Saturday, August 15, 2020

Review - A Duke By Any Other Name

Title:  A Duke By Any Other Name
Author:  Grace Burrowes
Series:  Rogues to Riches #4
Genre:   Historical Romance
Publisher:   Forever
Format:  Print ARC
No. of Pages:  368
Date of Publication:  April 28, 2020
My Rating:  3 Stars


With her trademark wit, New York Times bestselling author Grace Burrowes delivers a charming Regency romance featuring a duke in disguise and a hellion trying to convince Society she’s a lady.

Nathaniel, Duke of Rothhaven, lives in seclusion, leaving his property only to gallop his demon-black steed across the moors by moonlight. Exasperated mamas invoke his name to frighten small children, though Nathaniel is truly a decent man - maybe too decent for his own good. That's precisely why he must turn away the beguiling woman demanding his help.

Lady Althea Wentworth has little patience for dukes, reclusive or otherwise, but she needs Rothhaven's backing to gain entrance into Polite Society. She's asked him nicely, she's called on him politely, all to no avail—until her prize hogs just happen to plunder the ducal orchard. He longs for privacy. She's vowed to never endure another ball as a wallflower. Yet as the two grow closer, it soon becomes clear they might both be pretending to be something they're not.


Readers of the Rogues to Riches series by Grace Burrowes met Lady Althea Wentworth in previous books in the series, especially in Forever and a Duke, the third book. It is almost unfair of me to be writing this review, because I gave that book only two stars, and this is not much better with three stars. I love historical romance and I love continuity, however, after giving the first two books in the series, My One and Only Duke and When a Duchess Says I Do, each five stars, these last two books fell rather flat for me. 

As she is now the sister of a duke, Althea should have had good marriage prospects. Instead she is approaching spinsterhood. Conversely, another duke, Nathaniel, who is actually Althea's neighbor, discover they have more than a bit in common. They are sick of society and would rather avoid it, at any cost. They both have things they are dealing with, and it is these very things that end up drawing them together. 

The history of Althea's family is rather interesting, especially as to how her brother Stephen became a duke. Will this be enough to lead her to a good marriage? Quite frankly, Althea doesn't care one with about clout and esteem. She has suddenly seen people for what they really are and they are not the sort she strives to be. However, Nathaniel is different.

But, the pair do knock heads, and for a rather humorous reason. The conflict they face leads them to be sparring partners as it were, thus raising a strong awareness between them. The story is satisfying, especially as there is a bit of drama involving Nathaniel and his dukedom. Quite naturally for just about any romance, conflict eventually leads to resolution and, and for Althea and Nathaniel in this story - love. 

Because I really want Robert's story, which will be in The Truth About Dukes, set for release in November, I will be continuing with the series.

Many thanks to Forever and to NetGalley for this ARC for review. This is my honest opinion.


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!

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