- Author Christi Caldwell
- Release Date October 18, 2022
- Publisher Montlake
- ISBN/ASIN 1542033950
- Our Rating
- Reviewed by Raonaid
Valentine “Val” Bancroft, the Duke of Aragon, is a widower. He has no interest in interacting with the world, especially with his nosy and rowdy neighbors. However, Val finds his solitude disrupted by a carefree chatterbox. The young woman continually disregards his numerous hints about wanting privacy. Val soon finds himself taken in by Myrtle’s optimism and off-key singing. When danger threatens her, he grudgingly comes to her rescue. Will Val make peace with his late wife’s death? Or will his misery cost him a second chance at love?
Lady Myrtle McQuoid feels invisible amongst her large and rumbunctious family. She returns home from finishing school, only to find them packing to spend the holidays in the country. When she awakes the next morning, Myrtle discovers that her family left without her. Alone in a cold and empty townhouse, she intends to make the most of her situation. Myrtle cannot ignore her growing fascination with her surly and antisocial neighbor. Can Myrtle help Val banish his dark grief? Will her family return for her before the holidays?
I have always had a thing for belligerent and sullen heroes. Valentine did not disappoint. I like Val’s inability to ignore Myrtle. She had this infectious way about her that helped lessen his grief. Her doggedness helped him finally put his late wife’s ghost to rest. What I love the most about Val is his admiration for Myrtle’s resourcefulness. He noticed that she was unlike most ladies in the peerage. Val liked how Myrtle did not play the hapless woman. That she met each challenge before her with exuberance.
Myrtle surprised me in a good way. I never expected to like her or her antics as much as I did. I absolutely adore Myrtle’s optimism. She did not let her family’s nonchalance daunt her. Myrtle remained true to her real nature rather than become the person her family expected her to be. What I love the most about Myrtle is how she never once gave up on Val. She did not allow his unfriendliness to frighten her off as it had done with others. Myrtle understood why Val behaved as he did.
THE DUKE ALONE is a standalone, holiday-themed historical romance by Christi Caldwell. It did feel odd reading a Christmas story in July since I had an advance reading copy, but the book is due out in October. I am not a fan of holiday-themed stories. Generally, I make a point to stay away from them, unless it is from a favorite author, and it is a part of a series I love. Since I have enjoyed two other books by this author, I decided to read more of her stories. The story’s premise has a HOME ALONE (as in the movie) feel to it. The author pays homage to Jane Austen and her most famous work, PRIDE AND PREJUDICE.
THE DUKE ALONE is a sweet tale of two lonely souls finding each other during an unprecedented time. I hope the author considers writing more stories about the McQuoid brood or Val’s younger brother. They all deserve their happily-ever-after!