Designs on a Duke: The Bluestocking Scandals Book 1

St. Clair

Mr. Albert Lambert is commissioned to finish designing the manse of the Duke of Wyndham. With him is his daughter, Rebecca, who acts as his secretary. She also secretly draws designs her architect father uses because his dementia keeps him from producing his own work. Rebecca is lost during the house tour and ends up in the Duke’s quarters when she hears him approaching. Frightened, she hides in his closet. His mother calls him, and he also hides in his closet, discovering Rebecca. He is instantly besotted. Unfortunately, the Duke has inherited a penniless Dukedom, and he needs to wed an heiress, not an architect’s daughter. Albert reminisces about previous commissions saying nothing about this one. Rebecca needs to keep her secret from the Duke in order for her father to keep this commission so they can pay off their considerable debts. Rebecca will need to keep her wits about her to cover her father’s dementia, and her duplicity. 

“Designs on a Duke” showcases Ms. St. Clair’s eloquence with the written word as she describes the mansion in its unfinished grace. Valentine and Rebecca are exquisitely described as we catch them in their first encounter when the sizzle between them begins. Valentine has two secrets alluded to in the beginning of the story, but they are not revealed until near the end, leaving the reader frustrated at being strung along. The Duke’s servants give the impression of being flat and undeveloped, even though they are the best of friends and his confidantes. A mother’s love is aptly captured in the character of Mrs. St. Vincent. A delightful book and first story in a new series!

Belinda Wilson