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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. 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.

  2. 4 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

  3. 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.

  4. 5 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 4 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.

  7. 5 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.

  8. 4 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.

  9. 5 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.

  10. 5 out of 5

    charlotte, (½ of readsrainbow)

    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.

  11. 4 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*

  12. 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.

  13. 4 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.

  14. 4 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.

  15. 5 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 West Indies 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 thi 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 West Indies 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 brown-skinned, 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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!!

  18. 5 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.

  19. 4 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.

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Sophia

    Once a West Indian heiress lively and happy in her Caribbean home, now a widowed, penniless and desperate woman fighting to keep her own child and forced to ally with a domineering duke used to war and command. This was setting up to be an exciting, tantalizing Regency Era Romantic Suspense by a new to me author I have been meaning to try so I gathered up this first in series with great eagerness. The book opens with Patience Jordan in disguise and making a clandestine night-time visit to her for Once a West Indian heiress lively and happy in her Caribbean home, now a widowed, penniless and desperate woman fighting to keep her own child and forced to ally with a domineering duke used to war and command. This was setting up to be an exciting, tantalizing Regency Era Romantic Suspense by a new to me author I have been meaning to try so I gathered up this first in series with great eagerness. The book opens with Patience Jordan in disguise and making a clandestine night-time visit to her former home to be sure the scoundrel who is now in possession is taking care of her baby son. That very night, she sees relief show up in the form of the Duke of Repington, her son's legal guardian. He needs a nurse and she will do what it takes to get near her son and free them both. She has learned that the English are wary of foreign-looking people like herself and she has been taken advantage of and hurt by unscrupulous, greedy men. But, in Repington, she has finally discovered an honorable ally though he is demanding as well. Busick Strathmore, the Duke of Repington, knows war and has the injuries and scars to prove it, but he is unused to the kind of private war that Patience Jordan is engaging in. He is a protector and her fierce spirit starts turning his ordered world upside down. He struggles to believe his cousin's suicide and there are questions that need answering about all involved. Patience and his ward need the truth to come out as well so he finds himself partnering her and wanting more for the first time. I spotted the blurb on this one and I could not wait to dive in. I don't know what I expected, but the author's style of writing was the first thing I noticed. It's whimsical and different, but doesn't always feel in sync with the time period so I was distracted as often as amused. The overall story was good and I enjoyed seeing the social and cultural elements that were included like Patience running afoul of a villain and ending up the unlawful party and criminal and of Busick suffering physical and mental injuries as a war survivor. I liked the strength in them both and as partners bent on setting things right. The romance, however, was so-so for me. I just didn't feel it between them. Everything else was strong in this story particularly their roles in the suspense side, but the romance needed more development. Most of the time they were antagonistic and in a battle of wills. There was no frisson of attraction beneath that- or at least I didn't notice any. They didn't communicate well together and I felt I was told they were a romance pair rather than see it develop before my eyes. I do like the premise behind the series and would try another now that I'm used to the author's style. It was an overall engaging experience and I can recommend it to historical romance fans who don't mind some modern-sounding dialogue and ideas cropping in. I rec'd this book via Net Galley to read in exchange for an honest review.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    I received an ARC of this title from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. "I once was funny, a little headstrong, and I had a lot of heart. I wanted to be me again." Patience Jordan is a widow--and in dire need of help. Following her husband's suicide--so soon after giving birth to her son, in a land that has never been her home--Patience was forced from the house, committed to Bedlam, never to see her baby again. And then comes The Widow's Grace, an order of widowed women who have been wro I received an ARC of this title from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. "I once was funny, a little headstrong, and I had a lot of heart. I wanted to be me again." Patience Jordan is a widow--and in dire need of help. Following her husband's suicide--so soon after giving birth to her son, in a land that has never been her home--Patience was forced from the house, committed to Bedlam, never to see her baby again. And then comes The Widow's Grace, an order of widowed women who have been wrong seeking to help other wronged widows. Together, they work on a plan to reunite Patience with Lionel so that she can return to her true home in Demerara. And, to Patience's surprise, the first part of the plan arrives with a small army. Literally. Busick Strathmore, Duke of Remington, descends upon Hamlin to oust his deceased cousin's vile uncle and become a doting bachelor father to his ward. Injured while serving in the Peninsula wars, Busick has rules, plans, and troops to protect Lionel and shape the boy into a fine young man (don't tell him that three months is too young for crawling practice; it's on the schedule and that's that). There's just one problem: he and his men are lacking one thing. Well, technically two very important things for a small, hungry baby... Barely in residence for twelve hours, the manor is descended upon by the neighboring Countess, who comes bearing a new maid and a new nanny for Busick. Finally reunited with Lionel, Patience must carefully navigate the manor to find the answers that will allow her to be with her son as his mother, while avoiding the precise and somewhat frustrating (and devastatingly handsome) Duke. Together, the two of them will do anything and everything to protect Lionel. But what shall they do about the developing feelings between them? I would have finished this book in a day had life and a rapidly depleting Kindle battery not have intervened. This is a brilliant work of historical fiction, set in Regency England, with a biracial heroine at the center. The historical elements are remarkably well-researched, and gave life to story as well as expand the horizons and standards for Regency romance. I adored the ironically named Patience (for she has none), struggling to protect her son and her heart, slowly opening it little by little to Busick. In turn, Busick learns to trust, pull down his own shields, and loosen up on control. They are opposites attract in so many ways (so much snarky banter), but so delightfully real and loving and protective of each other. And, of course, to Lionel. They make such a sweet little family that makes you squee! I'm eager to see what adventures lie ahead for the women of T Widow's Grace

  25. 5 out of 5

    Malia

    This book has about the fiercest first chapter I've ever read in a romance. Although this book is looking like it's getting the romcom marketing treatment (and those silhouetted characters on the cover not showing that this romance has an Afro-Caribbean woman as the main character!), this is a book for fans of historicals like Alyssa Cole and Beverly Jenkins. Ones very informed by history, ones invested in un-erasing Black and mixed race people from historical narratives. I'm very glad this book This book has about the fiercest first chapter I've ever read in a romance. Although this book is looking like it's getting the romcom marketing treatment (and those silhouetted characters on the cover not showing that this romance has an Afro-Caribbean woman as the main character!), this is a book for fans of historicals like Alyssa Cole and Beverly Jenkins. Ones very informed by history, ones invested in un-erasing Black and mixed race people from historical narratives. I'm very glad this book used external tension (e.g. a baddie!) to drive the story; I think it works well. I think the people who will give this book five stars are the ones who respond to protective motherly instincts and men being cute and dopey around babies. Neither of those features do anything for me personally, but I can appreciate them well enough. As a side note, I often find recipes very corny in books, but I'm super glad for the recipe in this one! I 100% plan on making it. ***Thanks to NetGalley and the publishers for providing an ARC in exchange for my honest review.***

  26. 5 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.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Lindsay pinkcowlandreads

    The Widows Grace, an underground group of widows working together to fight back against legal injustices put upon them due to their widowhood has found Patience Jordan and taken up her plight. When Patience was been widowed with a small babe, her husbands’ uncle swooped in and seized control… that’s not the worst of it, he banishes her to Bedlam and keeps her baby boy hostage! After the Widows Grace gets her released from Bedlam, Patients clandestinely reenters her home to ensure her son’s safety The Widows Grace, an underground group of widows working together to fight back against legal injustices put upon them due to their widowhood has found Patience Jordan and taken up her plight. When Patience was been widowed with a small babe, her husbands’ uncle swooped in and seized control… that’s not the worst of it, he banishes her to Bedlam and keeps her baby boy hostage! After the Widows Grace gets her released from Bedlam, Patients clandestinely reenters her home to ensure her son’s safety and feeding. She is enlisted into service by the Duke of Repington as he storms the home with his troops to rescue the baby, his ward. Now Patience must keep up her ruse to be with her son. She dreams of returning to her homeland in the West Indies where she will be respected and she and her son will be free of English rules… that is until she starts to get closer to the Duke and finds that under his rule, she may find happiness. … This was an intriguing story. I have read many historical romances and very few showcase the racism prevalent at the time. This book also gave a realistic insight into the lack of rights awarded to widows and women in general. I adored the Widows Grace group and I am excited to see whom they will help out next. Overall, the plot of this book held my attention and had me not putting this book down. I would have liked a little more steam with my romance, but that maybe the authors style, this was my first book from Vanessa Riley. Lastly the POV flipped a lot between Patience na d the Duke, where she was written in the first person and he was the third. It took me a little to get used to that, but it did not take away from the captivating plot. A Duke, the Lady, and a Baby by Vanessa Riley is scheduled to release June 30th, 2020. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Zebra, Kensington Books through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. Blog link: https://pinkcowlandreads.blogspot.com... #ADuketheLadyandaBaby #VanessaRiley #Netgalley #pinkcowlandreads

  28. 5 out of 5

    Lacey

    This was a great read. I've never read a Regency romance suspense before. 😅 The romance was v. slow-burn, but it worked for me. I liked the tension between Patience and the Duke, as it added to the overall suspense of the plot. Plus, as the immigrant widow of a man who committed suicide, it's understandable why Patience wouldn't want to rush into another marriage following the trauma of her first one. She's a strong character and you feel for her immensely as she tries to protect her son and reg This was a great read. I've never read a Regency romance suspense before. 😅 The romance was v. slow-burn, but it worked for me. I liked the tension between Patience and the Duke, as it added to the overall suspense of the plot. Plus, as the immigrant widow of a man who committed suicide, it's understandable why Patience wouldn't want to rush into another marriage following the trauma of her first one. She's a strong character and you feel for her immensely as she tries to protect her son and regain a sense of control in her life. She does this with the help of the Widow's Grace, a group of woman who look after each other when their families abandon them. It's a great foundation for a series of book. I especially loved Lady Shrewsbury, who acts as the leader/protector of the group. Riley is a really witty writer, and Lady Shrewsbury gets some of her best dialogue. Riley's writing in general is v. beautiful; I loved the descriptions of Hamlin Hall, Demerara, Patience and the Duke. It's all very lush and descriptive. She does a great job at describing the yearning between Patience and the Duke as well. This is a sweet romance, so there's no sex, but there's still a great deal of want and emotion between the two. "[She] wasn’t the type of woman you dallied with and then let go. She was one to keep, to argue with and deal with forever." See? Sweet. Also, without being spoilers, there's a lot of duplicity in this story, mainly on Patience's part. I LOVED that her lies didn't become a major obstacle in the plot or between her and the Duke. It would have been a natural thing to happen, of course, but, as a reader, the Big Reveal Fight gets tiring so fast. I've read a million variations of it. I'm so glad this book didn't make it a million and one. I don't have a lot of nitpicks with this story. I will say I wish I had read it physically, as I didn't love the narration. I also didn't really get the reasoning behind the switch in POV; all of Patience's chapters are written in first-person, while the Duke's are third-person limited. I got used to it eventually, but it did trip me up a few times. And now I have to wait a year-plus for Gantry's book.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Maida

    I’m always excited to see people of color as main characters in books especially in historical romance where there are only a handful of authors writing them. This one interested me but I delayed reading it because of the cutesy title and the illustrated cover. I suspected they wouldn't reflect the seriousness of the story within and sadly, I was right. The plot is convoluted with deaths, deception, and an irredeemable villain. The main characters were sympathetic enough but their chemistry was I’m always excited to see people of color as main characters in books especially in historical romance where there are only a handful of authors writing them. This one interested me but I delayed reading it because of the cutesy title and the illustrated cover. I suspected they wouldn't reflect the seriousness of the story within and sadly, I was right. The plot is convoluted with deaths, deception, and an irredeemable villain. The main characters were sympathetic enough but their chemistry was lacking, their conversations were stilted, and the POV shifts (first-person for her third for him) between them were jarring. I’m glad I listened to it rather than read my paperback copy because the narrator’s accent for Patience made it clear whose head we’re in at the moment. There were many errors and plot holes that could have been avoided with better editing and proofreading. Content notes: low heat and on-page death

  30. 4 out of 5

    Vicki

    Tried the sample and was bored so didn’t continue

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