Who Wants to Marry a Duke

Written by Sabrina Jeffries
Review by Ray Thompson

1800. The Duke of Thornstock, Marlowe “Thorn” Drake, is furious at being trapped into offering marriage to a young woman after her stepmother catches him kissing her. Strangely enough, his anger is not dispelled when she refuses him. Nine years later he meets her again when his half-brother enlists her help to discover whether his father had been poisoned. Olivia Norley, it turns out, is also a talented chemist who has developed a technique to detect the presence of arsenic in a body. To their mutual annoyance, their former physical attraction rekindles, but their reluctance to get involved fades as they get to know each other better. Despite obstacles, prospects for a happy marriage look hopeful, but will they survive the deadly attacks of a poisoner seeking to cover his—or her—tracks?

Thorn and Olivia are unconventional: he secretly writes popular plays, she is serious about her chemistry experiments; he is tolerant, she refreshingly direct, and both are scornful of society’s expectations. In other words, they are well suited in the world of Regency romance, and their progress towards recognition of the fact is enjoyable. The mystery remains unresolved, awaiting the next book in the Duke Dynasty series. Recommended.