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Search tags: Valerie-Bowman
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review 2018-05-12 02:49
Good read about learning to love and trust again
A Duke Like No Other - Valerie Bowman

I enjoyed this story of a married couple finding their way back to each other. Nicole and Mark hurt each other but find they need each other now. The physical attraction never disappeared, but the trust needs to be rebuilt. Both are strong characters, and I laughed and cried as the story progressed. I recommend this book and look forward to more from this author.

I received a copy of this story through Netgalley, and this is my unsolicited review.

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review 2018-05-07 00:10
A Duke Like No Other (Playful Brides, #9) by Valerie Bowman
A Duke Like No Other - Valerie Bowman

 

A Valerie Bowman read takes on a life of it's own. With intense heroes and headstrong heroines, a good time is usually had by all. From a hurtfully chilly estrangement to a passionately turbulent reunion, A Duke Like No Other weaves an intricate maze of dangerous liaisons and tempestuous seduction. Let the tango begin.

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review 2018-05-01 21:18
A Duke Like No Other - Valerie Bowman

I just love second chance romances. General Mark Grimaldi's professional life couldn't be any better. He is finally up for the job of the minister of Home Office, the position he has wanted his whole life, but he finds out there is a small problem.....they would prefer it, if he was married. Funny thing, Mark actually is married. He just hasn't seen his lovely bride in 10 years!!!! Mark foolishly married Lady Nicole Huntington, thinking they were in love, but then he came to find out Nicole had a secret that she kept from him, thus breaking his trust. The two of them have been living separate lives, content with how things are. Now, Mark must find Nicole and ask her for a favor....pretend to be his loving wife, at least until he gets the job. Then they can go back to separate lives. Too bad Nicole has a favor of her own! Oh, my lord I loved these two. They are both so stubborn and pig headed, but deep down they both still had feelings for each other. When they make the agreement that they will help each other out with what they each want, that is when things get fun. I loved the banter between these two. I also really enjoyed the mystery revolving around Mark's cousin. It was fun watching the women help solve the "who done it". Overall, this story has some really wonderful characters and a great story line that kept me entertained....and the chemistry between Mark and Nicole was sizzling!

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review 2018-05-01 05:42
Review: A Duke Like No Other by Valerie Bowman
A Duke Like No Other - Valerie Bowman

Reviewed for Wit and Sin

 

General Mark Grimaldi, spymaster extraordinaire, has worked his way up the ranks and is now on the cusp of obtaining the promotion he has dedicated his life to achieving. There’s just one problem: his superiors want Britain’s new Home Secretary to be a family man. Given Mark’s many connections, securing a wife wouldn’t be a problem…if only he weren’t already married. It’s been ten years since his wife left him and by all accounts she’s been happily living in France. In order to convince her to come back to England and play the part of loving wife, he’ll have to give her something in return. But the bargain these two strike is more dangerous than either could know. For close quarters have a tendency to bring feelings long-buried to the surface, and neither of them wants to admit that perhaps the fairytale picture they’re painting for others is something they want to be real. Can two people used to guarding their secrets closely take a risk and open their hearts for a shot at happily ever after?

I adore a good reunion romance and A Duke Like No Other is an utterly delightful one! Valerie Bowman has a bright, effervescent writing style that never fails to charm me and I couldn’t help but fall in love with Mark and Nicole’s story.

Mark and Nicole’s whirlwind courtship and marriage crashed and burned within months after secrets came to light and old wounds tore them apart. Nearly ten years later they have both changed, but one thing remains the same: the pull between them cannot be denied. I loved the sparks that flew between Mark and Nicole from the very start. It’s clear they’re utterly perfect for one another and their back-and-forths had me grinning more than once. They’re not just smart, they’re clever, and it was so much fun to watch them dance around the attraction simmering just beneath the surface. That being said, they don’t simply fall back into one another’s arms and I enjoyed that too. They were young when they married and I liked that they got to know one another again, to build that solid foundation they didn’t have in the beginning. It isn’t easy for them to get to the “happily ever after” point. Mark has definite issues with the aristocracy due to his upbringing and family history. His feelings tend to color his judgement and it leads him to make mistakes with Nicole. And after having her heart broken once, Nicole is terrified of opening it up again, which contributes to their communication problems. But every bump in the road is worth it in the end and I was rooting for these two to make it.

The romance in A Duke Like No Other was fantastic but it’d be remiss of me not to mention the subplot involving the unexpected death of an aristocrat with close ties to Mark. I enjoy a good murder mystery and I had a great time putting together the pieces of the puzzle alongside Mark and Nicole. Mark’s career as a spy has been well-established over the course of the Playful Brides series (and his investigative skills are clear even if you’re new to the books), but this is the first time you see Nicole’s talent as an investigator. Watching them and their allies interview suspects was fun and the quest to unmask the killer added to the story without taking the focus off of Nicole and Mark. I do feel it important to note that some readers might have an issue with believability in regards to Nicole’s career that began with the Bow Street Runners and grew since then. There are certain aspects of the story that require suspension of disbelief and there are also some more modern attitudes in this book than one might expect to find in a historical romance. This didn’t bother me because Ms. Bowman’s writing style is so breezy that I was happy to go along for the ride and shrug off things that might bother me in another book, but that may not be true if you’re looking for more historical accuracy in your historical romance. Still, if you want a spirited romance with a cozy mystery on the side, you’re sure to enjoy A Duke Like No Other.


FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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review 2018-04-13 16:35
A Duke Like No Other - Valerie Bowman

Their story was enjoyable, some of the flashbacks were great, others seemed to slow the rhythm of the plot down a bit. I liked seeing glimpses of their past, especially of the fight that led to their break, but I wanted more interaction between them once they were back together and trying to solve the murder. I wanted to see more of them opening up, confiding, and kind of getting to know each other again. I think they both were so stubborn that their characters got in the way of rebuilding the relationship on the page. They were so stubborn it worked against the character development. I liked it overall, just needed a bit more soul-searching and clearing the air kind of conversations so that the ending became more believable rather than one second they aren’t saying what they need to say and the next he is 'I’m an idiot please stay.' I really wanted to see them have that kind of conversation, prior to the conclusion at the docks, in order for me to believe that the reconciliation was real.  It was almost like nothing was really resolved. Yes, he finally opened up to her and told her what he wanted and felt, but what about his doubts about her supposedly knowing all along about his family.  We at least had him express why he was upset with her working with the Bow Street Runners, but not the rest of issues they had ten years ago.  I needed him to realize that she hadn’t known and the reason she never confronted him was because she was waiting for him to trust her, which is very similar to his reasons for not confronting her about already knowing about the Bow Street Runners. I wanted Oakleaf to come out and tell him he was the one who told her and why and how it all came about. But that is a very small part of the story and overall I did enjoy their reconciliation and the working together to solve a murder. I am looking forward to Regina and Oakleaf's story next.

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