Ne'er Duke Well

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Pub Date 23 Jul 2024 | Archive Date 06 Aug 2024
St. Martin's Press | St. Martin's Griffin


In this steamy Regency romp, Lady Selina is determined to find the Duke of Stanhope the perfect wife—the only problem is she's starting to think that might be her.

Peter Kent—newly inherited Duke of Stanhope and recently of New Orleans, Louisiana—must become respectable. Between his radical politics and the time he interrupted a minor royal wedding with a flock of sheep—not his fault!—he’s developed a scandalous reputation at odds with his goal of becoming guardian to his half siblings. For help, he turns to the cleverest and most managing woman of his acquaintance, Lady Selina Ravenscroft.

Selina is society’s most proper debutante, save one tiny secret: she runs an erotic circulating library for women. When Peter asks for her help, she suggests courtship and marriage to a lady of unimpeachable reputation. (Which is to say, definitely not herself.)

But matchmaking doesn’t go according to plan. Peter’s siblings run rampant on Bond Street. Selina ends up in the Serpentine. And worst of all, the scorching chemistry between Peter and Selina proves impossible to resist. For the disreputable duke and his unpredictable matchmaker, falling in love just might be the ultimate scandal.

In this steamy Regency romp, Lady Selina is determined to find the Duke of Stanhope the perfect wife—the only problem is she's starting to think that might be her.

Peter Kent—newly inherited Duke of...

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ISBN 9781250910943
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Average rating from 428 members

Featured Reviews

This book was so much FUN to read! Vasti has a way of incorporating humor and wit into every line, and I completely adore it. Full of longing and pining, Selina and Peter are complete simps over each other, even while Selina is trying to marry him off to someone else! The spice was PERFECT and even in those scenes, there was a bit of humor sprinkled in. I just love a couple that can laugh with and at each other 🥰

All in all, the hijinks, the scandals, and the sexual education of the women of the ton was some excellent undercurrent to carry the romance along. I cannot wait to see what Vasti has in store for the side characters of this novel, too! The found family aspect (for both Selina and Peter) was so wonderful, fleshed out with characters I wanted more of. Five easy stars for this one!!

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I'll keep this simple -- I think Alexandra Vasti is about to become a very big deal in historical romance. This is a near-perfect novel (btw, her Halifax Hellions novellas are also well worth checking out -- subscribe to her newsletter!) and practically a shoo-in for a book club pick in 2025. It's funny, spicy, and endlessly charming. I can't wait to see what else she has in store!

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A delightful, steamy, slightly silly regency romance with a social conscience, Ne'er Duke Well has two well-developed romantic leads with convincing chemistry, a number of entertaining and well-developed side characters (I'm already hoping for sequels), and plenty of both laughs and feels. An excellent read.

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Twirling my hair and kicking my feet the whole time reading this. Vasti writes a damn fun romance, and this does not disappoint!

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Genre: historical romance
England, 1815

Peter Kent, Duke of Stanhope, has recently moved to England to claim his inheritance and title. Little did he know that this also included two half siblings. Only it doesn’t quite, because Peter’s father never formally recognized them and left no provision for them in his will. But Lu and Freddie are family, and Peter will stop at nothing to gain custody rather than seeing them passed amongst poor relations. Lady Selina Ravenscroft has a brilliant idea: if Peter marries, he’ll have a stronger case for custody. But he can’t marry her. Selina carries a secret that could bring down even the most respectable of dukes: she owns a circulating library that distributes explicit books catering exclusively to ladies. That’s not to say they aren’t maddeningly attracted to each other.

Alexandra Vasti plays with familiar tropes, tweaking them slightly for her purposes. Single parent becomes older brother with siblings he doesn’t quite know how to handle but who he loves with all his heart. (This is more forgiving for the modern reader, who wants to assume that someone who is a single dad is not as aloof as may once have been considered charming.) The American-born duke charmingly bungles English manners, but respectful of the institution he now occupies, recognizing the power he can wield in parliament. Selina is a forward woman who prefers many things over needlework, but those things include running a library of explicit literature. Vasti writes an energetic and yet sympathetic heroine well situated within the regency era. Selina is a gossip, a do-gooder, staunchly loyal, a problem solver and a delight to read.

I knew this would be a spectacular full length debut from Vasti because her writing in her novellas is a joy to read. Every moment - from laughter to tears - in this book is fun, sweet, sensitive, and caring. And more than a little bit horny. I can count on Vasti to bring the right level of heat. With a curious but nervous virgin heroine, there’s both sensitivity to her needs and creativity as she questions what she’s read on pages and what’s physically possible in the bedroom. I love seeing well-matched couples on page, and it's clear to me that Peter and Selina evolve together to have such a supportive and loving relationship.

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Ne’er Duke Well is such a delightful, smart, and sexy read. It effortlessly drifts from laugh-out-loud funny to emotionally intense to red hot and back again in the most enjoyable way. Selina is admirable and lovable, and it’s so easy to root for her and Peter from the start. I wholeheartedly recommend Ne’er Duke Well and I sincerely hope we get sequels featuring some of the secondary characters (Georgiana, Will, maybe a grownup Lu?!). So glad I got a chance to read the ARC!

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This is one of my new favorite historical romances. It's a tender friends to lovers romance between two people who care more deeply for each other than they're brave enough to admit for much of the story. It has a few romcom elements, but it's also spicy and deeply loving.

Peter was not raised to be a future Duke. Abandoned by his father at a young age, he grew up in Louisiana, raised by his mother and then his father's mistress after his mother's passing. Neither he nor his father expected him to become a peer of the realm, but that's exactly where we find Peter at the beginning of this story. He's out of his depth, making plenty of political enemies as he stands for the abolition of slavery, and desperate to take guardianship of his younger half brother and sister.

Selina is the sister of a Duke. As a woman of generous means, she does not have the pressure to marry that her peers do. On the sirface she is a perfectly respectable lady, but she secretly runs a circulating library for women of the ton that features salacious books. She crosses paths with Peter when he's desperate to find a way to care for his siblings, and she decides the best way for Jim to make himself appear stable and respectable enough to parent two young children is to be married.

This book really highlights the importance of family, the value of being able to be vulnerable with those you care for, and being willing to lean on each other for help instead of trying to brazen out solutions alone. I love the way Peter and Selina grow throughout the story both together and individually.

Petwr is charming but impulsive, so the story has its fair share of romcom-y moments. There is definitely plenty of romantic tension, banter, and a handful of explicit intimate scenes, and it's also really sweet.

I really, really enjoyed this book, and I think you will also enjoy it if you love friends to lovers romance, books that illustrate strong family and sibling ties, and couples that show how much you can accomplish when you lean on each other for support.

Thank you NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for providing a digital ARC in exchange for my honest review.

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Lady Selina takes it upon herself to find a wife for Peter, newly inherited Duke. Surprise! She’s his perfect match. An incredibly charming, joyful, swoony, heartfelt romance that stole my heart.
Alexandra Vasti is one of my favorite writers and is a fresh, talented voice in historical romance. Her characters are full of life. Peter and Selina are a joy to read and their love story is charming and romantic. I cannot wait to see what Vasti writes next as her secondary characters in this novel were just as wonderful as our main characters!

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📚✨ Book Review ✨📚

"Ne'er Duke Well" by Alexandra Vasti is a delightful Regency romp filled with unexpected steaminess. Lady Selina's determination to find the Duke of Stanhope the perfect wife takes an unexpected turn when she starts considering herself for the role. The story unfolds with scandalous reputations, matchmaking gone awry, and scorching chemistry between the disreputable duke and his unconventional matchmaker. Vasti weaves a tale of romance and passion, adding a touch of scandal that keeps readers hooked. An enjoyable read that takes Regency romance to new and steamy heights.

🌹📖 #NeerDukeWell #AlexandraVasti #RegencyRomance #BookReview #SteamyReads #RomanticEscapade #BookishDelights" ✨📚

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I loved this book! It’s truly a perfect historical romance, a genuine platonic ideal of the genre. The hero is so good. An American abolitionist turned Duke who wants to care for his illegitimate half siblings but also refuses to tow the line about the slave industry to make it happen and a heroine who starts a library to ensure women are educated on their own sexuality.

This book has an amazing supporting cast, a great found family trope, and an incredibly fresh twist on a very old trope. It was everything I could hope for and made me smile the entire way through.

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Having read this authors initial free novellas, I was highly anticipating her first full-length novel and I was not disappointed. All of the hijinks, pining, and opposites attract goodness from the Halifax Hellions find their way into Selina Ravenscroft and Peter Kent's marriage of convenience romance. Selina, sister of a duke and secret purveyor of an erotic library, is a "fixer." She is notorious for having a hand in proposals and is just generally dead set on making everyone else happy. Along comes Peter, who never expected to inherit a dukedom, let alone two younger half-siblings whom he is desperately trying to gain custody of. A new project for Selina! And the solution to gaining that custody is of course for Peter to find a suitable wife--but certainly not Selina (due to the erotic books of course). However, even as Peter makes a valiant effort to court and woo an appropriate bride, it becomes clear to both parties that they're actually.... in love with each other. I loved this not only because of the excellent banter, supportive side characters, and steamy love scenes, but also because the couple refuses to fall for the third act break up that is so nicely set up. It's a great balance of internal and external conflict. I can't wait to read more from this author!

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Thank you to St. Martin's Press and Netgalley for the eARC of this book! I have been so excited to read more Alexandra Vasti after finding the Halifax Hellions series, and Ne'er Duke Well did not disappoint! Lady Selina, and her entire family, are delightful in their relationships with and support of one another. The Duke of Stanhope is really the perfect foil for her strength and subversiveness. I loved them both, and reading their banter and interactions was such a delight! I loved it!

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A very fun steamy Regency romance! I couldn't put this one down! Peter, the newly inherited Duke of Stanhope must become respectable if he has any hope of becomming the guardian to his half siblings. Lady Selina Ravenscroft is just the person to help him find a suitable wife to help with that endeavor. Peter and Selina become closer and realize they want each other but a union with her might cause more issues than it would resolve due to her secrets.
The kids are adorable troublemakers and sometimes stole the show. Overall a great summer read!

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