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The Duke's Undoing

The Duke of Ruisdell is known to be somewhat of a rake. He's just gotten back from three years of fighting in the Napoleonic wars, and he's come home wounded. He's also come home with emotional scars to add to his physical ones he received in the battles. He just isn't himself, which makes him quite bored. His friend, the Marquis of Somerset, is trying to come up with something...anything to rid the duke of his boredom. He strikes upon just the thing when he hears of Miss Elise Edwards casting off yet another fiance. She's been engaged three times already, yet each, through no fault of her own, has ended disastrously. The first young man, her one true love as she supposes, was killed in the Napoleonic wars. The second young man turned out to be quite mad and tried to kidnap her. That leaves us with the third, a young man who tried to push their physical relationship and seems to be quite in love with her childhood best friend. The Marquis decides to make a bet in White's famous betting book that the Duke will rid himself of his boredom by seducing Miss Edwards. The Duke doesn't even know Miss Edwards, but he will quite soon, when by chance he comes upon a sad young woman in Green Park and gives her a drawing of the tree that she's staring at. He meets this same young woman again several times, even learning her name, and eventually he also meets her second fiance, who again tries to harm Miss Edwards. It is then that the Duke comes up with a plan, he and Miss Edwards will have a phony engagement so that it will be proper for him to protect her. But will he be able to keep his heart safe when he's clearly engaged to the woman?

I really liked the story that this book told. The characters were engaging, I liked the story and Regency ere romances are some of my very favorites. I did have a few problems with the book though, Miss Edwards had so many fiances that their titles became especially confusing when they were being discussed. I also thought that it was too sensual to be a truly clean romance. For me, this book walked that line and it was more right on it than to the right or the left. I enjoyed it, it was mostly clean, but it could have been cleaner.

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