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A Duke a Dozen by Shana Galen
My Rating: ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ Spice Level: 💋💋💋
They call him the Doomed Duke.
Phineas Duncombe, ninth Duke of Mayne, should not be the duke. After all, he had four—count them—four older brothers! Phin never wanted the dukedom, and the suspicious circumstances of the eighth duke’s death lead Phin to question the Countess of Longstowe. The beautiful widow isn’t at all what Phin expected. He’s intrigued by her and determined to seduce her. The countess is not interested in Phin romantically, but when she comes to him with another request, he can’t deny it. A few days in the country with Lady Longstowe reveal two truths to the new duke. One, he cares for the countess much more than any other woman he’s ever known. Two, Phin either has very bad luck or someone is trying to kill him.
They call her the Wanton Widow.
Annabel was barely eighteen when she was married to the elderly Earl of Longstowe. A harsh, sadistic man, the earl’s death was not something Annabel mourned. Now in her mid-forties, Annabel enjoys her widowhood and has no desire to ever be under a man’s thumb again. Not even a handsome duke like Mayne, who is far too young for her anyway. Annabel’s one desire is to find the daughter who was taken away from her. For that she needs a man with power and status. She needs the Duke of Mayne. When the two are thrust together, Annabel struggles to fight her attraction to the charming Phin. She’s losing the battle. But can she ever trust another man, especially with the one part of herself she’s never given away—her heart?
Two people have never gotten off to such a bad start, but that spark between them can’t be denied. That heat is constantly between them building and waiting to burst into one of the strongest love stories. Between them and wondering who is after him I couldn’t put it down and flew through the book. I loved the switch with her being older than him and how open with each other they were.
When it came to who was trying to kill Phin I didn’t see it coming at all and almost dropped my Kindle. I was on pins and needles during that scene. It just sealed their love even more and there was no denying it. Let the scandal sheets and gossips scream it from the rooftop because the doomed duke and wanton widow are never letting go of each other.
Annabel has to be one of the strongest women alive. She survived a cruel man that forced her to shut down parts of herself and left her fearing she could never get those parts back. I absolutely loved her from the start with how she could put someone in their place. She found just who and what she needed after all those years.
Phin never wanted to be the duke, but he was made to be the duke because he was nothing like his brothers. He saw in her what she tried to hide and was determined to help her find her daughter and show her she could get those parts of herself back. I love him and his skills for getting information and how he would give up control to her.
The stories in this series just keep getting better.