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A Duke, the Lady, and a Baby

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When headstrong West Indian heiress Patience Jordan questioned her English husband's mysterious suicide, she lost everything: her newborn son, Lionel, her fortune—and her freedom. Falsely imprisoned, she risks her life to be near her child—until The Widow's Grace gets her hired as her own son’s nanny. But working for his unsuspecting new guardian, Busick Strathmore, Duke o When headstrong West Indian heiress Patience Jordan questioned her English husband's mysterious suicide, she lost everything: her newborn son, Lionel, her fortune—and her freedom. Falsely imprisoned, she risks her life to be near her child—until The Widow's Grace gets her hired as her own son’s nanny. But working for his unsuspecting new guardian, Busick Strathmore, Duke of Repington, has perils of its own. Especially when Patience discovers his military strictness belies an ex-rake of unswerving honor—and unexpected passion . . . A wounded military hero, Busick is determined to resolve his dead cousin’s dangerous financial dealings for Lionel’s sake. But his investigation is a minor skirmish compared to dealing with the forthright, courageous, and alluring Patience. Somehow, she's breaking his rules, and sweeping past his defenses. Soon, between formidable enemies and obstacles, they form a fragile trust—but will it be enough to save the future they long to dare together?


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When headstrong West Indian heiress Patience Jordan questioned her English husband's mysterious suicide, she lost everything: her newborn son, Lionel, her fortune—and her freedom. Falsely imprisoned, she risks her life to be near her child—until The Widow's Grace gets her hired as her own son’s nanny. But working for his unsuspecting new guardian, Busick Strathmore, Duke o When headstrong West Indian heiress Patience Jordan questioned her English husband's mysterious suicide, she lost everything: her newborn son, Lionel, her fortune—and her freedom. Falsely imprisoned, she risks her life to be near her child—until The Widow's Grace gets her hired as her own son’s nanny. But working for his unsuspecting new guardian, Busick Strathmore, Duke of Repington, has perils of its own. Especially when Patience discovers his military strictness belies an ex-rake of unswerving honor—and unexpected passion . . . A wounded military hero, Busick is determined to resolve his dead cousin’s dangerous financial dealings for Lionel’s sake. But his investigation is a minor skirmish compared to dealing with the forthright, courageous, and alluring Patience. Somehow, she's breaking his rules, and sweeping past his defenses. Soon, between formidable enemies and obstacles, they form a fragile trust—but will it be enough to save the future they long to dare together?

30 review for A Duke, the Lady, and a Baby

  1. 4 out of 5

    Madison Warner Fairbanks

    The Duke, the Lady, and a Baby by Vanessa Riley Rogues and Remarkable Women, book 1. Historical romance. First and third person perspective in alternating chapters. Widowed Patience escapes Bedlam and gets hired as a wet nurse to care for her son in her former home. Busick is determined to raise and care for Lionel, his ward, though his resulting disability from war brings complications and perceived weakness to his stand. Unique POV style. Uncommon settings in the escape from the asylum (discuss The Duke, the Lady, and a Baby by Vanessa Riley Rogues and Remarkable Women, book 1. Historical romance. First and third person perspective in alternating chapters. Widowed Patience escapes Bedlam and gets hired as a wet nurse to care for her son in her former home. Busick is determined to raise and care for Lionel, his ward, though his resulting disability from war brings complications and perceived weakness to his stand. Unique POV style. Uncommon settings in the escape from the asylum (discussed but happens prior), the wet nurse situation, a disabled ex-soldier, a ghost, and the Duke caring for the baby. Overall much darker than a standard historical romance in contrast to the cover art. Low heat. I liked the strength of the heroine and was glad when she finally told Busick that she was the mother. I admired the hero for his strength in dealing with his disability and in caring for the infant. I listened to an audio version narrated by Bahni Turpin. It was recorded with the equivalent of a West Indian or Jamaican accent. The accent changes made it easy to transition to the character POV.

  2. 5 out of 5

    WhiskeyintheJar

    2.7 stars I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. Widowed Patience Jordan is fighting to gain control of her son and home after a nefariously opportunistic Uncle Markham sends her to Bedlam. On a night she is sneaking out of her former home, her late husband's cousin, Busick Strathmore, the Duke of Repington, storms the gates and takes his legal position of being Patience's son's guardian. Busick is tr 2.7 stars I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. Widowed Patience Jordan is fighting to gain control of her son and home after a nefariously opportunistic Uncle Markham sends her to Bedlam. On a night she is sneaking out of her former home, her late husband's cousin, Busick Strathmore, the Duke of Repington, storms the gates and takes his legal position of being Patience's son's guardian. Busick is trying to heal and keep his own secrets after being injured at Badajoz and hiring a young beautiful nanny for his new ward doesn't seem like a good idea in a house now full of ex-soldiers. He knows all about Markham and his fiendish ways and is set on finding his cousin's widow. Patience and Busick will have to learn to trust if they're going to find love again. It was a universal truth that no matter her background, face, or charms, a widow in possession of a fortune would be targeted for theft. First in the Rogues and Remarkable Women series, this drops the reader right into Patience's struggles and life. I couldn't help feeling I was missing some introduction novella or prologue. I wish I could have gotten even a few scenes with Patience and her first husband to get a feel for their relationship and the troubles that seemed to plague him. I think this could have filled out the Uncle Markham villain storyline more. We also miss Markham sending Patience to Bedlam, how she became friends with Jemina (a character that is by her side constantly throughout the story), their escape from Bedlam, and how Patience gets saved/involved with the Widow's Grace. Lady Shrewsbury, the leader of the Widow's Grace, could have also been utilized, explained more. All the threads I mentioned seem vastly interesting but the reader comes into the story when all that has passed and I missed out on the depth of experience with Patience for them. Coming into the story when we do, left me at sea for a while but there was still a sense of undertaking that drew me in. They dragged me, the mistress of Hamlin Hall from this place, from Lionel. Our heroine Patience is originally from Demerara (modern day Guyana) and was brought to England by marriage. Her late husband, Colin, seems to have struggled with depression, lack of willingness to endure slights given overtly and covertly to Patience due to her mixed heritage, money issues, and a conniving Uncle Markham. They have a son, Lionel, but Colin abandons Patience in the country side. Patience's father left a trust for any offspring she may have and when her son turns a certain age, he will receive four thousand pounds, this money seems to be the catalyst for Markham conspiring against Colin and trying to dispose of Patience. Our hero Busick is a soldier who fought and was injured in Badajoz, an injury that he tries to hide how badly affected him. He grew up with Markham and is aware of his villainous nature. In a structural choice, not seen often, Patience's pov is first person while Busick's pov is third. They each have their own chapters and until the end at some spots, the pov's are separated by chapter breaks. This helped me greatly in maintaining the flow of the story with the switching povs. I favor third person, so Busick's povs were easier for me to follow but Patience still was the better flushed out character because of more detail and emotion given to her personality and struggles. “What’s not possible? For me to love or for me to love you?” These two had some playful moments but overall I felt they were lacking chemistry and some heat. I like open door romances and sexually intimate moments on the page, this had some kissing but would definitely be categorized as very low heat, in regards to intimate scenes on page, this lack could have definitely affected how I felt about this. I also thought Patience not revealing her identity to Busick didn't ring true and was just keep some angst in the story. Patience actually returns to character and deals with this fairly quickly but what came before still felt forced and dragged out. These two had to deal with Markham issues, a possible ghost (seriously, why was this story thread put in there when it amounted to nothing??), and Lionel not liking pap milk and wanting milk (if I never have to read the words “pap milk” again, it will be too soon) for the majority of the story that their developing feelings weren't showcased enough for me. There was no denying it. He was my beloved, and I was his. There were some intriguing side characters, Busick's friend Viscount Gantry and his separation from his wife, who is also from Demerara, Patience's friend Jemina and her amnesia, and Lady Shrewsbury the leader of the Widow's Grace that look to have enough story to get books of their own. I missed having been with Patience on some of her past experiences and I would have liked more romance between her and Busick but this did have some venture and mystery that kept me reading.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Rach

    Patience Jordan has been imprisoned on false accusations after her husband dies. She gets out and risks her life to see her child. Busick Strathmore, Duke of Repington has moved into her old house and is now the guardian of her child. Patience gets a job as nanny so she can see her child. Slowly Patience and Busick develop a relationship. I was looking forward to reading this book as I love a historical romance but I found I didn’t really enjoy it. I found some of the wording a bit silly. There Patience Jordan has been imprisoned on false accusations after her husband dies. She gets out and risks her life to see her child. Busick Strathmore, Duke of Repington has moved into her old house and is now the guardian of her child. Patience gets a job as nanny so she can see her child. Slowly Patience and Busick develop a relationship. I was looking forward to reading this book as I love a historical romance but I found I didn’t really enjoy it. I found some of the wording a bit silly. There wasn’t really much to the plot either. The actually relationship was a bit undeveloped in the plot. Also I couldn’t work out who was speaking sometimes. The author wrote in a first person narrative and third person narrative. Overall I didn’t enjoy the book like I thought I would from the blurb and the actual plot could have had a bit more of a story. I received a ARC from Netgalley and Kensington Books for an objection review.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Bookadmirer

    The cover of this book is really cute. However, the story isn't entertaining. I was looking forward to reading this book because the blurb seemed interesting. Overall, I couldn't enjoy it as much as I thought I would. For a historical romance, the author couldn't deliver the historical aspects. The author wrote in both first-person narratives and this person's narratives. It was confusing. The only thing I liked was the protagonist's chemistry. I received an arc through NetGalley in exchange fo The cover of this book is really cute. However, the story isn't entertaining. I was looking forward to reading this book because the blurb seemed interesting. Overall, I couldn't enjoy it as much as I thought I would. For a historical romance, the author couldn't deliver the historical aspects. The author wrote in both first-person narratives and this person's narratives. It was confusing. The only thing I liked was the protagonist's chemistry. I received an arc through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ezinwanyi Chinyere

    I had high hopes because this cover is beautiful and HRs featuring black characters are in short supply. This story fell quite short and was actually difficult for me to maintain interest as I read it. It started off with Patience Jordan sneaking into her former home to nurse her baby boy. We quickly learned that Patience was an imprisoned widow, cast out after her husband Collin was found dead and placed in an insane asylum. The West Indian heiress married Colin Jordan, an Englishman and moved I had high hopes because this cover is beautiful and HRs featuring black characters are in short supply. This story fell quite short and was actually difficult for me to maintain interest as I read it. It started off with Patience Jordan sneaking into her former home to nurse her baby boy. We quickly learned that Patience was an imprisoned widow, cast out after her husband Collin was found dead and placed in an insane asylum. The West Indian heiress married Colin Jordan, an Englishman and moved to England with him. When Collin was found dead of a suicide, Patience found herself accused of his death, penniless and without her newborn Lionel. Colin's uncle Markham seized control over everything including the baby and had Patience put into Bedlam. The good news was that the rightful heir, Busick Strathmore, Duke of Repington, believed there was something fishy about his cousin's supposed suicide. So the disabled military man traveled to his estate to take control and investigate his dead cousin's death. Busick quickly hired Patience to be the wet nurse to the baby, not knowing Patience's true identity and connection to baby Lionel. They quickly developed a friendship and later it became more. Together, they began unraveling what was really going on. This journey was dreary to me. I had a hard time with the author's storytelling and writing. It didn't flow smoothly and I wasn't able to connect with the characters. I did admire Patience's strength, grit and resourcefulness but I didn't really believe her with Busick. Busick seemed like an honorable military man, but he really wasn't endearing. He was just blah. There was no build up of chemistry between this two. It felt like a relationship of convenience. The story of Widow's Grace was definitely educational. I love learning new historical facts since that period was such a painful one for women and people of color. There wasn't much of a romance here to smooth out the rough storytelling. I struggled to finish it and I am unsure if I will read more in this series. *Special thanks to Kensington Books and Netgalley for the e-book given in exchange for an honest review.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Bethany

    A secret society on a mission to help widows, a West Indian heiress determined to regain custody of her infant son, and an injured war hero with a love of precision- A Duke, the Lady, and a Baby is a suspenseful historical romance that does a lot right and is a great choice for those who prefer a closed door approach to intimate scenes. I will say, the beginning of the book is a little confusing. The story opens with Patience Jordan sneaking into her former home dressed as a white man to check on A secret society on a mission to help widows, a West Indian heiress determined to regain custody of her infant son, and an injured war hero with a love of precision- A Duke, the Lady, and a Baby is a suspenseful historical romance that does a lot right and is a great choice for those who prefer a closed door approach to intimate scenes. I will say, the beginning of the book is a little confusing. The story opens with Patience Jordan sneaking into her former home dressed as a white man to check on and nurse her newborn son. We have no real context and it takes awhile for things to become clear, but ultimately this becomes a very sweet story about a slowly developing romance between two people who feel like outsiders in some way. Patience is a dark-skinned woman from the West Indies who had come to England to marry her now dead husband. His death was apparently a suicide over gambling debts, but things are unclear. What we do know is that Patience had been forcibly placed into Bedlam asylum by her husbands friend who has now taken custody of her son. We get a lot of conversation through the book about racism and colorism during that time period, and an informative authors note at the back on the real history and glossed over fact of many people of color living in England during that time period. Busick is a Duke and wounded military man with a great deal of pride and desire to hide his disability due to the loss of a leg. He rides in to rescue his ward, the young infant Lionel, and unknowingly hires the childs mother (Patience) as a nanny. He is quirky and funny, obsessed with order and precision, but known as a former rake who feels now quite removed from the possibility of that lifestyle. I had mixed feelings about the writing style on this one. As I said, the beginning was a bit confusing and the style creates some level of distance from the characters which I am less used to in genre romance. That said, I ultimately quite liked the romance and appreciated the way that this thoughtfully addresses issues of race and disability in history. I received an advance copy of this book for review via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ms. Woc Reader

    I wanted to love this one but honestly the only reason I finished it was because it was an easy read on a non busy work day. The writing was fine and the story was okay but this is a romance. Where was the chemistry? I don't mind a slow burn but I like a well done slow burn that makes me anticipate more. Patience was strong and determined to reunite with her son but I didn't get much from the Duke. One thing that intrigued me was her being from Demerara which is now present day Guyana. But other I wanted to love this one but honestly the only reason I finished it was because it was an easy read on a non busy work day. The writing was fine and the story was okay but this is a romance. Where was the chemistry? I don't mind a slow burn but I like a well done slow burn that makes me anticipate more. Patience was strong and determined to reunite with her son but I didn't get much from the Duke. One thing that intrigued me was her being from Demerara which is now present day Guyana. But other than mentions of rum and sugar I didn't get much of a sense of that culture. It would have probably also helped if the chapters were from his pov in 1st person instead of 3rd person. 2020 romance has really been disappointing me this year. I received an arc from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Chloe Liese

    After having gone on a recent historical romance spree, I was thrilled to be approved for an early review copy of Vanessa Riley's forthcoming A DUKE, THE LADY, AND A BABY. I loved the description/synopsis that hinted at a West Indies mother pressed to the point of desperation, fighting against the unfair machinations of Colonialist England's racism, prejudice, and sexism in the early-nineteenth-century. What I liked: - References to huge inequities and injustices in 19th-century England: Bedlam's After having gone on a recent historical romance spree, I was thrilled to be approved for an early review copy of Vanessa Riley's forthcoming A DUKE, THE LADY, AND A BABY. I loved the description/synopsis that hinted at a West Indies mother pressed to the point of desperation, fighting against the unfair machinations of Colonialist England's racism, prejudice, and sexism in the early-nineteenth-century. What I liked: - References to huge inequities and injustices in 19th-century England: Bedlam's corruption, the dismissal, and racialized hatred of POC, the deep financial deprivation of women (the entailing of estates, naming of children, male control of assets) - The portrayal of an empowered, determined WOC, a strong core female friendship, and a gritty depiction of how hard it must have been back then to survive and battle injustice. - The portrayal of war-wounds, costs, and the resulting disabilities; Busick was depicted as dealing with pain and challenges, but he was never a pitied character and was quite empowered. - I loved the baby, and how he was the fulcrum for the Duke and Patience's budding romance. Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington for this advance complimentary review copy. All opinions are my own.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Renaissance Kate

    Setting aside at 63%. I was super intrigued at the beginning of this book, but sadly for me it's become a bit slow and I think my time could be better spent picking up something else for now. I'm disappointed as I was really hoping to like this one. Vanessa Riley possesses great writing abilities, and I'd definitely be interested in checking out some of her other work. Regarding rep in this book, we have a WOC immigrant heroine, Patience, and a disabled hero, Busick. I also love that Patience's b Setting aside at 63%. I was super intrigued at the beginning of this book, but sadly for me it's become a bit slow and I think my time could be better spent picking up something else for now. I'm disappointed as I was really hoping to like this one. Vanessa Riley possesses great writing abilities, and I'd definitely be interested in checking out some of her other work. Regarding rep in this book, we have a WOC immigrant heroine, Patience, and a disabled hero, Busick. I also love that Patience's baby son, Lionel, plays such a prominent role in the story. The three of them make a delightful trio. The most off-putting part of this book is the POV jumps - Patience's chapters are written in 1st person POV, while Busick's are in 3rd person. It was really jarring for my brain to switch every chapter and made the story more difficult to follow. I might come back later to finish this in the future, however I feel like the ending is pretty predictable at this point. Thank you to Kensington Books via Netgalley for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Lisa (Remarkablylisa)

    Real Rating: 2.5/5 stars I tried my best liking this book but to be honest, there is not that much chemistry between our main characters and for the most of the book, the duke and our heroine are working alongside each other to solve a mystery / go on an adventure that I did not care for. I loved the representation in this with a west Indian heroine and a duke who is an amputee.

  11. 5 out of 5

    charlotte,

    On my blog Rep: biracial West Indian mc, amputee mc CWs: past suicide, non-consensual drug use, murder Galley provided by publisher A Duke, the Lady and a Baby was up there as one of my most anticipated reads for this year. I mean, just read the synopsis! It sounds amazing. And yet. And. Yet. The best way for me to explain how I felt about this book is this little anecdote. About 30 pages in, maybe less, I came across an… interesting euphemism (to say the least) for sex. A euphemism that left me gig On my blog Rep: biracial West Indian mc, amputee mc CWs: past suicide, non-consensual drug use, murder Galley provided by publisher A Duke, the Lady and a Baby was up there as one of my most anticipated reads for this year. I mean, just read the synopsis! It sounds amazing. And yet. And. Yet. The best way for me to explain how I felt about this book is this little anecdote. About 30 pages in, maybe less, I came across an… interesting euphemism (to say the least) for sex. A euphemism that left me giggling for hours, and one I still can’t think about without bursting into laughter. The fleshly congress. And really, this set the tone for the book as a whole. Granted, I hadn’t particularly liked the writing before now – it felt a little grandiloquent, in all honesty – so I was sort of predisposed not to really enjoy the book. But then the euphemism. Romance books are good at finding ways to talk about sex through euphemisms, I know this. But this euphemism was so laughable, I just couldn’t cope. I couldn’t read more than a few pages before remembering the fleshly congress. To be perfectly honest, I think I got through the book in the hopes of finding more such euphemisms. Unfortunately, there were none (the sex scene was fade to black…). As much as it put me off, that euphemism was probably the best thing about the book. Because there were a number of other aspects of it that irritated me. For one, Busick (not a romantic-sounding name at all) basically browbeats her into marrying him. And I know I have read and liked a lot of romance books that are predicated on something similar (it is quite hard to escape a case of the male character using his societal power over the female character in some way, I am resigned to this), but here it just didn’t work for me. And they also seem to just decide they are in love without there actually being any evidence for it. They don’t even communicate very well, for crying out loud! So in the end, this went from being one of my most anticipated reads to one of my most disappointing ones.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Trisha (semi-hiatus)

    Blog Review: https://trishadoeseverythingbutstudy2... This is more 3.5 stars than 4. I did not enjoy this as much as I wanted. I had numerous problems with this, but I ended up on a 4 star rating because while I didn't enjoy this as much as I had wanted to, I didn't hate it as much as I could have either? The first problem I had was the insta love. I will not be expanding a lot on this because we do not want to be here all day. But the thing is, already having feelings of how you will not be able Blog Review: https://trishadoeseverythingbutstudy2... This is more 3.5 stars than 4. I did not enjoy this as much as I wanted. I had numerous problems with this, but I ended up on a 4 star rating because while I didn't enjoy this as much as I had wanted to, I didn't hate it as much as I could have either? The first problem I had was the insta love. I will not be expanding a lot on this because we do not want to be here all day. But the thing is, already having feelings of how you will not be able to live without the other person when you've known each other for days and you don't even completely trust the other person because you suspect they're up to something is just NO. Another problem I had was the lack of angst. I do not pick up a book that promises me angst to be cheated out of that angst. The synopsis clearly suggests that there will be kept secrets, ulterior motives, 'fragile trust'; THERE WAS NO FRAGILE TRUST. There were kept secrets, but they were revealed without the slightest bit of hurt feelings. There were ulterior motives, all resolved without any angst. WHERE IS THE ANGST. WHERE ARE THE HURT FEELINGS. Other than that, I mostly enjoyed this. I don't even know why. It was like watching a movie and just passively watching it and not hating it, and thus giving it 3.5 stars. Another problem I had was the baby. When you promise me a baby, I expect him to have screen time. I expect that he'll have a significance on the plot, except getting the two characters to meet. Honestly, if they didn't mention the baby, I would've forgotten there was one. I love reading kid-fics, but the kid needs to have personality. If it's a baby, then I expect it to be on both the acting parents' minds most of the time, but it was not. Like, the basic plot of this book was that Patience couldn't go on without her baby, couldn't and wouldn't live without him, would do anything she could to get him back. And after all of that, she leaves him with Busick and goes off gallivanting into the sunset to be a superhero; what was the point of the baby then?? Another thing I didn't completely love, but this is a personal failing; I usually avoid books dealing with grief. I just get really sad and mopey, and that is not a mood I want to be in when I'm reading books to improve my mood. Because this was a personal feeling, I didn't cut stars for this, and also because I don't think Patience much missed her husband in the first place. On the whole, it was an alright book, but not one that I particularly loved. I enjoyed most of it, but I could have done with more angst, less premature love declarations. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys kid fics with the kid just being more or less a prop (or, on that not, someone who doesn't particularly enjoy kid-fics and thus did not pick it up- the kid doesn't play that much of a role, so you're safe), doesn't mind insta-love, plot that doesn't much go anywhere, slightly badass characters (not completely confident about this one), and doesn't mind grief.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Lenora Bell

    I adored this book! This is filled with Vanessa Riley's trademark lush historical and sensory details and poetic prose. Brilliant, emotional, and breathtakingly romantic - A Duke, The Lady, and A Baby is an enchanting historical romance to be treasured on your keeper shelf. One of my favorite quotes: Wide, delicious eyes, orbs of topaz with hints of honey gold and henna stared at him. It felt as if an assassin had marked him. A small part of him didn’t mind being in the line of fire, her fire. *SW I adored this book! This is filled with Vanessa Riley's trademark lush historical and sensory details and poetic prose. Brilliant, emotional, and breathtakingly romantic - A Duke, The Lady, and A Baby is an enchanting historical romance to be treasured on your keeper shelf. One of my favorite quotes: Wide, delicious eyes, orbs of topaz with hints of honey gold and henna stared at him. It felt as if an assassin had marked him. A small part of him didn’t mind being in the line of fire, her fire. *SWOON*

  14. 5 out of 5

    Lois

    This was ok. I am uncomfortable with some of the romantic man's actions towards and treatment of the main romantic woman character. This is common in romance but bothered me. This was ok. I am uncomfortable with some of the romantic man's actions towards and treatment of the main romantic woman character. This is common in romance but bothered me.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Joana V.

    Review originally published at Romancing Romances I received an eARC at no cost from the publisher, and I am leaving a voluntary and honest review. Thank you. This was my first book by Vanessa Riley and I was super excited to read this book, as it is a diverse historical romance, and I’ll admit right away: most authors I read are not diverse and/or do not write diverse stories/characters. However, I’m trying to improve myself and this was my first eARC of a historical romance that featured more d Review originally published at Romancing Romances I received an eARC at no cost from the publisher, and I am leaving a voluntary and honest review. Thank you. This was my first book by Vanessa Riley and I was super excited to read this book, as it is a diverse historical romance, and I’ll admit right away: most authors I read are not diverse and/or do not write diverse stories/characters. However, I’m trying to improve myself and this was my first eARC of a historical romance that featured more diversity. The heroine, Patience, is from an island in Demerara (currently Guyana, South America), and the hero, Busick Strathmore, Duke of Repington is a war-hero from England. I really, really, really wanted to like this book. But I found it tasking to finish it, and it just didn’t really work for me. First of all, the book is written in the 1st person AND in the 3rd person, which makes it confusing, and honestly, it started to give me headaches with its changing the whole time. Patience, although I can understand her struggle, and her reasons, was just a bit annoying sometimes, and in the end I just didn’t like her. Busick was okay, not a great hero either. He’s an amputee, a war hero, a very strict, very protective, very organized man. My favourite part about him was the love he had for his ward, Lionel – Patience’s baby. For me… we don’t actually see a romance develop between the main characters, we are simply told they started to fall in love, and there is no chemistry between them. The mystery in the whole book just was too much, and yet left questions unanswered at the end. I liked and respect that the author explored difficult themes (such as war wounds, mental health, the injustices in England during the 19th, particularly regarding women, and even more regarding POC, amongst other) but for me it wasn't enough to make me enjoy the book, sadly. I did enjoy the female friendships, and the best part for me was Lionel (the baby), and moments he was with his family.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Barbara Rogers

    Series: Rogues and remarkable Women #1 Publication Date: 6/30/20 /Number of Pages: 320 *** 3.5 Stars rounded up *** This was my first book by this author and it was a very enjoyable read. The storyline was unique for the Regency period and it was well presented. One unusual thing in the story’s presentation was that it alternated between first and third person which may bother some readers, but not others. While this wasn’t an unusually long book, I felt as if it took me a long time to read it – eve Series: Rogues and remarkable Women #1 Publication Date: 6/30/20 /Number of Pages: 320 *** 3.5 Stars rounded up *** This was my first book by this author and it was a very enjoyable read. The storyline was unique for the Regency period and it was well presented. One unusual thing in the story’s presentation was that it alternated between first and third person which may bother some readers, but not others. While this wasn’t an unusually long book, I felt as if it took me a long time to read it – even though it didn’t. I’m not sure why that was – just me I guess. The story moved along at a good clip and it was well-plotted, but I did think the villain was a bit of a fizzle. While there was both a romance and a villain, I did feel that they were subservient to the story the author wanted to tell – which was the treatment and lack of acceptance of people of color during the Regency period. Busick Strathmore, Duke of Repington, was severely wounded and lost a limb at the battle of Badajoz. He was Wellington’s right-hand-man and dearly wants to get back to the battlefield. I did come to like Busick, but it didn’t come easily. I think that was mostly because he seemed to be a cardboard caricature of a dedicated military man. I loved his determination to care for and protect his new ward, Lionel Jordan, who is the son of his much-loved cousin, Colin. Patience Jordan was a lovely character and I admired her courage and loving heart. I liked her as soon as she graced the page. Just after the death of her mother, she fell madly in love with Colin Jordan. Almost as soon as they married, they left her West Indies home, Demerara, and traveled to Colin’s home in England. Patience did all she could do to please Colin – she adopted English ways, she perfected her speech, but Colin always left her at home in the country while he lived mostly in London. He explained that he was doing it to protect her because as a Mulatto (or Blackamoor – I was never sure which) she would be ridiculed and not accepted. When Colin committed suicide, his uncle, Markham, swooped in and took over. He put Patience in Bedlam and took over custody of Lionel. The story is about Patience doing whatever she had to do to gain custody of her son and to escape England. You’ll love how selfless, brave, and loving she is. There wasn’t much time spent telling us exactly what The Widow’s Grace society is nor how it came to be. We are to just accept that it exists and that they found and rescued these two ladies from Bedlam. I really wish that there was more focus on who Patience was as a person rather than what she was. I understand that the author wanted to focus on the story as a person of color, but that isn’t all she was. I wanted to get to know and like her for who she was, and there was some of that – just not enough to suit me. We got to meet the featured characters of the next book and I liked both of them. They are both mixed-race as well and are struggling to find acceptance within London society. Since I liked both characters in this book, I’ll give the next one a read as well. I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  17. 4 out of 5

    allieereads

    This was an incredible disappointment. The blurb absolutely sucked me right in. The premise was something that I felt was super unique in historical romance fiction, a biracial MC as well as a war veteran who is an amputee as the main love interest. My main issue with this book was the execution of the premise. It was lacklustre, to be quite honest. This was told in a dual perspective but Patience's perspective was written in first person and the Duke's perspective was written in third person. W This was an incredible disappointment. The blurb absolutely sucked me right in. The premise was something that I felt was super unique in historical romance fiction, a biracial MC as well as a war veteran who is an amputee as the main love interest. My main issue with this book was the execution of the premise. It was lacklustre, to be quite honest. This was told in a dual perspective but Patience's perspective was written in first person and the Duke's perspective was written in third person. What in the actual reading hell was this? Who signed off on this decision? It created a real disconnection between the reader and the character - for me personally. It just didn't make sense as to why that was the case. And, most importantly, there was absolutely no - and I mean NO - chemistry between Patience and the Duke. Nada. Zilch. Nothing. I didn't understand how they became entangled romantically because there was no tension between them. All of a sudden, Patience was like 'am I in love with him?' and I was like 'NO WHAT THE FUCK?'. Also - I have to admit that Victorian era history is not my area of expertise (I studied medieval european history), but I feel like a widow marrying anothing man within a few months of her husband's death...might be a big no-no in terms of social norms? That was another aspect of the story that I didn't quite like. The entire story felt so insular from the actual historical period this was taking place in. Don't get me wrong, there was brief discussions about the inequaliities that the MC faces being a woman and a foreigner as well as being a woman of colour, but there was nothing about the Ton, about society. I feel like a major aspect of these types of historical romances is the environment that the reader is privy to, being the quintessential 'society' experience. The story and its characters felt like they were in a bubble and the author could have changed that especially in the epilogue. Also, I found the Duke absolutely cringe. He was not written in a way that makes him attractive. The things that he says, especially to or about Patience or women overall is just...not it. If he was such a reformed or secret 'rake' then why the hell does he constantly bring up how good he is about fucking women? When he opened his mouth, I rolled my eyes. Patience had so much potential as a badass widow but instead continues to make ridiculous decisions. She never actually does anything to better her situation, it is all 'fixed' by other people. Which, yes one could argue that as a woman and a woman of colour especially, she would not have had much agency - but it was frustrating as a reader when the main character's actions didn't really do much, if anything, to push the narrative forward as well as help her with her son. But I most likely won't continue the series, although the setup for the second book that was briefly mentioned in the epilogue does sound interesting! So maybe I will pick it up at my library, we shall see.

  18. 4 out of 5

    PlotTrysts

    A Duke, the Lady, and a Baby gives us Patience Jordan, a mixed-race heiress of West Indian origin who was falsely institutionalized after the suicide of her husband. This book focuses on her struggle to reunite with her son and regain control of her fortune after escaping from Bedlam with the help of some of her friends. The plight of women in the Regency Era combined with the intersection of her race is a focal point in the novel. ⁠ Any historical romance fan should be familiar with the Caribbea A Duke, the Lady, and a Baby gives us Patience Jordan, a mixed-race heiress of West Indian origin who was falsely institutionalized after the suicide of her husband. This book focuses on her struggle to reunite with her son and regain control of her fortune after escaping from Bedlam with the help of some of her friends. The plight of women in the Regency Era combined with the intersection of her race is a focal point in the novel. ⁠ Any historical romance fan should be familiar with the Caribbean sugar heiress (somehow Mr. Rochester ended up with two of them, whut?), but they are often either missing from current romance releases or the source of their wealth is glossed over with no reference to the conditions that produce it.⁠ We really appreciated the exploration of Patience's wealth and position in society. While we loved the emphasis on social issues, the writing was tough for us to get into. The chapters alternate between 1st person (Patience) and 3rd person (the Duke). We imagine this narrative choice was made so that the reader identified more with Patience and her plight, but instead it seemed to distance us from the relationship.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Yels

    Wowwwww, this book was hard for me to get through. I honestly did not like it at all. A Duke, the Lady, and a Baby follows Patience a Lady who has been falsely imprisoned in Bedlam, taken away from her baby, and now has to disguise herself as his wet nurse/nanny until the mystery behind her late husband's death can be resolved. Busick, the Duke, takes over the estate through force not realizing that Patience is not who she says she is, everyone can see through his injury, and that a baby is not Wowwwww, this book was hard for me to get through. I honestly did not like it at all. A Duke, the Lady, and a Baby follows Patience a Lady who has been falsely imprisoned in Bedlam, taken away from her baby, and now has to disguise herself as his wet nurse/nanny until the mystery behind her late husband's death can be resolved. Busick, the Duke, takes over the estate through force not realizing that Patience is not who she says she is, everyone can see through his injury, and that a baby is not a soldier. This book made me deeply uncomfortable since Patience is of mixed race living in England. That is not the issue but Patience constantly refers herself as mulatto and while I know that term was considered normal, I still hated it. I feel like Patience being from the West Indies was just there as a talking point and to bring in religion to the book. I am always a fan of books about people who were erased from history (mixed raced and Afro-Caribbean individuals) in historical romance books but this wasn't it for me. The story itself was on the meh side of things and the romance was terrible. While I don't mind babies in books, the Duke constantly thinks about Patience's breasts while she is breastfeeding and that is when I should have checked out. They do get their happy ever after so good for them. Also, wish I had known this was a clean read and no offense to anyone but no thanks LOL.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Brandy

    Ok, Patience is SUCH an amazing woman, a fierce mother and determined to get to the heart of what has been going on. The Duke is in pain and frustrated and is a soldier who is used to everyone obeying him - and certainly will not stand for deceptions! Watching them bond over their love of Lionel and work to find their way to happiness was so much fun. I can’t wait to read the next installment of this series!!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Laura (Kyahgirl)

    A really good collection of potentially good characters but the author just let it all fizzle into nothing. DNF after about 5 hours of the audiobook. It literally was going no where.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Abigail Harris

    1.5 star rounded to 2. I wasn't sure what to expect from this book but I wanted to read it after seeing some others interested in reading it. I can't say it was as good as I expected and there was a lot of comments/suggestions that make me gag so not really something I'd recommend. It was also not as strong of a story as it could have been, I found the writing style to be good but it skipped at points. Content: mentions of false gods, sexual suggestions/mentions/intentions, gambling, and more. 1.5 star rounded to 2. I wasn't sure what to expect from this book but I wanted to read it after seeing some others interested in reading it. I can't say it was as good as I expected and there was a lot of comments/suggestions that make me gag so not really something I'd recommend. It was also not as strong of a story as it could have been, I found the writing style to be good but it skipped at points. Content: mentions of false gods, sexual suggestions/mentions/intentions, gambling, and more.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Cece

    So much went wrong here that it was often impossible to follow what was going on. Regency romance desperately needs more stories from voices it has historically excluded and I was excited to read about an interracial relationship between a veteran amputee hero and a West Indian heiress heroine, but this was a massive disappointment on nearly every level. When A Duke, the Lady, and a Baby opens, 23-year-old widow heroine Patience Jordan has broken into her former home to breastfeed her neglected So much went wrong here that it was often impossible to follow what was going on. Regency romance desperately needs more stories from voices it has historically excluded and I was excited to read about an interracial relationship between a veteran amputee hero and a West Indian heiress heroine, but this was a massive disappointment on nearly every level. When A Duke, the Lady, and a Baby opens, 23-year-old widow heroine Patience Jordan has broken into her former home to breastfeed her neglected newborn son, Lionel. As she’s sneaking off the estate in disguise as a footman, she’s startled by the clamorous arrival of Busick Strathmore, the Duke of Repington and her son’s new guardian, and his legion of soldiers. He announces that he’s firing the entire staff, but he’ll be hiring his own employees the next day and enthusiastically throws himself into the business of rearing his months-old ward. In a bid to regain custody of her son and discover why her former uncle-in-law plotted against her family, Patience goes undercover as Lionel’s nursemaid and nanny. Although she’s initially frustrated by her subservient position and resentful of Busick’s hyper-controlling military precision, their relationship eventually grows affectionate after she saves his life and reveals her identity as his late cousin’s widow. This book’s representation is tremendously important. As it stands today, historical romance is far too exclusionary. The stories in this space overwhelmingly belong to wealthy, able-bodied, and white protagonists, and the white authors who write them. I love historical romance, but I hate that part of it, which is why I was quick to buy this book and happy to see the universally positive reviews of it in The New York Times, Publisher’s Weekly, and NPR. I firmly believe that the more diverse historical romance gets, the better it will be. And I want to put my money behind that belief, as often as I can. This book’s West Indian heroine and disabled hero are such a step in the right direction. Sadly, nothing in this story works. The romance isn’t convincing. The attempts at humor aren’t funny. The lack of real sensuality only highlights the book’s awkward, cringe-worthy fixation on breastfeeding (the reviews aren’t exaggerating this – the heroine refers to herself as a cow!). There isn’t much plot to speak of, but the characterization is shallow and nonsensical. Supporting characters don’t have enough dimensionality to add anything substantive. The villain is a ridiculous caricature and his schemes for power and money are telegraphed from the beginning, which makes his demise anti-climatic. The dialogue felt like a bizarrely stilted parody of the romance genre. But my biggest problem was the writing style. I don’t like to criticize authors for their writing style, if I can help it. Writing quality is incredibly subjective and as long as I can get through it, I’m happy. I prefer denser or more literary writing in my historical romances, but I also understand that’s not to everyone’s taste. Here, the author made an artistic decision to write her heroine’s sections in the 1st person point of view and her hero’s in 3rd person. The switching back and forth gave me a headache and when it happened within the space of a single chapter, I felt like screaming. Then, I found the writing itself nearly unreadable. There wasn’t any focus or concentration to the writing, but it was simultaneously full of frenzied energy. Characters would think or speak in a series of rushed non-sequiturs or make vague yet rapid allusions to seemingly unimportant topics. It was frequently difficult to track who was speaking to whom. Something would be stated definitively, only to be totally contradicted a few lines later. Emotionally impactful moments were never given enough time or space to land. Reading this book reminded me of when someone scrolls through menu options too fast to read, making it impossible to take anything in or keep things straight. However, at the same time, I was uncomfortably aware of how weighed down the text was with ponderous asides, an excess of superfluous detail, and little discernible plot. Listen, I don’t expect to click with every romance I see widely recommended. After being burned by overhyped books from mainstream media, I also know to weigh the opinions of romance authors and insiders over non-genre sources. But, with this book, I did that – authors like Olivia Waite and Maya Rodale and Julia Quinn recommended this one and it received praise from a major romance review blog. But this book fails in its writing, its storytelling craft, and as a genre romance. Which is frustrating because I truly don’t understand how someone finishes this novel and believes it’s worth encouraging others to read. It makes me wonder if romance operates like a high school clique, wherein a small group of successful authors decide to promote the work of their friends, regardless of quality. 1 star because I feel betrayed by the hype and the magic of the premise is buried beneath everything that goes so, so wrong.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Laurel

    What a fabulous story. I was enthralled by the irony of a woman of color being separated from her child after the death of her husband and then being hired as his nanny. The historical context and research were very impressive and the romance was swoony. I enjoyed Riley's wit and talent for dialogue. What a fabulous story. I was enthralled by the irony of a woman of color being separated from her child after the death of her husband and then being hired as his nanny. The historical context and research were very impressive and the romance was swoony. I enjoyed Riley's wit and talent for dialogue.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lata

    3.5 stars. Patience Jordan is desperate to reunite with her infant son after her dead husband's uncle throws her in Bedlam for getting in his way, and gets himself closer to her son's inheritance. Enter a duke injured from the war and settling in her home and also taking on his role of guardian for her infant son. Patience, with the help of Lady Shrewsbury, find a way to get Patience back with her son, and in a position to influence the duke into hearing her claim. I liked this. The wonderful Bahni 3.5 stars. Patience Jordan is desperate to reunite with her infant son after her dead husband's uncle throws her in Bedlam for getting in his way, and gets himself closer to her son's inheritance. Enter a duke injured from the war and settling in her home and also taking on his role of guardian for her infant son. Patience, with the help of Lady Shrewsbury, find a way to get Patience back with her son, and in a position to influence the duke into hearing her claim. I liked this. The wonderful Bahni Turpin narrates wonderfully, and I loved hearing Patience's voice through Ms Turpin. There are nefarious dealings to unearth, important papers to find, a son to care for, and a duke to convince, plus there's the wonderful friendship between Patience and Jemima, sustaining each woman. It's a pleasant story, with some really dark underpinnings: swindling, blackmail, suicide, women being easily discarded by their relations and imprisoned in Bedlam, women having no legal and few societal rights, and the ever popular disgust for those of darker skin colours and mixed heritage.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Zizzy W

    ** I received a complimentary eARC from the publisher via Netgalley. All opinions are mine, and this did not impact my review. ** As other reviewers have pointed out, the beginning was much too rushed and confusing. I usually love when we jump straight into the action, but the way we were introduced to Patience honestly made me hate her, oof. I just didn't understand enough to feel sympathetic until about 20% of the way through, when things finally started clicking. (Although, to be honest, it wa ** I received a complimentary eARC from the publisher via Netgalley. All opinions are mine, and this did not impact my review. ** As other reviewers have pointed out, the beginning was much too rushed and confusing. I usually love when we jump straight into the action, but the way we were introduced to Patience honestly made me hate her, oof. I just didn't understand enough to feel sympathetic until about 20% of the way through, when things finally started clicking. (Although, to be honest, it wasn't until over halfway through the book that I start to almost enjoy the storyline, which is why I'm not rating it a 2/5). Additionally, the switching between first and third person was either an artistic choice that didn't work for me or was indicative of poor editing, but regardless, it was distracting, and made Busick's POV seem impersonal. I also feel like there was a bit of racism/otherism towards the main character that was sometimes just swept under the rug "because that's how things are." Lastly, I really did not like Busick's character. I feel like he genuinely didn't have a character arc - he didn't seem to change at all from the beginning to the end. Patience changed only a fraction, but Busick remained the guy who is making a literal infant have a schedule of exercises. And Patience just lets him. All in all, I had issues with the book, but I don't regret reading it. I hadn't read a historical romance in a long time, so it was good to read one (and one that has the baby/instant family trope which I love). ** If you would like to read a short, bite-sized review with tropes, visit my blog: https://lizzywritesreviews.art.blog/2... **

  27. 5 out of 5

    JoAn

    A Duke, the Lady and A Baby by Vanessa Riley is a historical romance with richly detailed descriptions of the scenes and the characters and a mystery regarding the widow's husband and her past since her husband died. I did struggle with reading this book as it was written in both first person and third person throughout the book which did throw off the flow of the story. I was also disappointed that I never felt any chemistry between Patience and Busick. Their relationship seemed to grow organica A Duke, the Lady and A Baby by Vanessa Riley is a historical romance with richly detailed descriptions of the scenes and the characters and a mystery regarding the widow's husband and her past since her husband died. I did struggle with reading this book as it was written in both first person and third person throughout the book which did throw off the flow of the story. I was also disappointed that I never felt any chemistry between Patience and Busick. Their relationship seemed to grow organically as employer/employee and then into friendship (with reservations on his part) when Patience confessed that she was Lionel's mother which made sense. I did enjoy the mystery portion of the story as Busick and Patience finally revealed the evil truth behind the death of Patience's husband. Sad that the mystery was the best part of a romance story so I rate it 3.5 stars. I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book that I won from Kensington Publishing in a Goodreads contest. All of the above opinions are my own.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Maria

    Received an Advance Reader Copy in exchange for a fair review The wounded military hero in “A Duke, the Lady and a Baby”, by Vanessa Reily (Kensingron Books/Zebra), is brave, stoic about his wounds, and so very tender with baby Lionel that the parts with these two were my favorite. Busick’s injuries are severe and don’t heal with time; the all deception about them seemed a bit odd to maintain, especially in view of his intended return to the battlefront. But appearances count. The charming duke’s b Received an Advance Reader Copy in exchange for a fair review The wounded military hero in “A Duke, the Lady and a Baby”, by Vanessa Reily (Kensingron Books/Zebra), is brave, stoic about his wounds, and so very tender with baby Lionel that the parts with these two were my favorite. Busick’s injuries are severe and don’t heal with time; the all deception about them seemed a bit odd to maintain, especially in view of his intended return to the battlefront. But appearances count. The charming duke’s bonding with the baby boy, his “little soldier”, is sweet to watch; the hardened military man isn’t afraid of caring for and cuddling Lionel. The romance is sweet and cute, but the intrigue plot supposed to bring danger and suspense to the story seemed interminable and lacked fluidity. The dialogue felt often unnecessary and empty. The technical details the author added in the end of the book were interesting and showed she did some research.

  29. 4 out of 5

    b.andherbooks

    Patience's chapters are told in 1st POV and Repington's are told in 3rd. This is a fairly heavy story, not a light hearted romp, and the very real threat of Patience having her son taken from her made me really anxious. Patience's chapters are told in 1st POV and Repington's are told in 3rd. This is a fairly heavy story, not a light hearted romp, and the very real threat of Patience having her son taken from her made me really anxious.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Christi (christireadsalot)

    Historical romance that is told in 1st person POV with a West Indian heiress heroine (she’s from modern day Guyana). At the beginning of the story we find out that the heroine Patience has been separated from her newborn son and sneaks in to the house to feed him. After her English husband brought her back to England to marry, he mysteriously died and Patience got her entire life taken away from her...her fortune, her son, and her home when her husband’s Uncle took over the estate. We are droppe Historical romance that is told in 1st person POV with a West Indian heiress heroine (she’s from modern day Guyana). At the beginning of the story we find out that the heroine Patience has been separated from her newborn son and sneaks in to the house to feed him. After her English husband brought her back to England to marry, he mysteriously died and Patience got her entire life taken away from her...her fortune, her son, and her home when her husband’s Uncle took over the estate. We are dropped into Patience’s struggles as the story begins, she’s a woman of color in a new country, she’s a widow sent to Bedlam by her husband’s Uncle, and is separated from her newborn son. The baby is definitely the glue that holds this story together, Patience is trying to get back to her son and the hero is the new guardian of her child who is determined to do better for his new ward. Busick, Duke of Repington, is a scarred/amputee-military hero who is the cousin of Patience’s husband and when he hears of the suicide he thinks it’s fishy and decides to come take over the estate and investigate. He is determined to resolve his dead cousin’s estate for the sake of the baby/his new ward, Lionel. He ends up hiring Patience as the nanny for her own child. And their romance starts from there. Issues with the read: the story is told in 1st person POV from the heroine but then swaps to 3rd person POV for the hero & it was a bit disorienting as a reader. The romance was definitely lacking, there is not any chemistry between the Duke & Patience (if steam isn’t your jam, this might work for you) and their communication left much to be desired. Things I liked: a woman of color for a historical romance heroine, showing the struggles of racism and England-colonialism, this story definitely highlights the injustices given to women (especially when the heroine becomes a widowed-mother). I liked that the hero wanted to make the estate better for his ward/the baby. 2.5 stars

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