A Lady for a Duke

Narrated by Kay Eluvian
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Pub Date May 24 2022 | Archive Date May 23 2022

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From the bestselling author of Husband Material comes a lush, sweeping queer historical romance where sparks fly between childhood friends after a life-changing separation—perfect for fans of Bridgerton, Evie Dunmore, and Lisa Kleypas!​
  When Viola Carroll was presumed dead at Waterloo she took the opportunity to live, at last, as herself. But freedom does not come without a price, and Viola paid for hers with the loss of her wealth, her title, and her closest companion, Justin de Vere, the Duke of Gracewood.

Only when their families reconnect, years after the war, does Viola learn how deep that loss truly was. Shattered without her, Gracewood has retreated so far into grief that Viola barely recognises her old friend in the lonely, brooding man he has become.

As Viola strives to bring Gracewood back to himself, fresh desires give new names to old feelings. Feelings that would have been impossible once and may be impossible still, but which Viola cannot deny. Even if they cost her everything, all over again.
From the bestselling author of Husband Material comes a lush, sweeping queer historical romance where sparks fly between childhood friends after a life-changing separation—perfect for fans of ...

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ISBN 9781549109621
PRICE $31.99 (USD)

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Featured Reviews

“…fuck the world. I will change it for you if I have to.”

I’m a bit speechless in the face of what Hall has accomplished with this queer historical romance novel. A LADY FOR A DUKE is one of the most compelling love stories I’ve ever read, about two childhood best friends who thought they were irrevocably lost from each other, only to find one another again, both changed and the same, and fall in love - or perhaps, to finally name the love that has always existed between them.

Viola Caroll, presumed dead when she went missing during battle, takes the opportunity to free herself from the strictures of the identity assigned to her at birth and finally live as herself. But the cost is heavy: her childhood friend, with whom she was as close as family, thinks she is lost. Justin de Vere, the Duke of Gracewood, has not been the same since returning from the war: his injuries are physically limiting and cause him chronic pain, he’s tortured by memories of battle, and he has come to lean on alcohol and laudanum to cope. He’s also never stopped grieving the loss of his greatest friend. When Viola and Gracewood are reunited by their families, they are faced with rediscovering each other, figuring out how they fit together after so much has shifted within and between them, and overcoming the barriers that would seek to part them once more.

Almost every single page of this novel set my heart racing, aching for Viola and Gracewood as individuals and as a couple. Hall has crafted a story that centers Viola as a trans woman in the most beautiful, affirming, and empowering way. There are heavier aspects - the looming possibility of social rejection, the difficulties of gender dysphoria that Viola carries - and Viola always has family and friends on her side throughout. While part of the plot initially involves keeping her identity a secret from Gracewood, he quickly loves her as she truly is and always has been, and fiercely supports the actions she needed to take to be herself. I love how Hall navigates their shared past when Viola could not live as herself, carrying the affection and positive memories from that time and integrating it into their romance. Gracewood’s development as a character is incredibly powerful: healing from his father’s harsh parenting, changing his relationship to the lineage of power he descends from, and relearning how to be a man outside of the strict gender roles he was taught. As a couple they have both scorching chemistry and beautiful intimacy; I loved their banter, as Viola’s fierce will collided with Gracewood’s stubborn determination. The side characters are an absolute delight, and the ending is everything I could have wished for Viola and Gracewood as a couple.

This story is going to stay with me for a long time, and I want many more books like this, with fearless trans protagonists getting the happily ever afters they so deserve. Thanks Forever Books for the review copy! This book is out 5/24 and I can’t wait for everyone else to fall in love with Viola, Gracewood, and their epic romance.

Content warnings: chronic pain, nightmares and other trauma responses, substance dependence, gender dysphoria, some dead-naming/misgendering, kidnapping, attempted sexual assault, fighting/violence

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This book is wonderful. I am slowly becoming a historical romance lover. A queer historical romance with a trans heroine? Sign me up. Love to see it. Viola and Justin are so good together. I love friends to lovers and a good slow burn. I’m happy I read this and will continue to read anything Alexis Hall releases because he hasn’t done me wrong yet.
Thank you to NetGalley, Forever, and Hachette for the advance copy of the book. Release date is 5/24!

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