The Duke Who Didn’t by Courtney Milan
Wedgeford Files #1
September 22. 2020, Self Published
Review by Melinda
I was destined to love this book – it has a protagonist who loves lists! How could I not love her!? Chloe lives her life by those lists…but also gets really behind on those lists. I felt like I was extremely her in basically every chapter. She’s also anxious and complex, did I mention I felt such an affinity for her?! And every time the other protagonist gives her a compliment she insists it’s about someone else because she simply cannot see her good qualities that others can.
But I also really loved Jeremy. He is trying to atone for what he thinks of as his past misdeeds and in coming back to ask Chloe to marry him wants to let her know that he’s changed. There’s a few different themes running throughout this book that I loved but my favorite was how Milan emphasizes the feeling of abandonment, and how difficult it is to actually put that past you. Jeremy shows her repeatedly that he is here…and he won’t be going anywhere. That it was hard for Chloe to come to understand this was just really lovely to see Jeremy slowly realize how much he had hurt her.
The other – overt, major – theme is how much this is not the oh so white historical that we’ve seen so often. I seek out diverse historicals and this is maybe one of the best I’ve read. I loved learning about the Hakka people of China and this town being completely filled with Chinese people in their own village that they created on their own was really well-developed. More books like this, please!
This has low conflict, no angst, and that may not be your cup of tea. But right now it was exactly what I needed.