THE ENGLISH DUKE by Karen Ranney


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An inventor’s daughter will stop at nothing to carry out her father’s last wishes—even if it means confronting a handsome but unfriendly duke in his den.

Martha York is not an ordinary young woman. When her late father invented a new type of torpedo ship, Martha took notes, built prototypes, and kept order in his workshop. Now that he’s gone, she’s determined to deliver his bequest. He left a working prototype of his torpedo ship to Jordan Hamilton, the Duke of Roth. Jordan is also an inventor and was her father’s devoted friend. When Jordan refuses to accept the bequest, Martha travels to his country seat with her grandmother and half sister to entreat him to take it. The pain from a recent injury has made Jordan surly and reclusive, but Martha’s grandmother fakes an illness so she’ll have an excuse to stay at Jordan’s estate for a few days, throwing her unmarried granddaughters into the ducal presence. Jordan and Martha spend the time working side by side in Jordan’s workshop. They begin to respect each other as colleagues, and warm feelings develop, followed by very hot feelings indeed. But Martha’s conniving younger sister, Josephine, is determined to win the duke for herself. Both Martha and Jordan are so unbearably passive and self-pitying that Josephine almost carries it off, getting herself affianced to Jordan through manipulation and outright lies. The reader is left in an agony of frustration and suspense, waiting for Jordan or Martha to speak up and end the farcical engagement between Josephine and Jordan. The second book in Ranney's (The Scottish Duke, 2016) Duke Trilogy is full of compelling details about Victorian naval armaments, but the secondary characters are almost more interesting than the brilliant but naïve hero and heroine.

A compelling read in spite of the aggravating main characters.

Pub Date: March 28th, 2017
ISBN: 978-0-06-246689-1
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 2017


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