Title: A Duke Like No Other (Playful Brides Series, book#9)
Genre: Historical Romance
Author: Valerie Bowman
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Publisher: St. Martins Press, May 2018
Sexy rating: 5
Violence rating: 5
Description from Amazon:
First comes love, then comes marriage. Unless it’s the otherway around. . .
General Mark Grimaldi has sacrificed everything for his military career, working his way through the ranks without the benefit of a nobleman’s title. Now, his years of dedication are about to pay off—with an offer for a prestigious promotion to Home Secretary. There’s only one condition: Mark must be married. Aside from the small matter of not actually wanting to be wed, Mark faces another troubling problem: he already has a wife.
Nicole Huntington Grimaldi has spent ten contented years in France without her husband—and without regret. When Mark asks her to return to London and play the part of his beloved wife, she sees her chance. But neither of them is prepared for news that will throw Mark’s future into chaos…nor the undeniable desire they’ve rekindled.
I have been a huge fan of this series but this book was just all wrong for me. Now you might be okay with the background of the couple being told in flashbacks but those just annoy me and take me away from the interesting part of the story. I liked the way the book started off with Mark seeking his estranged wife so he could get the promotion of his dreams and Nicole agreeing to help him if he will give her the child she craves. We can deduce that these two really are fond of each other but because of a misunderstanding they remain estranged. That was a good start and then we are thrown into a murder mystery that affects Mark and the coincidence is rather in your face. It is like the first part of the book didn’t set well with the author so she started an entirely different story keeping Nicole in because she was hanging around waiting to be made enceinte.
Now the book is not a complete bust because the mystery is rather fun. So if You don’t mind flashbacks and abrupt changes in storyline then you are in for a good read.