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Regency May-December Romance with a Gender Switch
This book intrigued me because I always appreciate a romance that features an older heroine. Why should only younger women have all the fun! I was surprised, though, that the hero was younger and not by just a small amount. They had a 15-year age difference between them. So I was interested to see how this book would go.
The first part of the book seemed a little bit too insta lust to me. Right in the first chapter, the duke is already mentally expressing his “admiration” of her and her assets from when he’d seen her at a ball the night before his older brother’s death. I’m not usually a fan of those kinds of stories. Also, I didn’t like how at times it felt like the characters weren’t really true Regency, or at least not the way we think of Regency romance. They were both more forward than I would have thought them to be, especially on early acquaintance. At times, they seemed more modern in their sensibilities.
But I’m glad that I stuck with it. I found the banter between the duke and the countess to be most amusing, starting when she came over to ask for a big favor and they then played billiards. That scene was a lot of fun, and that delightfulness carried on to different parts of the book, though not all. The book did have a serious subplot about Anabel’s missing daughter. The duke is actually a swoon-worthy hero, despite the insta lust, because once he realized what was really going on, he tried very hard to be the proper gentleman, and always acted in her best interest even if she didn’t want him to. The Wanton Widow has more than a few secrets, and I really enjoyed how the duke helped her put the ghosts of the past at rest. All in all, I found this to be a very different, but rather enjoyable read.