Duke of Misfortune


Lord Emilian “Lee” Valencourt has a secret; to everyone who knows him, he is the actor Gordon Judd. Lee’s family eventually finds out, so he is sent into the army. When Lee comes home because of a throat injury, he’s unable to act anymore. He tries to find other work but is unable to. The best course of action is to ask his brother, the Duke of Welburn, for money, but the Duke is in debt. When Lee’s brother dies suddenly, he unexpectedly becomes Duke. Lee does his best to be the Duke,  so when he meets heiress Miss Theodora “Teddie” Driffield, he falls instantly for her and immediately proposes. However, Lee keeps many things hidden from Teddie. When she learns everything, will she still want him or leave him?

What a delightful, beautifully told regency love story! The book starts off a little slowly, but the writing flows seamlessly even with many sorrowful things happening. There is a sense of sweetness instilled throughout, but a few vague plot points are left unclear. However, what the characters feel for each other is portrayed fittingly. Readers will just love all the characters who are pleasing and relatable. Lee has many demons with a lamentable father and brother but remains good-hearted. He’s also pretty easy to like and empathize with because of his dismal situation. Teddie, the clever feisty heroine, is humorous despite her seriousness.  Teddie does make many mistakes and is not easy to understand, especially since she uses Lee and leaves him without any explanation.  Still, it is a satisfying and amusing tale that is a joy to read!

Roslynn Ernst