Title: A Duke in the Night
Series: The Devils of Dover #1
Author: Kelly Bowen
Format: ebook, 368 pages
Published: February 20th 2018 by Forever
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 Wine Glasses
Duke. Scoundrel. Titan of business. August Faulkner is a man of many talents, not the least of which is enticing women into his bedchamber. He’s known—and reviled—for buying and selling companies, accumulating scads of money, and breaking hearts. It’s a reputation he wears like a badge of honor, and one he intends to keep.
Clara Hayward, the headmistress of the Haverhall School for Young Ladies, on the other hand, is above reproach. Yet when she’s reunited with August, all she can think of is the way she felt in his arms as they danced a scandalous waltz ten long years ago. Even though her head knows that he is only back in her life to take over her family’s business, her heart can’t help but open to the very duke who could destroy it for good.
Kelly Bowen delivers a rollicking good read with A Duke in the Night, where a forward-thinking heroine and a rags-to-riches hero dance around a passion that has been building for ten long years...
Clara Hayward has always been ahead of her time with her feminist views and independent attitude. Her parents encouraged all three Hayward siblings to step outside the boundaries of society's rigid structures. In that vein, Clara started the Haverhall School for Young Ladies where she can teach the young women of society that there is more to life than the next ball and flowered embroidery, if they so chose. With her family's business in danger, and Haverhall's future in peril, Clara enjoys one last summer session away from London with a small, selective group of students. Until the Duke of Holloway arrives searching for his sister, one of Clara's students. Now she can't help but recall the young man she danced with ten years ago, and notice the changes that those years have brought. No longer is he the daring, charming young aristocrat. Instead August Faulkner is now a rigid businessman, who no matter how much he acquires, it is never enough. His desire for more though might just prevent him from obtaining the one object he never knew he needed most...Clara's heart.
A Duke in the Night was a delightful historical romance, awash with fun and sexy scenes and the perfect mix of drama and romance. This is actually my first read from author Kelly Bowen, but it will not be the last! The characters were a joy; Clara was a rare treat for a heroine set in this time period and despite August's chilly demeanor at the beginning of the tale, I enjoyed the different facets to his personality. The supporting cast kept the story entertaining and led to many laugh-out-loud moments.
"Have you lost something again, dearie?" Lady Theodosia asked from the dais, and she sounded completely unconcerned that a duke had just walked in on her in a most horrifying dishabille. In fact, she sounded much the same as when she had caught him crouching behind a stone fence. Simply amused.
Clara and August are at opposing ends for much of the story but that doesn't stifle the desire that burns between them. Clara is very much her own woman, and is not afraid to do what she pleases, despite how society might look down upon her actions. Instances like this didn't quite ring true for the time period that this book is set in, but the author's creative license kept true to the character so was easy to overlook. It also led to several enticing scenes that I cannot complain about.
He was hers.
His hips thrust up and back. Clara grasped his arms, feeling his biceps flex through the thin fabric of his shirt. Beneath her touch, his body trembled, shaking with restraint. "Don't," she whispered hoarsely, finding his lips with hers in the darkness. "Don't hold back."
I loved watching each of these characters grow throughout the story, and not just the main couple but each's siblings as well. I'm looking forward totheir own books in the future. Bowen paints a vivid narrative, with a well-paced, exciting plot, lively characters, and witty dialogue. A Duke in the Night was an enjoyable and entertaining read that I recommend to historical romance readers looking for a new twist on the genre. I certainly enjoyed it!