I was intrigued by the synopsis of the description of a West Indian heiress as a heroine in a regency romance. Patience Jordan is of mixed blood, as is her son, and despite her light skin, that difference has made living in England difficult. Her husband had kept her in the country, trying to protect her from the unkindness she’d receive in “society”, which actually put her and their son in harms way when he died. Left in the hands of his disreputable uncle, Patience was sent away to Bedlam so he could retain control of her son’s fortune. When this story starts with Repington now in charge at her former home, it allows Patience to disguise herself and infiltrate her old household in order to care for her son.
Busick Strathmore, Duke of Repington was a strategist in the war and knows that there’s more to Patience’s story and bides his time in figuring her out. They engage in their own skirmishes and of course, find themselves attracted to each other. However, this isn’t a bodice ripper of a romance. The Duke, the Lady, and the Baby is written in a rather old fashioned style which was kind of refreshing, but also felt a little stodgy. I love slow burn romances where the characters get to know each other, but the old fashioned dialog made these characters feel stilted rather than warm.
I had really high hopes for this novel and the future of this series. There is a league of women who help other women in bad circumstances and future novels will surely tell those stories, but I wanted this novel to deal more with the difficulties of being of mixed blood during this time in history and felt like other than a few comments about her accent and being secreted in the country, it was glossed over. Repington didn’t seem too concerned with his future Duchess’s acceptance into society, but as an analytical man who just wanted to get back to war, I guess there were bigger issues on his mind.
The other thing that was a little out of whack for me was that Repington was portrayed as a “Rake”. Meaning, he’s had no issues with the lady’s in the past, and he certainly seems to think he’s pretty charming despite his injuries that have incapacitated him. That devil may care charm played false to me and I had trouble buying him as a cad, at least at that time in his life. I think if he had been a bit more self deprecating? It just felt kind of sad I guess, and not true to the character.
So, you can see my difficulties with this one. I didn’t hate the story. I don’t read too many romances that involve babies, so the motherly aspect was new and interesting to me. I liked Patience a lot, actually. She was smart, dedicated, sassy, and interesting. So, I guess my problem was with the hero, although I didn’t dislike him, I just didn’t like them together. I did finish the novel despite my misgivings, so I’m giving this one a 3.0 rating for a solid good, but not great. ❤️❤️❤️
I received an ARC of this book through NetGalley for an honest review and it was honest!
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