Desperately Seeking a Duchess

  • Author Christi Caldwell
  • Release Date May 24, 2022
  • Publisher Berkley Publishing Group
  • ISBN/ASIN 9780593334935
  • Our Rating
  • Reviewed by Raonaid

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Our Review

Courtland Balfour, the Duke of St. James, faces debtor prison. The last thing he wants to do is marry a wealthy heiress to save his siblings from destitution. Courtland assumes his twin’s identity to convince the Duke of Bentley’s illegitimate children to join Polite Society. He never expected to be taken by Cailin Audley. She makes Courtland question all the stifling rules and regulations placed on a duke. Can Courtland find a solution for his family’s money woes without marriage? Or will he let pride stand in the way of his and Cailin’s possible happiness?

Cailin Audley is the illegitimate daughter of a duke. She has difficulty conforming to society’s repressive and rigid expectations. Her only ally is Courtland, the charismatic man Cailin met in the small mining town she grew up in. She soon finds herself whisked off to the countryside after making a near ruinous misstep. Cailin has no interest in marriage; however, she feels drawn to Courtland. Can Cailin find the place she truly belongs? Or will people’s machinations stand in the way of her future happiness?

Courtland stole my heart instantly. He is a man who believes he must shoulder all his responsibilities alone. I adore Courtland’s thoughtfulness and dedication to his siblings. He worries more about their needs and comforts over his own. I love how Courtland tried to counter their father’s cruelty. He hated how the man preyed on their vulnerabilities and weaknesses.  What I admire the most about Courtland is his refusal to follow in his father’s footsteps. He does not want to make a spouse miserable, so he balks at being a fortune hunter.

Cailin is a young woman who wants nothing more than to find her niche in the world. She also wants the freedom to explore her interests. I empathize with Cailin’s inability to fit in amongst Polite Society. She disliked having judgmental people monitoring her every move and finding fault. Plus, Cailin found their rules, especially for young woman, silly and baffling. I like how Cailin is not afraid to stand up to her broody, muscular brothers and her ducal father. She refused to be a pushover to their well-meaning protectiveness. What I adore the most about Cailin is her ability to see the real Courtland. She knew he was so much more than his title.

DESPERATELY SEEKING A DUCHESS is book two in Christi Caldwell’s historical romance series, ALL THE DUKE’S SINS.  The story can easily standalone because the author does an admirable job of touching on the important parts from the first book. However, I suggest reading ALONG CAME A LADY to better understand the Audley family’s dynamics and situation. Courtland’s sisters, especially the youngest, added humor to the storyline. I could not help but laugh at the girl’s hoydenish antics.

DESPERATELY SEEKING A DUCHESS is an endearing tale of two outcasts finding love with each other. I hope the author considers writing a spinoff series with the Balfour siblings, especially the sisters. They deserve a happily-ever-after. I cannot wait to see which Audley brother, Hunter or Wesley, is next to be matched!

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