After reading The Spinster and the Rake and Much Ado About Dukes, I would consider myself an Eva Devon fan. While it was still a solid historical romance, The Duke’s Accidental Bride sadly did not live up to my expectations for this author. However, if you like historicals, I think it still has merit.

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The summary, from Amazon:

Never trust a rake to find you a husband…

Lady Jaqueline Peabody is extremely vexed. Her nemesis, the Duke of Stone, has just ruined her life by matching her sister with a perfect gentleman. Except the gentleman in question has little in the way of income. With the family fortune in tatters, it means Jacqueline is tasked with marrying well—and must bid adieu to her dreams of a lovely spinsterhood with her pianoforte.

James Haven has a respectable title and a rogue’s reputation. After all, love and passion can lead only to disaster. While he’s eschewed marriage for himself, he enjoys great success with matching London’s most eligible ladies and gentlemen. So if Jacqueline needs a wealthy husband, he’ll find her one. Love need not apply!

Only, James is having the devil of time finding the perfect husband for the spirited female. And certainly not because he’s falling for Lady Jacqueline, who heats his desire and dares to stand slipper-to-boot with him. Ridiculous. But, when scandal erupts, Jacqueline’s hopes for the perfect husband might be replaced by the perfect rake…

Buy The Duke’s Accidental Bride here.

Jack never planned to marry, but her father made a poor decision that led to her family’s economic ruin. The event also led to his untimely death. When Jack’s little sister becomes betrothed to someone who can’t offer her family any financial gain, it’s up to Jack and her brother to secure marriages that will aid their family.

James is a duke and has been a matchmaker for quite a few couples, despite never planning to marry, or at least not for some time, and then to avoid his wife. His father was mentally ill and abusive to James’s mother, and he fears the same fate will befall him. Nonetheless, he’s helped quite a few couples secure safe and comfortable relationships, including Jack’s little sister. Jack believes James ruined her life in setting up that marriage, because now she has to marry. They are neighbors in London as well as childhood friends. James is still friends with her brother. She sneaks in through his window one night and demands that he fix the problem by finding her a suitable husband. James agrees.

Finding a husband for Jack is harder than it seems, though. Not everyone appreciates her nontraditional ways, and she doesn’t enjoy the thought of marrying someone elderly, even though doing so will most likely help her score her freedom sooner rather than later. Inevitably, James and Jack quickly fall in love. But when a situation arises that forces the two to marry, James has to come to terms with that frightening emotion.

Overall, this was a solid historical romance but just an okay read when it comes to Devon, who I’ve read better from. I rate it 3 stars. It felt like a first draft to Much Ado About Dukes, which follows a similar plotline but has more compelling characters with different motivations for marrying and fearing love.

Book Club Questions

  1. Describe the relationship dynamic between Jack and James.
  2. Why is it difficult to find a husband for Jack?
  3. Are James’s fears grounded in reality?

Interested? Buy The Duke’s Accidental Bride.
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