I love historical romance, and one thing the genre needs is more diversity. I was so happy to read the summary of A Duke, the Lady, and A Baby on NetGalley, and even happier when I was sent a copy to review! This was a swoon-worthy read with a memorable and diverse cast of characters.

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The summary, from Amazon:

Publishers Weekly Summer Reads 2020 Editors’ Pick

“Smart and witty . . . the perfect historical read.”
 —Julia Quinn, #1 New York Times bestselling author

Created by a shrewd countess, The Widow’s Grace is a secret society with a mission: to help ill-treated widows regain their status, their families, and even find true love again—or perhaps for the very first time . . .

When headstrong West Indian heiress Patience Jordan questioned her English husband’s mysterious suicide, she lost everything: her newborn son, Lionel, her fortune—and her freedom. Falsely imprisoned, she risks her life to be near her child—until The Widow’s Grace gets her hired as her own son’s nanny. But working for his unsuspecting new guardian, Busick Strathmore, Duke of Repington, has perils of its own. Especially when Patience discovers his military strictness belies an ex-rake of unswerving honor—and unexpected passion . . .

A wounded military hero, Busick is determined to resolve his dead cousin’s dangerous financial dealings for Lionel’s sake. But his investigation is a minor skirmish compared to dealing with the forthright, courageous, and alluring Patience. Somehow, she’s breaking his rules, and sweeping past his defenses. Soon, between formidable enemies and obstacles, they form a fragile trust—but will it be enough to save the future they long to dare together?

“One of the best historicals I’ve read in years.” 
—Kristan Higgins, New York Times bestselling author

“Vanessa Riley at her finest.”
—Sarah MacLean, New York Times bestselling author

“Expertly crafted romance.”
Publishers Weekly, STARRED review

Buy A Duke, the Lady, and a Baby here.

What an absolutely lovely story and start to a series. This is a dual POV story, with Patience’s voice in first person and Busick’s in third person. Patience is a mother who was released from Bedlam, where she was wrongfully sent, with the help of The Widow’s Grace. She was sent by her late husband’s associate, who now – also wrongfully – has custody of her infant son, Lionel. However, Busick, the Duke of Repington, is the rightful legal guardian in the case that Patience is unable to be the guardian. Busick has been told that Patience ran away, so he assumes that’s the case. He takes command and the care of Lionel seriously, hiring Patience on as a nanny, believing her to be a widow unrelated to Lionel, one who lost her baby. While in the house, Patience does her research to figure out what her husband’s associate wanted with Lionel, and what the circumstances of her husband’s death, an apparent suicide which she blames herself for, really were. Of course, Busick and Patience are attracted to one another and fall for one another while co-parenting Lionel.

I really enjoyed the cast of characters, including the side characters who I assume will be the heroes and heroines of later books. The diversity in this book is wonderful and representative of what the time period was really like. Patience is a woman of color, from Demarara, a country in what was called the West Indies. Busick is a disabled war veteran. He has a prosthetic leg, and has been hiding this from his soldiers, friends, and family. Patience is a loving mother and friend with a big heart. She can see the good in anyone. Busick, if we were to draft up his birth chart, probably has entirely Virgo and Capricorn placements. He’s very regimented and bossy, but Patience does not take his crap, and he appreciates that. They really are a wonderful couple, and the slow burn between them throughout the book, culminating in some passionate kisses and a fade away love scene, was so tantalizing. Their love for Lionel is a highlight of the book, with Busick taking on a very active role as a parent, even though he initially has Patience as an employee for doing just that. Lionel, though a baby, is also a character. This book is one of those cases were the child character does not feel like a prop, even though he doesn’t have any lines!

The plot was a little slow-developing at times, but overall this was just such a lovely read, a very solid 4 stars. I’m excited for the rest of the series! Thank you to NetGalley, the author, and Zebra Books for giving me a copy in exchange for my honest review.

A Duke, the Lady, and a Baby (Rogues and Remarkable Women, #1)A Duke, the Lady, and a Baby by Vanessa Riley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book has everything I am looking for in Regency romance lately – an excellent plot, a diverse cast, and some swoon-worthy romance. This book features our heroine Patience, a mother and WOC, and the hero Busick, a disabled war veteran. At times the plot felt a little slow, but overall this was an absolutely lovely read and I am so excited for the rest of the series! Thank you to NetGalley, the author, and the publisher for hooking me up with a copy in exchange for my honest review.

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