Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Review - A Duke in the Night

Author:  Kelly Bowen
Series:  The Devils of Dover #1
Genre:   Historical Romance
Publisher:   Forever
Format:  Kindle
No. of Pages:  368
Date of Publication:  February 20, 2018
My Rating:  4 Stars

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.


August Faulker is a scoundrel and a consummate businessman. He is not ashamed of either. When he meets Clara Hayward, headmistress of the Haverhall School for Young Ladies, he has to redirect his personal life and even his business. His protective nature towards his sister is also tested.

Clara's memories of August are definitely unpleasant. During a waltz ten years ago he attempted to proposition her, causing her to lose respect for him and to become rather jaded. With him back in her life again, and threatening her family business, well, her thoughts remain unpleasant. She must question herself as to why her heart feels involved when her whole life, including her family and students, could be completely unraveled.

August is both pleased and disturbed by his current involvement with Clara. On the one hand, he is in the position to take over her school and other aspects of her family business. On the other hand, his attraction to her is beyond his comprehension. As a Duke, his role is excelled, but it his role as a businessman that is directing his life. Also, as a big brother, his sister's experience in the school, as well as her future prospects are of huge concern to August as well.

A Duke in the Night is a terrific historical romance. It is very well balanced with the strong chemistry between August and Clara. In addition, their individual businesses and families are key in this story. I also loved the fact that both Clara and August's sister were so business-minded. It was a pleasant benefit to a terrific story, especially as it was set in the early 19th century. Kelly Bowen has made a fine start in this new series. It is followed by Last Night with the Earl and A Rogue by Night, which will be out on May 28, 2019. 


I spent a lot of time early in life reading romance novels and riding a chubby buckskin gelding named —unimaginatively if eponymously—Buck. In college, while still voraciously reading romance, I supported myself by teaching piano and accompanying ballet classes. I became a technical writer and an editor after graduation, a demanding job that nonetheless left enough time to read many, many romance novels—and grab a law degree through an evening program.

Then I became a mom—much to my surprise—and small town lawyering seemed like a better fit with a single parent’s priorities. Through all of my ups and downs, detours and speedbumps, I’d been a relentless reader of romance. Kathleen E. Woodiwiss, Judith Ivory, Mary Balogh, Loretta Chase, Eloisa James… I could fill this page with the authors I’ve read and enjoyed. I consider them the fairy godmothers who’ve guarded my single-working-mom sanity.

Late one night, I was cramming on a lawyer-deadline, drafting some Motion to Do Something Or Other Right Now Please Your Honor, when I recalled that in my briefcase was a book I’d been saving to read on a hard day.

“One chapter,” I muttered. “I’ll read just one chapter, and then knock out this motion…” But another thought kept intruding as I read that one chapter, “I bet I could…”

So… I wrote a romance novel. That book became Gareth: Lord of Rakes, and opened the door to the sheer bliss of writing historical romance. I wrote and wrote and wrote and wrote… my writing chair became my happy place, though I still had no thought that I might someday become a published author. My Beloved Offspring flew the coop, and the writing only picked up speed.

I am the sixth out of seven children, and from all sides (my four brothers in particular), I heard, “When are you going to get that stuff published?” As if publishing contracts droppeth from the heavens like the gentle rain? And yet… I’m a child welfare attorney. That’s a tough gig, and I could see the day when I might want an alternative.

I joined RWA, like dipping a casual toe in the waters of authordom when nobody was looking. I went to a chapter conference and felt completely out of place. Nonetheless, I bumped into an editor there, and the query letter resulting from that encounter began: “I am the buffoon in the bar at the RWA retreat who could not keep her heroines straight, could not look you in the eye, and could not stop blushing—and if that doesn’t narrow down the possibilities, your job is even harder than I thought.” (The dear lady bought the book anyway.)

We started with the Windham family, eventually doubled back and picked up Gareth and his successors in the Lonely Lords series, scooted over to the Victorian Highlands for the MacGregor quartet… whole lotta authordom going on!

Somewhere along the way, I realized that I am a writer. That chair before my computer is still very much my happy place, and the professional version of “once upon a time,” is every bit as alluring and enjoyable as the childhood version. I owe my reader so many hours of joy, and the only way I can think to repay that gift is by writing more stories!

Please feel free to contact me. I love reader mail!


  1. Though this sounds charming, this is not my sort of genre, great review!

  2. This one's not my sort of read but I'm glad you enjoyed it.
    Gemma @ www.gemmasbooknook.blogspot.com

  3. Great review, good to see you enjoyed it.

  4. Now I love his smouldering gaze!! Is the room hot or what?

  5. historicals are definitely my fav romance reads so this one is going on my TBR..

  6. Great review Robin, this book looks and sounds like my kind of book that I would really love and enjoy I really need to check it out one day. Thank you so much for sharing your awesome post and for putting this book on my radar.

  7. Oooh, now this one I can get on board with! Great review, Robin :) I'm off to check this one out!