The Dark Duke


The Dark Duke is a regency romance set in England. Amanda is miffed because her brother keeps limiting her household allowance. Her allowance and keeping the small estate running is the only thing that keeps her from marrying and becoming some man’s unpaid servant. She arrives on her brother’s doorstep to demand money when she discovers he’s badly beaten.


Amanda immediately becomes girl detective and uses a few cryptic clues to attempt to track down the wrongdoers. The Duke of Hadleigh enters the scene due to a written request from his estranged sister to protect Amanda. The Duke endures Amanda’s anger at the world and men, in particularly. Even though he saves her from several deadly encounters, she remains just as argumentative as before. Amanda and the Duke race to uncover the bad guys as they fight their feelings for one another.


"The Dark Duke" embraces classic historical romance formula, but is rife with credibility issues. Amanda continues to receive invitations despite living alone in her brother’s house and accosting men at the balls. There is also no time relevant music, plays, political scandals to give a feeling for the period.


Sterling, the Duke of Hadleigh, is a likable romantic hero and probably the best thing about the tale. Amanda’s behavior, however, is contradictory. She is written as competent enough to run an estate, but then runs off alone into the criminal world at night. The two main characters carry the brunt of story without the help of any developed secondary characters, which would have added depth to the telling. Ultimately, this story has promise, but falls short in the delivery. 


Morgan Stamm