Abigail Linton’s character is endearing. While she has an overbearing family, who think they know what is best for her, she is determined to make her own way. She is also a good friend to the young lady under her care.
Maxwell Bryce is an awesome hero. He has any of the characteristics I love in a male protagonist. Although he is definitely a rake of the first order, he takes his responsibility to his sister and the dukedom seriously. When he discovers his father kept his letters from reaching Abigail and did not give him hers, I could feel his confusion and pain.
The romance between Abigail and Maxwell is lovely. The sexual tension shows the expertise of the author to understand it is one of the most desirable characteristics of historical romance. The soft touches, the lingering kisses are what it’s all about in that sub-genre, and this book has them in abundance.
If you enjoy Regency romances with engaging characters, then you will enjoy The Duke I Once Knew as much as I. I look forward to reading the next book in this delightful series. Happy reading!