The Duke Alone

Written by Christi Caldwell
Review by Misty Urban

It’s Home Alone in 1813 London when Lady Myrtle McQuoid’s family heads for Scotland for Christmas and mistakenly leaves Myrtle behind. Next door, duke Valentine has lived like a recluse since his wife’s death, but Val’s brooding is interrupted by visits from cheerful young Myrtle, who first seeks company and then aid when she fears her home is being watched by criminals.

The lack of servants, obligations, or anyone else in their neighborhood allows Val and Myrtle to become close as he helps her with daily tasks like building a fire and defending herself from house breakers. But as he escorts her north to rejoin her family, Val realizes Myrtle has revived his heart and his will to live, and Myrtle, who realizes she doesn’t want a London season after all, celebrates a holiday wedding with the duke of her dreams.

Caldwell’s humor, which often toes the line into farce, lightens the gloom of loneliness around the characters, and she hits every beat of the romance formula with charm and clever pacing. Sheer fun for readers who adore Pride and Prejudice, Christmas, and dogs.