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Duke in Name Only by Caroline Warfield is a Best Books '23 pick #regency #historicalromance #romance #bestbooks #giveaway



Title: Duke in Name Only

 

Author: Caroline Warfield

 

Genre: Regency (North America) Romance

 

Book Blurb:

 

Misfortune is an excellent teacher.


When Phillip Tavernash, Ninth Duke of Glenmoor, discovers his title is held fraudulently, he embarks on a journey to North America determined to succeed on his own. It doesn’t go well. He has no idea what a fish out of water he will be.


Nan Archer had to summon enough backbone to stand up to her father and older brother who moved their family across the frontier every time civilization reached any clearing in which they’d made a stake. She has landed on the banks of the Mississippi and built something of her own, the tavern Archers’ Roost. She will go no farther.


When Nan’s brother dumps a pathetic traveler, robbed, beaten, and wounded, on her tavern floor she takes him in, as she would any wounded duck. That he called himself duke is cause for hilarity.


Attraction blooms easily, but can Phillip look past his life of privilege to find what he’s looking for deep inside himself? Can he convince her she’s the answer to his search?


Is he a duke or a bastard? Does it matter in the end?

 

Excerpt:

 

“My brother should be Duke of Glenmoor, but it was confirmed on me—signed and sealed by the Crown—and we can’t do a damn thing about it. The Crown does not like to be told it made a mistake.”


It was more than Nan could sort out, but one thing struck her right away. “Don’t tell Fitzwallace. You’ll never be able to keep him in line.”


That at least brought a grin and the old Artie up to the surface. “True enough. I need to exploit what I have when it is useful.” He pressed her hand where it held his. “The thing is, Nan, Gideon was given nothing, and yet he made a fortune on his own. I was handed everything. I’ve never earned anything. The difference in our lives shocked me out of my complacency. I came here to make something on my own. Something I could be proud of.”


“You admire your brother.”


“More than I can say. Admire and love.” He picked up his letters. The first, obviously a short note, made him laugh. “He wrote this when he got my missive telling him I was leaving England. Some of his language is indelicate, but he wasn’t happy I asked him to look after the estate.”


“Estate?”


He waved one hand casually, staring at the page. “The family manor, the investments, the whole business, everything attached to the title. He hated it, but I’ve made sure it all will belong to his son one day, as it should. I knew he couldn’t look away.” He tapped the other letter with one finger. “I wonder if he went? Shall we see?”


He read the much longer letter in silence, occasionally reading out a sentence. “He says it was a blessing in the end. ‘It brought me Mia,’ he says. He’s remarried! To a local woman.” Further on, he laughed. “He and my old steward are quite a pair. He says, ‘Marshall can’t read. If you knew, you might have warned me—’ I didn’t know, by the way, the rascal. Trust Gideon to ferret that out. ‘Now that we have that in the open, we’ve become quite a partnership. Fillmore is still frosty. Mia is melting him slowly.’”


“What is a steward and who is Fillmore?” Nan asked, the impact of all this slowly dawning on her.


“The steward manages the land, the tenants, the stables, the farms. The butler—that is Fillmore—the house and all its servants.”


Nan stared at this man she thought she knew. Even the title and authority hadn’t made some things as clear as they were becoming. “How much land, Artie?”


He hesitated. She suspected he was tempted to lie. He didn’t. “Somewhere between ten and eleven thousand acres. There are over five thousand in smaller parcels around the country.” He clamped his jaw shut, waiting for her reaction.


Nan considered the Archer farm. Her pride in their full section. It would fit in this Woodglen’s kitchen patch. Truly they were from different worlds. Artie may as well have come here from the moon. Something else hit her. “How many servants?” Her words came out a croak.


“In the house? Twenty-five or thirty normally. More when needed.” He frowned and went on. “There are twenty bedrooms in the guest wing alone. It takes—”


“Merciful saints!” Nan soared to her feet. “You’ve been sleeping in my attic. I knew you didn’t fit there, but—thirty servants. Merciful saints!”


He rose and reached for her hand, but she wasn’t having it. “No. I have to leave. You have to leave, Artie. Your Grace.”


His words followed her out the door. “Not until we rebuild Archers’ Roost.”


***


Phillip sat long after the candle guttered out going over Gideon’s letter in his mind, and over Nan’s horrified reaction to her first real glimpse of the reality of his life. He hadn’t meant to delude her ever, yet perhaps he had. He could see why she might feel like it.


He had no choice at the beginning, and he did tell the Archers he could pay his debts—repeatedly. He’d given them glimpses of the duke, but pulled back into “Artie,” their friend and assistant every time. There was no way they could know the extent of it, not if he didn’t tell them. Why didn’t he?


In the darkness, he couldn’t hide from himself. This interlude at Archers’ Roost had been a relief from his confused feelings about his life, his legacy, and his shame over the title. Though uneasy at first, he had enjoyed being Artie. He had enjoyed being part of a courageous, affectionate family. Taking down the Sullivans verified his manhood; Luke Archer’s respect, hard won, gave him pride. The drive to rebuild The Roost filled him with the satisfaction of creating something of value.


Behind it all there was Nan.

 

Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub):

 

 

 

 


What makes your featured book a must-read?

 

When you strip away title and origins, who are we? Thrown together with a family on the edge of the American frontier, the Duke of Glenmoor is forced to discover who he is and what he really wants.

 

Giveaway –

 

Enter to win a $45 Amazon gift card:

 

 

Open Internationally.

 

Runs December 18 – December 31, 2023.

 

Winner will be drawn on January 2, 2024.

 


Author Biography:

 

Award winning author of family centered romance set in the Regency and Victorian eras, Caroline Warfield has been many things. She reckons she is on at least her third act, happily working in an office surrounded by windows where she lets her characters lead her to adventures in England and the far-flung corners of the British Empire. She nudges them to explore the riskiest territory of all, the human heart.

 

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1 Comment


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N. N. Light
Dec 29, 2023

Thank you, Caroline, for sharing your book in our Best Books of '23 Bookish Event!

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