STARRED REVIEW
January 12, 2021

Someday My Duke Will Come

By Christina Britton
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In Christina Britton’s solidly crafted Regency romance, Someday My Duke Will Come, a fake engagement and close quarters spur friends to become the lovers they were meant to be.

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In Christina Britton’s solidly crafted Regency romance, Someday My Duke Will Come, a fake engagement and close quarters spur friends to become the lovers they were meant to be. Quincy and Clara are two of a kind. Both are aristocratic underdogs: despite being the children of dukes, they grew up on the periphery of the noble circles to which they belong. And both harbor dark secrets and not quite fully healed childhood wounds that they think make them less than ideal partners. Plus, for different reasons, they’re both desperate to avoid the matchmaking machinations of nosy relatives.

Quincy is the brand new Duke of Reigate. As a boy, he revered and loved his father and was loved and adored in turn. But his mother always seemed to despise him, and he never understood why he felt so at odds with almost everyone in his family. At 14, with his father gone, he ran off to prevent his mother from consigning him to the Royal Navy. Having grown up as fourth in line to the dukedom, Quincy never thought he’d inherit. When he returns home for the first time in 14 years, he learns to never say never. Due to a series of unfortunate events, he’s the new Duke of Reigate and there’s no money left in the estate.

Lady Clara’s family is far warmer, but she’s a spinster and feels pressured by her Aunt Olivia to finally make a match lest she be permanently left on the shelf (unbeknownst to Aunt Olivia, this is Clara’s preferred life plan). Clara was just 9 years old when her mother died, and she all but traded her childhood to make sure her siblings, a younger brother and sister, felt secure. From then on, she watched them play and stood on the sidelines, more caretaker than sister to them both. Later, at 16, she went through a short rebellious period that ended in tragedy, plunging her into despair and making her believe that her past disqualified her from marrying the type of man that would otherwise be her match.

When an upcoming family wedding throws Lady Clara and the new Duke together, they both find themselves in need of a fake partner, and renew a warm friendship formed in Britton’s first Isle of Synne novel, A Good Duke Is Hard to Find. Quincy is warding off his mother’s ill-tempered demands that he marry to refill the coffers. As determined and disapproving as Lady Catherine de Bourgh scheming over Fitzwilliam Darcy’s future in Pride and Prejudice, the Duchess of Reigate has an intended wife picked out for the prodigal son she barely acknowledges—and it is not Lady Clara, his own desires be damned. The rather two-dimensional duchess is pushy and vicious, and her purpose is solely to act as the villain that propels the action forward, but it mostly works. When she ambushes Quincy with the match she’s chosen for him, Clara steps in as his fake fiancée, a claim that also conveniently wards off her aunt’s more generous but annoying matchmaking entreaties. More importantly, it throws them in close proximity even though they’d both sort of like to avoid the attraction they feel but haven’t acknowledged.

In addition to the fake engagement, the events of Someday My Duke Will Come revolve around Quincy’s bankrupt dukedom that needs saving and family secrets that need unraveling. Over the course of their arrangement, Clara and Quincy learn that the things they survived make them perfect partners for each other. This is a solid if not wholly original Regency romance between two likable underdogs who both deserve a happy ending.

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Someday My Duke Will Come

Someday My Duke Will Come

By Christina Britton
Forever
ISBN 9781538717509

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