Review copy was received from Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
The Duke Alone by Christi Caldwell
Narrator: Tim Campbell
Published by Brilliance Audio on October 18, 2022
Genres: Historical Romance
Length: 8 hours, 24 minutes
Lady Myrtle McQuoid has always felt a little forgotten, and this season is no exception. When her boisterous family vacates their London townhouse for the country, Myrtle finds she’s been left behind. But she just needs to stay warm, keep her belly full, and distract herself until her relatives realize their mistake and turn back to collect her. Surely that won’t take long.
Brooding widower Val Bancroft, the Duke of Aragon, has shut himself off from the world. He craves blessed solitude—a loyal dog, a silent house, and his own company are all he requires. Certainly not the nonstop chattering of the joyful, opinionated young woman next door.
But with a potential threat lurking in the winter shadows, Myrtle may need to pluck up the nerve to approach the reclusive duke. And Val is not one to turn his back on a vulnerable lady.
I guess I should have guessed The Duke Alone was a holiday story by the synopsis but I totally missed that before starting to read. This is very much Home Alone meets a Regency romance even to the description of the thieves out to rob the house during the holidays. While I like both Home Alone and Regency Romances I’m not sure how much I like them mashed together.
Myrtle was sent away by her family to boarding school and has just returned on the cusp of eighteen right before the holiday season to a household in a huge bustle to get packed to leave London for the winter for the house to renovated in their absence. Myrtle seems like an after thought among all of this. The only interesting thing to happen in her time away is the Duke who moved in next door. There are so many rumors surrounding him about murdering the servants and being a mean man, or in her mind brooding hero, that Myrtle is intrigued.
Val is the broken hero, devastated after the death of his wife and unborn child; he has removed himself from society and definitely does not celebrate Christmas. He did not expect to be accosted by the woman next door who he can seem to get rid of no matter how surly and rude he is. She just goes on with her day and puts his life in upheaval with all her happy chatter and the way she has bewitched his dog and horse. But there is something about her that has niggled its way in and Val now finds himself thinking of the innocent young woman in a ways he hasn’t thought of anyone since his wife.
This is a pretty cute holiday story. I didn’t love the mash up idea of it following Home Alone so closely but Myrtle was likable enough to carry most of the story. Val is an okay hero and I did like him for the most part overall but I don’t think he is particularly memorable has heroes go.
Timothy Campbell did great and I enjoyed his voice for all the characters but especially the hero’s. He sounded like butter and it was smooth and I just wanted to spread that voice all over myself. I was able to listen at my usual 1.5x speed.
Listen to a clip: HERE
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