The Duchess Hunt by Lorraine Heath
Once Upon a Dukedom #2
September 28, 2021, by Avon
Review by Angela
The Duchess Hunt is the second book in the Once Upon a Dukedom series. Readers first meet one of the main characters, the Duke of Kingsland, in Scoundrel of My Heart, when he was looking for a wife and decided upon Lady Kathryn Lambert… who later went on to wed Griffith Stanwick instead. Well, he’s decided to plan another ball where he chooses a different bride to be, and he’s given the task to his secretary, Penelope Pettypeace, to choose who that person will be.
Penelope Pettypeace is a competent, capable, no-nonsense woman who has a wonderful working relationship with her employer, the Duke of Kingsland. She’s also quite in love with him. But she knows there can never be anything between them, especially given their different stations in life and the secrets she is keeping about her past. They are like two peas in a pod, both focused, detail-oriented, and business-minded, which is why Kingsland relies on Pettypeace so much. But she knows once he takes a bride she won’t be able to stay in his household, so she’s planned for her future.
After being introduced to Kingsland in the previous installment I was very interested in getting to know him better and discovering who his love interest would be. Penelope Pettypeace is his perfect match and I really enjoyed them together. I wouldn’t say this is friends to lovers, although I do think this couple had a deep, trusting working relationship before they ever decided to become intimate, this is more like an office romance between people from different class structures who are secretly obsessed with each other. Lots of mutual pining, secret touches, and longing side glances.
Each of them has a BIG SECRET, and despite getting dual POVs readers are kept in the dark about what those secrets are for most of the book. Things start to move along external plotwise when a blackmail letter lands on Penelope’s desk and she doesn’t know if it’s for her or for Kingsland. I think readers will be surprised at both of these BIG SECRETS, his was way worse than her’s in my opinion, but I have to say I did absolutely love the way Kingsland groveled for forgiveness after his bad reaction to the revelations of Penelope’s past. And the building of their HEA is so very romantic. These characters have such wonderful chemistry and it’s always nice to see the stoic hero who thinks he won’t ever give away his heart slowly come to the realization that he already has.
This was another enjoyable read by one of my favorite historical romance authors. I’m so looking forward to finding out what comes next in this series.
Final grade- B
This does sound appealing, Angela! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.