My Once and Future Duke

Written by Caroline Linden
Review by Ray Thompson

A match between a conventional duke and a young woman without connections, surviving by her skill at gambling, seems highly unlikely. Sophie Campbell is, however, beautiful, and Jack Lindeville, Duke of Ware, feels an immediate physical attraction. As they learn more about each other, he comes to admire her intelligence and spirit, she the passion and decency behind a haughty exterior. They fall in love, but the path to wedded happiness is strewn with obstacles: social constraints, troublesome family members, and the inevitable misunderstandings.

The gambling device is used interestingly, not just as a social commentary upon the follies of a bored and idle aristocracy, but as an insight into the protagonists. Both are risk-averse, strange as it may seem in Sophie’s case; they have to learn to take a chance and trust their hearts and each other. In fact, chance looms large in the plot of this Regency romance. Conversely, the minor characters are not well developed, though the curious epilogue, which reads more like a bridge to the next book in the series, suggests we may learn more about them. Here, however, the focus is upon the lovers and their passionate love-making. It grows a bit tedious.