The Duke’s Holiday by Maggie Fenton
Publisher & Release Date: Montlake Romance, April 7, 2015
Time and setting: Early 19th century, Yorkshire, England
Genre: Historical Romance/Regency
Length: 434 pages
Heat Level: 2 Flames
Rating: 3.5 Gold Crowns
The cold, precise Duke of Montford demands things his way: neatly ordered, in place, and adhering closely to the rules. So he is furious when he learns that the tenant of his ducal estate has been dead for a year, and a stranger has been running the Honeywell business—which, by contract, is now Montford’s. When he arrives in Yorkshire to investigate, he discovers that the estate is being run by an unruly, tomboyish woman—and a bluestocking at that!
Fiery redhead Astrid Honeywell is independent and educated. She’s been handling the Honeywell family business for years. And she’s not about to relinquish it to anyone—not even Montford—because of some archaic contract.
Montford and Astrid have an instant hatred for one another…and an undeniable, unspeakable attraction. They must resist this improper desire—after all, Montford has a fiancée in London. But when Astrid’s life is placed in terrible danger, Montford finds he may be willing to risk everything to save her.
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I found The Duke’s Holiday through the Kindle Unlimited program while looking for books that offered the audio for $1.99. The audio version for this book was free, so I immediately downloaded the book and audio. It is a regency which is my first go to genre.
The Duke of Montford travels to his ducal estate in Yorkshire when he finds out the tenant has been dead for a year, even though he continues to get monthly reports from him. Travel is very difficult for the duke, but he must get to the bottom of this.
Astrid Honeywell has run Honeywell Ale and the estate for years. When her father dies she sees no reason to notify the duke, since he would seize control and kick her and her family out.
When the duke and Astrid meet sparks fly and continue to do so. How can this unlikely pair ever find their way to each other’s hearts, when each wants to shake the other?
While there is a lot of humor in this book, the hero and heroine are at each other's throats throughout the entire book. Even at the end, they are still arguing. I almost gave up halfway, and if I had been reading instead of listening, I'm fairly sure I would have.
Nonetheless, the secondary characters added tremendously to the book. I also feel Ms. Fenton did an excellent job showing the duke's OCD, and I enjoyed that part quite a lot. I also feel the suspenseful scenes are fast-paced and very enjoyable. The book is well-written, and there are several laugh out loud moments.
I did enjoy the narration and Sue Pitkin reads with a great deal of emotion. I enjoyed her interpretation she gave for the duke's voice was very good, and she gave each character a distinct voice. It's her narration that kept me listening. I will look for other books for Ms. Pitkin.
If you enjoy stories with a lot of angst and plenty of humorous moments with a great suspenseful scene toward the end, then you will enjoy The Duke's Holiday. Although, I don't care for the constant bickering, this is an emotionally-charged tale. Happy reading!