Thursday, February 25, 2021

Book Review: The Worst Duke in the World by Lisa Berne

Now that Anthony was in closer proximity to her, his brain not only failed to return to its usual state of semi-coherence, his body had yet to cool to its normal temperature. He was burning up inside himself, he was more than a little agitated, his mouth had suddenly gone dry, and altogether he felt, in fact, as if he'd come down with the influenza which two years ago had felled Wakefield, but in an extremely nice way.

This was a very adorable PG-13 historical romance. My first time reading Berne, I snagged this digital review copy via NetGalley, unaware it was the 5th in a series. However, reading it cold wasn't an issue as the main characters seem to have little connection to characters from earlier books.

The Worst Duke in the World by Lisa Berne
Avon, 2021
Digital review copy via NetGalley

Our hero Anthony is a widower who suffered an unhappy marriage that resulted in a beloved, precocious child, Wakefield. Our heroine Jane is the illegitimate great-granddaughter of a Penhallow ancestor, warmly welcomed by her family. Anthony wants to focus on his estate while his widowed sister is determined he make another marriage -- and not to Jane.

Berne's writing style had me laughing out loud more than once, as it's a little fussy in a wonderfully fun way. Anthony's point of view -- and his child Wakefield -- were both delightful, and Jane was a bland but fine love interest. Their conflict was pretty low stakes, all things considered, and they both knew they were into each other and the story was just waiting out the rest of their families. Honestly, it was kind of what I needed right now. And I enjoyed it enough that I'm going to seek out Berne's backlist for when I need fluffy low-stakes reads for the future.

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