Title: Denying the Duke
Author: Callie Hutton
Series: Lords and Ladies in Love #3
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Pub Date: July 10, 2017
My Copy: Courtesy of NetGalley and Entangled Publishing
Four years ago, Alex, a second son, had planned a life together with Lady Patience. However, when Patience was betrothed to his brother, the heir, Alex left his family's estate and joined the military.
Alex returns to assume the title Duke of Bedford when his brother unexpectedly dies. He is unprepared for both his new responsibilities and the reunion with Patience. The horrors of war are a heavy burden, and when he learns that Patience never married his brother, he is stunned.
Patience withstood the bullying of her fiancé and her father for four long years. She refuses to marry Alex just because he's the duke, especially if he no longer loves her. How would that be better than what she has already endured? Promises made in their youth are not enough to overcome the changes life has wrought for them but love can grow and transform, if only Patience could believe that.
A very interesting romance that has you immediately hooked from the start. What starts off as something so sweet and tender as young love becomes complicated when forces beyond their control happen and learn that they will not be able to keep promises made to one another.
I like how we start off in the past when both of our main characters, Alex and Patience are young. They both enjoy each other’s companies when Patience’s family visits his family’s estate. The problem is that Alex is the second son, and therefore doesn’t inherit anything. So he is going to have to make his own way in life. Patience and him have a very sweet and tender friendship that develops into a romance, but it’s ruined in a way that neither of them can see coming.
You get to learn that there are other things that are at play. Deals are made between between the two families and instead of Patience getting engaged to Alex, she gets engaged to Cyrus the older brother. Cyrus is going to the be the next Duke and she will be a Duchess. She cares nothing for Cyrus and is not nice at all. So when she tries to get out of it, her mother tells her to just accept it. We learn that Patience’s father is a very nasty piece of work and a bully. He lays his hands on his wife and makes sure that Patience knows his intentions. So when the announcement is made, Alex is so upset and Patience looks stunned and he notices that she is as pale as a ghost. Alex leaves and gets his grandparents to purchase him admittance into the army.
So then we are fast forwarded to a few years later. His father has died and how he learns that his brother has died, which makes him the duke. This is a position that he never thought that he would never inherit. He also wonders about why Cyrus and Patience never had any children. This is something that he never thought would occur. So of course, when he sees his mother and Patience again, things are different. He is a man that has seen the worst of humanity because of his time during war. These things definitely have left him scarred.
Things transpire and we learn that Cyrus and Patience never got married. Alex also learns that Lord Loverly has escaped. Lord Loverly is a traitor and very dangerous. Alex is the one who captured him. He finds out more information about the kind of relationship that Cyrus and Patience had or lack of one. Now everybody who tried to stop them when they were younger are pushing them together. We also learn that Patience’s father is in serious debt. The only reason he hasn’t been put in debtors prison is because of their relationship with the Duke of Bedford. So of course he gets very physically abusive and Alex sees something that he shouldn’t seen and tells Patience’s father that he will not lay his hands on any women while he is in his home.
Of course, Alex and Patience start courting one another and nothing goes right. Mistakes get made. Feelings get hurt. Botched Proposals. We also find that their engagement gets shortened because of Alex’s duties with Parliment. He really finds that Patience is the kind of woman who wants a man to want her. Not to mention the engagement is one that they don’t get to spend a lot of time with one another. So when they get married, the marriage and honey moon is something of a rocky start. Of course then things get fun and they fight. Other things happen. Lord Loverly causes problems as well. He captures her and then Alex with the help of his friends manage to rescue her. Lord Loverly is someone that Alex kills unfortunately because the man is very dangerous and vile.
I like that the couple gets the happily ever after in this book after Patience tells him some very good news. Really like this ending in a way that I wasn’t expecting.
This was a good solid historical.