Cover Image: A Duke, the Lady, and a Baby

A Duke, the Lady, and a Baby

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Member Reviews

A very ambitious book with a slow-burn romance. Though I struggled with it on the first read due to the pacing, I found that switching to the audiobook really made the story and characters shine. After finishing it, I immediately checked out the next book in the series on audio. 

This was A Bookish Affair's January 2022 pick, and we had a *lot* to talk about! 

Many thanks to the author, publisher, and NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review.
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Vanessa Riley is a powerhouse of an author! This was the first book I’ve ever read by her, but it won’t be the last.

Thank you, Netgalley and the publishers, for providing a free digital ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Overall: 3.5 rounded to ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Plot/Storyline: 📖📖📖📖
Feels: 🦋🦋🦋
Emotional Depth: 💔💔💔
Tension: ⚡⚡
Romance: 💞💞💞
Sensuality: 💋💋
Intimate Scene Length: 🍑
Steam Scale (Number of Scenes): 🔥
Humor: Yes, I found quite a few parts witty and funny.

Basic plot
Patience’s husband has committed suicide and now she’s lost everything – her home, her money, and most importantly, access to her own child. She risks everything to see him and be close in anyway she can – but she is lucky to get herself hired as his nursemaid under the new guardian of her property, her husband’s cousin.

Give this a try if you want:
- Regency time period – 1814
- You’re okay with some heavier elements at play – being forced away from your child, dealing with danger and not feeling safe, recovering from major war injuries
- A bit of a forbidden love feel – the heroine is the widow of the hero’s cousin and it has only been a few months since his death (appropriate time of mourning hasn’t been observed)
- A touch of secret identity/heroine dressed as a lad
- You like lighter steam – there is 1 open door scene at the end but it’s quite short and not extremely explicit

My thoughts:
This book is unique in that the heroine’s perspective is told in first person and the hero’s is in third.

Patience is very independent and strong and I liked that about her. Her separation from her child was heartbreaking, and her guilt over her husband’s death. Busick seemed kind of stuck in his ways, but Patience helps him come out of that a bit. I loved how gentle and sweet Busick was – I loved how quickly he cared for Lionel and while perhaps uncomfortable with a child, still dove right in and did what was needed to do with love and care. Busick was a really sweet and unique hero and I was left feeling him and Patience were really perfect for each other.

There’s a bit of mystery, intrigue and danger throughout this book. Sprinkled with humor and sweetness and love. I do wish I had a bit more background on both characters. It could have just been going through some periods of inattention while listening, but I felt like I didn’t really know Busick’s background that well. I also didn’t like jumping into the beginning of the book and not knowing what happened to separate Patience from Lionel (her child). It is given in degrees throughout the story, but I was just confused a bit for some of the beginning. I also still don’t really understand The Widow’s Grace other than they have really helped Patience. I would have liked a bit more background on that.
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It might just be a personal preference, but I had an issue with the point of view. The author writes in both 1st and 3rd person POV, and while I'm sure some readers might not mind that, I found it off-putting.

The heroine's journey is really interesting, but don't let that cute cover fool you... it's a lot darker than what I was expecting. I've enjoyed other books by Vanessa Riley and I'm definitely interested in reading more from her in the future, but I'm not sure if I'll read the remaining books in the particular series.

⭐⭐⭐ 1/2
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Vanessa Riley was a featured author in the Summer BBQ Recipe Roundup on the blog. You can see her contribution here:
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I liked this story , it wasn't bad , but I had higher expectations of the book after reading the blurb . 
The writing style was excellent , I'm definitely going to check out more books by this author. 
I would recommend this book for all historical romance loves.
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I know a lot of people really enjoyed this one but to be honest I had a hard time staying interested. A big part for me was I just didn’t feel the love story was anything special. It was pretty superficial in my opinion. The intrigue was ok, I just wish there was a bit more steam. 

Thank you to NetGalley, the publisher, and the author for the arc. All opinions are my own.
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I really enjoyed Patience and Busick's story! An undercover mama doing everything in her power to get her child back and a wounded war hero. I couldn't put it down!
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I’m newer to the romance world. While this is a fine book with good writing I found out that Regency Romances aren’t for me. If you enjoy them then I have no doubt you’ll enjoy this book.

Thank you to the Publisher and Netgalley for the advanced e-reader copy. All opinions expressed are my own.
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This is a great read for those who love Regency Romances and want something with low steam and some intrigue. The physical attraction between the characters seems to dominate most of their inner thoughts until her main secret is revealed. Then their romance moves into more of a love match and partnership.  Commentary on the racism and misogyny of the time and place are included as part of the plot and dialogue and it does touch on a little bit of faith. This is first in a series and includes a section at the end with historical notes and a recipe. 

I mainly listened to this novel on audiobook. Thanks to Kensington Publishing Corporation and NetGalley for the e-galley. My ratings and reviews are my own.
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I hate that it took me so long to get around to reading this one. I absolutely adored it! I'm impatiently waiting for the next installment.
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2.5 out of 5. More mystery than romance. I’m debating over whether I want to continue the series now that my expectations have been adjusted. We meet the characters to be featured in book 2 here so I am a bit intrigued as to how their story will play out. But there was zero heat in this book (not even fade to black or closed door) so it would def be a mood read. I guess we’ll see…
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This has been on my NetGalley shelf for TOO long! I’ve started it several times - book eBook and then the audiobook. It just wasn’t for me. I’m not a super big fan of historical romanceI listened to this via @HooplaDigita on 3X speed just trying to get through it.

Thanks to @NetGalley and Kensington Books for my ARC!
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I was provided this book in exchange for an honest review. A Duke, the Lady, and a Baby is the story of  Patience Jordan, a widow who poses as a nursemaid to care for her son, who has been placed under the guardianship of Busick Strathmore, Duke of Repington. The book is fast paced and reads like a movie script. This did not work for me.
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A historical romance and a royal story is a big must read for me. A Duke, the Lady, and a Baby is somewhat posses a real life scenario of a classic family. I just have an issue connecting to the characters and i feel disconnected to some parts but over all, it is a great read!
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The best thing about this book, besides it’s fetching cover (everyone judges by the cover at first), is it’s characters. Patience is a West Indian woman who married an English noble. After his death, she is blamed for murder when she questions what was supposed to be written off as suicide. Because of this, she loses everything, including her newborn son. Buswick is a war veteran. His is a story I’ve read before. However, while I have often read about the isolation involved with returning home wounded, it is not often that the actual daily pain and struggles are addressed. I can think of one other novel that attempts to do so. So, A Duke, A Lady, abs a Baby is a standout in the regency romance world for attempting to tell a story that is often overlooked for being about the outlier. To me, that fact makes it all the more intriguing. 

Aside from its use of diversity, I did not love the actual plot, but it’s more of a personal preference than a shortcoming of the novel. I’m not overly keen when my romance deals with mystery, which is the case for this one. Patience, moves into Buswick’s estate for the job of caring for her own child. Buswick is her late husband’s cousin and guardian to her child. They join together to investigate what happened to him. So, between the oppressive feelings I had about her being railroaded and the seriousness required of any mystery, the story lacks the requisite amount of levity to make it truly enjoyable. 

I read romance for the HEA. I read it to let go. I wasn’t able to do that with this one as much as I would have liked. Hopefully, there are more romances written about outliers that are about more than struggle. I’m glad Riley recognizes that more people deserve a HEA, but I hope she realizes that it does not have to be so hard won to be believable. Injustice gets a different fire burning. 

I was given this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
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Oh, I really enjoyed this one! Riley is a new to me author and I can't wait to read more of her books. I am still finding my way into historical romance and this is a great read for someone newer to the subgenre.
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A Duke, The lady and a baby
2 stars

I was excited to read this but it starts off in the middle of the story and you are lost immediately. I don’t know why it would start off with Patience trying to kidnap her child. She is on a ledge and we have guess what is happening. We don’t know her husband died and she has been forced out:  you are playing catch up the remainder of the book, it’s very off putting. When you finally do get adjusted there really isn’t a plot. 
This was hard to finish. I just didn’t enjoy it.
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Unconventional and charming, this story is driven by a delightfully tenacious heroine and grouchy but likable hero. Patience is a mixed-race Caribbean heiress, betrayed by a greedy in-law. She is willing to disguise herself in order to steal a few precious minutes with her son, from whom she is forcibly separated. Things change with the arrival of her late husband's cousin, the Duke and guardian of her son. They first meet while Patience is in disguise, and early sparks of camaraderie quickly turn to a low flame of attraction that simmers pleasingly as the story develops. Patience's quest to reunite with her son is assisted by appealing secondary characters, one of them a Duchess with a secret society dedicated to aiding widows, the other a misunderstood mathematical talent. Riley's prose is sometimes lyrically descriptive, and the story's pacing is occasionally languid, in tune with the slow development of the relationship. The Duke, a military veteran, is an amputee and his struggles to become accustomed to living with a disability seem fairly realistic for the period. The impact of racism seems less realistic; explicit references to the rude remarks and gendered racial stereotypes of the time (both those documented in primary source documents and Thackeray's VANITY FAIR) are scarce in the first quarter of the novel, depriving readers of useful context. Despite this, it's a refreshingly different and engaging read. As a Librarian I'd recommend this novel to romance readers that prefer 'sweet' romances with a low heat index; cozy mystery fans; readers new to the historical romance genre; and readers in search of ethnically diverse historical romance.
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I am a member of the American Library Association Reading List Award Committee. This title was suggested for the 2021 list. It was not nominated for the award. The complete list of winners and shortlisted titles is at <a href="">
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