Never Say Duke*

Regency Romance with a Heart

What an absolutely delightful story! The heroine is such a hoot in her naive determination to see the world the way she believes the world must be, even when she’s wrong. The book alternates between the viewpoints of Virginia and the hero, Theo. The author has done an outstanding job keeping their viewpoints very distinct; the reader will have no trouble distinguishing their voices. When the book starts, Theo’s sections are more dark Regency than we expect in a romance. In his case, it’s appropriate because he has been severely injured in war. (By the way, I appreciate that the author addresses the plight of a severely wounded warrior in this book; again, not common in a romance.) In fact, few know he is back in England as he retreats to his friend’s estate in the country. He just wants to lay in the dark in his room away from those he knows and heal. Virginia, after her cat charges into Theo’s bedroom, will have none of that. She sees that he needs a nurse, and she states that she will be that–whether he wants her to or not! She has a tendency to take in strays and hurt animals, so she can’t imagine not doing taking care of this injured, hurting man. Theo makes some sarcastic demands which Virginia takes seriously. Very soon, Theo starts to warm to her–how could he not when she brings every flavor of ice cream to him!

I was surprised by the subtle and not-so-subtle humor in this book. Regency can often be written in a stuffy or pompous way, the author trying to mimic what he or she believes Regency should be. The book still felt immersed in the fictional Regency worldview without being artificial or constrained by it.

If you like well-written Regency with a touch of humor and a whole lot of heart, you might enjoy this book.