Title: The Duke She Despised, in the Winter Wishes Regency Holiday Romance Anthology
Author: Alina K. Field
Genre: Regency Romance
The Winter Wishes anthology includes thirteen never-before-published Regency Christmas romances from bestselling and award-winning Regency authors, including Alina K. Field.
The new Duke of Kinmarty has lost everyone who mattered and gained naught but a title, and debt, and an old pile of a castle. When a fetching new housekeeper appears on his doorstep frantic to ready the place for the Yuletide, he seizes the chance for a respite from grieving and pretends to be the new duke’s estate factor.
With her cousin’s children due to arrive from India, a vicar’s widow hides her identity and takes a position as housekeeper to their dreadful uncle, the man who years ago sabotaged her own chance for happiness. Overwhelmed by a castle understaffed and in disarray, she forges a bond with the new duke’s charming but not very competent factor, not knowing that he’s hiding something as well.
When allies become lovers, each senses the truth may rip them apart. Can their love survive when she discovers he’s the duke she despised?
Now a USA Today Bestseller!
If you’re like me and love Regency romances set during the holidays, you’re going to love this anthology. Thirteen brand-new romances by some of today’s bestselling and award-winning Regency authors. I haven’t read them all yet but I can’t wait to read them. I had the chance to read The Duke She Despised by Alina K. Field this week and my review is for that book.
Filomena Grant blames the now Duke of Kinmarty for her lot in life. His sweeping statements ruined her chances for a good match ten years ago. But Filomena’s cousin and her children are returning from India and Filomena knows the time to make amends with the only family she’s ever known is nigh. She secures a position at the dreaded Duke’s estate as a housekeeper. Hard work has never been a problem for her but when she lays eyes on the Duke’s factor, all she can think about is being swept up in his embrace. What she doesn’t realize is the very same duke she despises is the same man she swoons over. When the truth is revealed, can Filomena forgive the duke, or will he forever be the Duke She Despised?
Hidden identities, family obligations, misunderstandings abound in this story but there’s also love. Romantic love, specifically enemies to lovers romance, is the main trope yet Alina K. Field throws in a few curveballs to make it interesting. My heart went out to both Andrew (dreaded duke) and Filomena several times while reading. Both characters have dealt with huge losses while wasting time stewing over past hurts. Christmastide is a time for healing and this romance oozes forgiveness.
Why is this a five-star book? From the first page, I couldn’t stop reading. I connected with the characters right away. The romance is slow-burning and there’s a fair amount of will they or won’t they intrigue. I was emotionally invested in the story so much; I would try to coax the characters by speaking aloud. The abundant historical details swept me away to another time and place. The ending was unexpected but made my romantic heart soar.
If you love Regency Romance, especially holiday-themed, this anthology is for you. So many great stories by some of my favorite authors. Highly recommend!
My Rating: 5 stars
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Award winning author Alina K. Field earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and German literature, but she prefers the much happier world of romance fiction. Though her roots are in the Midwestern U.S., after six very, very, very cold years in Chicago, she moved to Southern California and hasn’t looked back. She is the author of several Regency romances, including the 2014 Book Buyer’s Best winner, Rosalyn’s Ring. She is hard at work on her next series of Regency romances, but loves to hear from readers!
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Reviewed by: Mrs. N