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  • Writer's pictureClaudine Gandolfi

The Duke who Didn't - Courtney Milan

Date Read: November 9, 2020

Review: Are you ready for something different, sweet and tangy? No, not the sauce! This book is something new. It's not your traditional Victorian Romance and that's a good thing. It's a refreshing, multi-cultural, with glimpses into the Chinese cultures featured within. So many things to learn! Plus, Jeremy is really, really in love with Chloe. And Chloe reminded me of my cousin, crunchy and business-like on the outside, but just dying to let loose on the inside. I love how she's the adventurous, curious one and he's almost just along for the ride in the book. He's willing to suffer anything for her. I also loved how the deep, dark secret Jeremy was keeping played out. I'd like to see the other inhabitants of Wedgeford venture forth, too.

Series: Wedgeford Trials #1

Type: Victorian

Heat: 7/10

Tropes: Second Chance, Cinnamon Roll Hero, Grumpy Strong Heroine, Only One Bed

Premise: Jeremy has always loved Chloe Fong. What Jeremy hasn't told her is, he's now the Duke of Lansing. The whole town of Wedgeford, a settlement of Hakka & Cantonese immigrants, knows him as the affable "Posh Jim." He's left each time he's visited, which Chloe isn't happy about. She's in love with him but he keeps leaving. She's checked him off her list and Chloe loves to make lists. She intends to right a wrong done to her father by a British Sauce company years ago, by creating and distributing a currently unnamed sauce he's worked on for years to prove he was wrongfully fired. They're going to roll it out during the Wedgeford Trials, a local contest that people travel far and wide to attend. Will Chloe be able to put down her clipboard long enough to hear what Jeremy is saying to her? Will Jeremy fess up about who he really is and what he wants? Will Chloe's father kill Jeremy with increasingly potent and spicy food?

The Good: This was completely refreshing! There was no "dark moment" in the book, just internal conflict. I also adored learning more about a different culture throughout instead of the normal, sorry--bland, backdrop of a Regency or Victorian set in England. I felt like I learned something as well as enjoyed a sweet and spicy romance. It's charming.

The Bad: I thought their first sex scene was funny but could have been hotter. And if that's the worst part of the book, it's a really good book.

**I was given an ARC in order to write this unbiased review.**

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