The Duke’s Holiday by Maggie Fenton

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The Duke of Montford, cold, precise, and more powerful than the Prince Regent himself, wants things the way he wants them: cross-referenced, indexed, and at his beck and call. And he always gets what he wants.

Until he meets Astrid Honeywell. And a giant pig. And a crooked castle in the middle of Yorkshire.

Astrid Honeywell, staunch bluestocking, has struggled for years to keep her family together by running the estate and family brewery after her father’s death. She is not about to let the tyrannical Duke of Montford steal away all she has worked for because of some antiquated contract between their families. So when the priggish Duke comes to call, she does everything in her power — including setting the family pig on him — to drive him away.

She didn’t expect him to be so … well, infuriatingly attractive. Every time he scowls at her, she has the most improper desire to kiss him — and a whole lot more.

Montford can’t decide whether to strangle Astrid or seduce her. The one thing he knows for a fact is that he must resist his powerful attraction for her at all costs. He has a very proper, very demure fiancée waiting for him back in London, after all. But when Astrid is kidnapped by a disgruntled suitor and whisked off to Gretna Green, Montford will do anything to get her back.

Will these two drive each other to Bedlam … or can they make it to the altar without killing each other?

Includes an OCD Duke, a fiery heroine, mistaken identities, errant livestock, pompadours, drunken declarations, a touch of smex, and enough witty banter to sink a ship.

Publisher and Release Date: Maggie Fenton, May 2014

RHR Classifications:
Time and Setting: Regency England
Genre: Historical Romance
Heat Rating: 2
Reviewer Rating: 4.5 stars

Review by Jill

The Duke’s Holiday is, quite simply, as good as any of Tessa Dare’s historical romances.

The Duke of Montford has despatched his man of affairs fo find out more about A. Honeywell and the Honewell Ale Brewery. When the man fails to answer any of the duke’s enquiries Montford decides to take matters into his own hands, and is surprised, to say the least, when A. Honeywell turns out to be Miss Astrid Honeywell, manager of the estate and family brewery.

I picked up this book on the strength of the sample I downloaded from Amazon because I just had to read more, and I ended up reading it in one sitting through the night. There are a host of secondary characters that round out this delightful story, in particular two friends of the duke whose stories I can’t wait to read.

This is a self-published title, and although I did notice a few typos and other errors, there really weren’t many (as far as I remember). I should also point out that those readers looking for complete historical accuracy may be disappointed: a duke running in a village foot-race seems highly unlikely to me! But if you realise going in this is a historical with humour, you’ll enjoy it.

The Duke’s Holiday is a brilliant combination of historical romance and sparkling comedy in which a stuffy, uptight duke, with more than a touch of OCD, meets his match in a liberated, hard-working bluestocking who speaks her mind.

Highly recommended.

AT TIME OF POSTING, THE DUKE’S HOLIDAY IS AVAILABLE FROM AMAZON FOR $3.13

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