An Affair in Autumn (A Year Without a Duke #4) by Jennifer Haymore

an affair in autumn
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Caroline Addison, Lady Whytestone, has important news to deliver to her old friend–he has inherited a dukedom! He could be in New York or perhaps in South America, but no matter. Caro is an independent woman, so who says she can’t indulge in a little adventure and travel across the Atlantic–and maybe across a continent–to find him?

On a mission to locate the new Duke of Beckworth, Lord Markus Hawkins has boarded a ship bound for America. But when Mark walks out of his cabin and runs into his nemesis, Caroline Addison, who happens to be in search of the very same man, his head threatens to explode out of sheer frustration. Caro is headstrong, frustrating, selfish, wickedly intelligent, and so damn beautiful, Mark can’t see anything but her when she’s near. How’s he going to survive the long voyage ahead?

Over the years, Caro and Mark have run the gamut from dear friends to bitter enemies. Now, in the close quarters of a sailing ship, sparks fly as old feelings return to the surface and new ones begin to simmer inside. Caro and Mark are headed for America, for the new duke, and for something that might be the love of a lifetime. But only if they don’t destroy each other first.

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Publisher & Release Date: Jennifer Haymore, February 2016

RHR Classifications:
Time and setting: England and America, 1816
Genre: Historical Romance novella (100 pages)
Heat Level: 2
Rating: 4.5 stars

Review by Vikki

With An Affair in Autumn, Jennifer Haymore has again captured my mind with another spellbinding story set in the Regency period. I discovered Ms. Haymore when I read her debut novel A Hint of Wicked, and I have been hooked ever since and she’s an auto-buy author for me.

Caroline Addison, Lady Whytestone, finds out her childhood friend is heir to a dukedom. Being an independent young widow, she does not bat an eye at setting out on a transatlantic trip to New York, her friend’s last known residence.

After ascertaining his friend’s possible location, Lord Markus Hawkins is determined to find him and boards a ship bound for America. When he realises that Caro is also on the ship, he is not happy. Other than the day when he inquired after his friend, they haven’t seen each other in more than ten years and had parted bitterly.

As the pair travel to their destination, the passion becomes too much for them to ignore. Can Caro and Mark find a way to mend their estrangement, or will hurt feelings and misconceptions drive them apart?

I enjoy friends-to-lovers romances, especially when the friendship goes back to the characters’ childhoods. The plot of this novella is very believable, and I fell in love with the main characters from the very beginning. Ms. Haymore is a master at building sexual tension and the chemistry between Caro and Mark jumps off the page.

While I’m normally, not fond of extremely independent women in historicals, I thoroughly enjoyed Caro’s character – she touched my heart. She had endured a loveless marriage for ten long years and is finally released from bondage. I loved the opening scene where she is spending some of her late husband’s vast fortune on charities he would detest. She couldn’t get back at him while he lived, but she could surely have him turning in his grave. I liked the way she approached life and her determination to find her friend.

We first met Mark in The Duchess Hunt, a book I adored. He is the brother to Simon, the Duke of Kent and has a very sad backstory. Five years have passed since the setting for the earlier book, and Mark has spent the years traveling, trying to run from a shameful secret. When he at last opens up to Caro and shares his deepest hurt, my heart ached and tears stung my eyes.

While this is a fairly short book, Ms. Haymore is able to fully flesh out her characters, making them come alive on the pages of her story. Her vivid description of the ship and crew members are particularly vivid; when the ship is hit by a terrible storm, I sat on the edge of my seat as the scene unfolded. I could almost feel the rain slashing down upon them all.

I am so glad I had the opportunity to read An Affair in Autumn. If you enjoy a well-written emotionally-charged historical romance, then you will love this book as much as I did. I am definitely looking forward to reading the last book in this series, A Duke By December by Sabrina Darby. It has Nathaniel Hughes as the hero, the long sought after heir to the dukedom. He is introduced at the end of An Affair in Autumn, and I think his story line will be vastly entertaining.

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