Includes an exclusive bonus short story!
The first book in the new series Desperately Seeking Duke from USA Today bestselling and RITA award-winning author Caroline Linden.
It’s no love match…
Bianca Tate is horrified when her sister Cathy is obliged to accept an offer of marriage from Maximilian St. James, notorious rake. Defiantly she helps Cathy elope with her true love, and takes her sister’s place at the altar.
It’s not even the match that was made…
Perched on the lowest branch of his family tree, Max has relied on charm and cunning to survive. But an unexpected stroke of luck gives him an outside chance at a dukedom—and which Tate sister he weds hardly seems to matter.
But could it be the perfect match?
Married or not, Bianca is determined to protect her family’s prosperous ceramics business, even when Max shows an affinity for it—not to mention a dangerous ability to intrigue and tempt Bianca herself. And when Max realizes how beautiful and intelligent and desirable Bianca is, he’ll have to prove he’s no rogue, but the passionately devoted husband she craves…
Customer ReviewsSee All
He's calculating and self serving.
He's calculating and self serving.
She's a spitfire.
The premise is that a dukedom is at stake and there's several potential heirs.
Max is one of those potential heirs, but so far, he's lived a self serving, calculating life of saving his own behind.
This time, he plans to wed a biddable girl and secure a comfortable living and home, That particular girl is Cathy, who runs off with another man and leaves behind her younger, fiery sister Bianca to wed Max.
I really liked Bianca, who was fiery and worked in the family's pottery business and knew it inside out, except she had to wed Max since her father gave him a quarter of her business. Men.
Obviously, she doesn't take to him right away, although Max finds her desirable.
Equal parts Pride and Prejudice and the Taming of the Shew, it was an enjoyable Sunday afternoon read, though I found I really did not ever warm up to Max. He was very hard to connect with, as he was so self serving and arrogant.
First in a new series and I can’t wait for the rest! The unlikely heir trope was great, a little confusing with all new characters at the beginning, but has great potential for future books. Max is the self made hero, unlikely heir to a dukedom, who is given the financial opportunity to start over. His new start involves sisters Cathy and Bianca, and their father’s business - but Max is genuinely interested in the business, not just in marrying for money. Add some skeletons in the closet, some make-overs, interesting servants, and this was a great read as usual from Caroline Linden. Included in the ebook (maybe the paper book as well?) is a very short story. I’m usually not a fan of those, but this one really works and adds a nice facet to the main story.
I was provided with an ARC of this book in return for my honest review.
When Max St. James learns that he is in line to inherit The Carlyle Dukedom, the Duchess gives him and his cousin six months to settle (marry) and prove they are worthy to inherit. Max immediately takes advantage of the income granted him to settle debts and make for himself something he hasn’t had in a long time, a safe and respectable life. He finds his opportunity at Perusia Potteries. When Bianca Tate discovers that not only has her father agreed to a marriage between her sister Cathy and Max, but is giving him a quarter interest in the company, she is livid. One, she loves Perusia and feels like her father has given away part of her heritage. Two, Cathy is in love with the local curate. Bianca’s solution helping Cathy elope with her true love results in her own marriage to Max St. James. Will Max prove to be the fortune hunter she believes him to be, or will he show that he is truly interested in the company and wants to help expand and improve it? Will Max’s marriage to Bianca be just a marriage of (in)convenience?
Max is a wonderful hero. He is intelligent, determined, and patient. He watches and works hard to learn the business he has joined. Bianca is very much like her father Samuel, and a brilliant asset to Perusia. She is fiercely devoted to her family and their business. Max and Bianca are perfect for each other, but you may not be able to convince them. This is an entertaining story with some very interesting characters, lots of humor, a secret or two, an amazing cricket match, and a few surprises. There is also an absolutely charming bonus story. I enjoyed and recommend this one. Another winner for Caroline Linden.
I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley. My review is voluntary.