Cover Image: Second Duke's the Charm

Second Duke's the Charm

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Member Reviews

Loved loved loved this amazing Regency Romance book. I am a sucker for a good Regency Romance book and throw in the female is a crime solver and a hot brooding male please take my money! I can't wait to read the next in the series.
5 stars all day long.
I just reviewed Second Duke's the Charm by Kate Bateman. #SecondDukestheCharm #NetGalley
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Another incredibly delightful Kate Bateman book? Yes please!
Ms Bateman excels at writing realistic, funny, emotional characters- and this book was no different. Tess, in particular, was delightful. I loved the side characters, and I hope this turns into a series!

I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.

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Second Duke's the Charm is a cute romance between a virgin widow Duchess and the Duke who now holds her late husband's title.

Tess Townsend was forced by her father to marry a much older, creepy Duke, who conveniently dropped dead on their wedding night before the marriage was consummated. Now she's an independent woman who, along with her best friends, run an agency that helps women in trouble. Looking for a little adventure, she has a tryst with a handsome stranger at a party. Imagine her surprise when he turns out to be the new Duke.

Justin Thornton only inherited the dukedom because of an absurd amount of unexpected deaths. He's expecting the dowager duchess to be an elderly woman, and he's shocked to find that she's the mystery woman he recently encountered at a party.

I enjoyed this one because the couple have a lot of chemistry, but I did feel that the conflicts were kind of artificial and weren't very high stakes. This. made the romance a bit less interesting to me. I enjoyed the detective agency aspect, and I think that will be a really interesting elements of the next books in the series.

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I’m such a big fan of Kate’s romances! They are so wonderful! I really enjoyed this one that’s a first in a new series! The dynamic of the characters was fun! I read this easy too quickly! I can’t wait for the next one!

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This was exactly what I needed to read to get me through a reading slump! I loved the banter between characters and the progression of the story. The one thing I have to nitpick is that Justin seemed to flop a little fast on his convictions on love.

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This was a unique adult historical romance novel, with great characters and plot!

I received an e-ARC from the publisher.

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I love it when convenience turns into romance. A great story with intrigue and spice. Delightful read for historical romance fans!

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Maybe I'm partial to heroine's named Tess or maybe I'm just partial to Kate Bateman's work, but this one a hole in one for me. I loved every part of this book, the beginning with it's humor, maybe ill humor at that, down to the storyline and backstory.

Justin and Tess had undeniable chemistry that seemed to light the pages on fire and made reading this a breeze. Truly excited to see what happens next in this series!

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⭐ Overall Rating: 4 / 5 stars | 🌶️ Spicy Rating: 3 / 5

📚 Tropes: one night stand, hidden/mistaken identity, marriage of convenience, miscommunication

📖 Format: eARC

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👩🏻FMC: Tess was such a fun heroine! I really enjoyed her strength and independence, especially at a time when those qualities were not expected of women (especially duchesses). She made the most out of her situation, and I admired that she used her good fortune to help others.

👨🏻MMC: Justin is a classic sworn-off-love, playboy character - which I have a definite weakness for. I am an absolute sucker for secret pining/he falls first, so the fact that Justin secretly harbored a thing for Tess from the moment he laid eyes on her made me practically swoon.

⚡CHEMISTRY: Justin & Tess were not lacking in chemistry. You could feel the pull between the two from their first interaction.

🏘️ATMOSPHERE: The story takes place during Regency England, which is one of my favorite settings for historical romance. I loved getting to meet Queen Charlotte and the Princess. Daisy and Ellie were also fun characters. I always love seeing strong female friendships in romances.

📺PLOT: I don’t think I’ve ever read a historical romance quite like this one. There was just as much suspense/mystery as there was romance in this book. While I enjoyed the mystery/suspense aspect, I do wish the romance aspect of the book would have had more room to shine. I started finding myself losing interest towards the middle of the book because I just wanted to see the MCs get their HEA. I’m a romance reader, what can I say!

👍🏻OVERALL: This was a great read! The author definitely set herself apart from the other regency romance authors I have read with her plot-heavy narrative. If you are into romances with a lot of mystery/suspense - you will absolutely love this one!

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I loved reading Second Duke's the charm. I wasn't sure if I would like it based on the first chapter and the fact that I did put it down when I first tried reading it.

I picked it up again this week and couldn't stop reading once I started.

I liked Justin and Tess's romance and how he fell first. Or maybe they did at the same time. I liked the spy part of the story, it added more intrigue.

I definitely can't wait for the next book.

Thank you Netgalley and P

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I enjoyed this new historical romance and thought it was unique. I liked the premise of her being the dowager and then falling for the next duke. I thought it was something new and different from other historical romances. I'd like to keep reading this series to see what happens with her friends.

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Bateman has quickly become one of my favorite historical romance authors! Once again she delivers interesting, strong characters.

Tess may have been forced to marry the old duke, but she lucked out when he died right after their wedding. Two years later, she enjoys the freedom of widowhood, working with her best friends as investigators. They started the agency a few months after the old duke's death using the income Tess received as a widow, funding their independence and work assisting other women.

But while she lives the free life of a widow, she hasn't experienced a specific joy others have and finally seeks to lose her virginity and find a lover. Though only a lover so as not to give up her income, freedom, and friend's livelihoods. She finally finds a man who makes her come alive at a masked party only for it to be the new duke!

While Justin may be the new Duke of Wansford, he came from humble beginnings and is shocked he could now be considered a suitable match for a woman like Tess who he immediately recognizes as the woman from the party (I appreciated how quick that was determined). He immediately proposes marriage - a marriage of convenience (sure, tell yourself it's for mutual pleasure and financial benefit dude, lol).

They fall quickly and passionately for each other. They respect the other and want to learn all they can as they learn more about themselves individually, too. Like how Justin learns he can love even with the threat of losing that love one day, and does. They build a foundation of equality I enjoyed seeing form.

I laughed out loud at the grand gesture, which of all the grand romantic gestures I've read, this one was one of my faves lmao.

Overall, a fun, exciting, engaging read with the classic hero who's totally obsessed but doesn't realize it, and independent heroine ready to challenge and love him.

Thank you to Netgalley and St. Martin's Press for an arc in exchange for an honest review!

Read for: regency romance, for fans of Queen Charlotte (Netflix show), shenanigans to solve a mystery, falling in love with your wife (gasp!), he def becomes obsessed for, marriage of convenience, LOL moments

4.5 stars
2 spcie

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Well, this was fantastic.

I loved Tess and Justin. They're both in an interestingly new situation and can use the other to get out of it. I loved reading their banter and chemistry. Hands down, the best scenes were of Tess with her friends and partners. The three of them together was delightful.

Plot wise, it was good. I would have liked a bit more conversation, but the way the story unfolded really worked. It's low angst, low tension, and really a lot of fun.

Overall, this is a great start to a new series and I can't wait to see what Ellie and Daisy get for their stories.

**Huge thanks to the publisher for providing the arc free of charge**

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This is my 1st book by Kate Bateman. This book got a lot of hype. I did enjoy this book but left wanting thru out book. It is held my attention that I will look into this author to read her other books.

**I received this book from NetGalley and publisher for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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⭐️⭐️⭐️ we have a new series by Bateman centering on three women who run an investigative agency that helps women get out of difficult situations. Love the premise and Tess and her friends.

However, the chemistry between Justin (the new duke) and Tess (the dowager duchess) was flat. I found myself skimming the book as I was told vs. shown how things unfolded throughout the book.

It was still a good book, but not my favorite of Bateman’s. That being said, I’m looking forward to the rest of the series and reading about Daisy and Ellie’s stories.

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4.25 ⭐️

I'm dipping my toes back into historical romance and this was the perfect way to dive back in. I don't have much to compare to, however, I am over the moon with the chemistry between the main characters. Tess, the Dowager Duchess of Wansford, is trying to experience her independence after the (unfortunate) death of her husband. She owns an investigative agency giving her something to focus on with her best friends. While working on a specific case, Tess is in disguise and has a chance encounter with Justin Thornton, the ne Duke of Wansford.

They meet again in London after their steamy encounter and strike an agreement to marry each other despite knowing nothing about each other. The two are charming, passionate and endearing in their interactions. I thoroughly enjoyed the mystery, jealousy and will definitely be continuing the series.

Marriage of convenience
Witty banter
Hidden/mistaken identity
Secret Virgin
Intelligent FMC
Mystery & intrigue

Thank you so much to NetGalley & St Martin's Press for the eARC of Second Duke's the Charm by Kate Bateman.

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This is the first of a new series, Her Majesty's Rebels, and I think it is off to a great start. The series is about three women who run London's most exclusive investigative agency. Tess' father sold her into marriage to a lecherous old duke, but to her good fortune, the old man died on their wedding night. Now Tess is the wealthy Dowager Duchess of Wansford and she gets to enjoy her independence. She enjoys investigating crimes against women with her two best friends Daisy and Ellie. Tess goes undercover on a case to a masked party to uncover who is blackmailing the Queen and she meets Justin, who by chance finds himself the new Duke of Wansford. They meet by chance again at a ball, and since Justin needs a wife, and Tess could use the protection of continuing as the Duchess, they strike up a deal to marry. Love doesn't enter into this union, until it ultimately does, but plenty of drama ensues in the interim before these two are able to reach their happy conclusion.
A highly entertaining and enjoyable story. The characters were well-crafted and interesting and I enjoyed following their story. I am looking forward to continuing the series.
I received a complimentary copy from Netgalley and St. Martin's Press and am leaving my voluntary review.

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I loved this book!! It was fabulous and well done. The characters were on point and I thought the plot was well developed. I would recommend this book to others.

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I loved that we got a spunky heroine who knew her own mind an wasn't a damsel in distress. And a hero who loves that she's her own woman even if that hadn't been normal for the time.

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Another great Kate Bateman book and an excellent start to a new series. I loved the plot and the witty aspects. The investigative agency is very interesting
Many thanks to St. Martin’s Press and to Netgalley for providing me with a galley in exchange for my honest opinion.

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