The English Duke by Karen Ranney

The English Duke by Karen Ranney
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (277 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 stars
Reviewed by Camellia

For years, Martha York has been fascinated by a man she’s never met—Jordan Hamilton, the new Duke of Roth and protégé to her inventor father. Could the elusive gentleman possibly live up to his brilliant letters? When Martha travels to his estate to carry out her father’s last bequest, she discovers that the answer is a resounding yes, for the duke’s scientific mind belies a deep sensuality…

Jordan was determined to complete his prototype alone, but it’s impossible to resist the alluring young woman who shows up at his door. Working together, they grow ever closer, until a case of mistaken identity leaves him bound to another. A woman’s heart may be more complex than the most intricate invention, but Jordan must find a way to win Martha’s, or lose the only woman who can truly satisfy him…

The English Duke is a delight. The characters are diverse and each of them has a mind of his or her own with no one acting the shrinking violet. Martha York will see that her dead father’s wishes are carried out. Jordan Hamilton, the reluctant new Duke of Roth, is not interested in her father’s wishes and tries to ignore Martha—not going to happen!

How the story unfolds has one turning pages, all the while giving rapt attention to the twists and turns in the plot.

The author takes the reader into the late nineteenth century of England society with remarkable descriptions of settings and advancements in technical inventions, along with the social changes that are being forced on the peerage at the time. Money is a big issue.

Josephine, Martha’s half-sister, and Reese, Jordan’s friend are soon seen as antagonists that bear watching. Also, Martha’s grandmother who is not above doing a little manipulating, is to be watched. These characters keep the cauldron bubbling with conflicts that beset Martha’s plans again and again. Josephine soon became the antagonist that I loved to hate. Her self-centeredness and amoral attitude are beyond belief.

Martha’s intellectual prowess is equal to Jordan’s. Her long working relationship with her inventive father sets her apart. She and Jordan soon work in harmony as they try to fix one little flaw in her father’s last invention—a torpedo ship.

How Karen Ranney weaves together back story, the supporting characters, a love story that seems ill-fated, and leaves no loose ends is masterful.

The English Duke is a joy to read.

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