A Duke in Disguise
One reluctant heir
If anyone else had asked for his help publishing a naughty novel, Ash would have had the sense to say no. But he’s never been able to deny Verity Plum. Now he has his hands full illustrating a book and trying his damnedest not to fall in love with his best friend. The last thing he needs is to discover he’s a duke’s lost heir. Without a family or a proper education, he’s had to fight for his place in the world, and the idea of it—and Verity—being taken away from him chills him to the bone.
One radical bookseller
All Verity wants is to keep her brother out of prison, her business afloat, and her hands off Ash. Lately it seems she’s not getting anything she wants. She knows from bitter experience that she isn’t cut out for romance, but the more time she spends with Ash, the more she wonders if maybe she’s been wrong about herself.
One disaster waiting to happen
Ash has a month before his identity is exposed, and he plans to spend it with Verity. As they explore their long-buried passion, it becomes harder for Ash to face the music. Can Verity accept who Ash must become or will he turn away the only woman he’s ever loved?
Content Warning: off page domestic violence, off page neglect of child, epileptic seizure
First off, HOORAY for a neurodivergent MC and a bisexual MC! *throws a party* When Cat Sebastian tweeted something about A Duke in Disguise being her first m/f romance, I was little like “but why?” Not that I don’t read all sorts of romances (I do), but Cat does queer romance SO WELL. And if you haven’t read the first book in theRegency Imposters series, Unmasked by the Marquess yet, GO DO IT – Robin is a nonbinary MC and the entire book is just AMAAAAZE. But I digress.
I’m a little disappointed that the cover isn’t a better representation of Verity… After reading this book, I can NOT picture her lounging so passively in that gorgeous pink dress. Her hair should be all askew, with ink smudged on her face, and her position in relation to Ash should be one that is MUCH more forceful, direct, and from a place of power. She is a dynamic and complex character that I just can’t make jibe with the cover model. Oh, also, Virgin Hero Alert!!
Also, both Verity and Ash are so insecure and damaged, which is apparently my catnip. There are several moments in this book where my eyes welled up and my heart cracked open.
“No, Verity, it’s just that we got carried away last night. It’s not a good idea.” Of course it wasn’t a good idea, she wanted to yell. What kind of fool would think it was a good idea to entrust one’s heart to a cold, unfeeling creature such as she?
He wanted to mean something to somebody. But he couldn’t without risking ending up with nothing and nobody at all.
Arrows, straight into my heart. I just love them together, and how they walk this tightrope trying to stay friends and not fall into the pit of attraction yawning open in each of them. I wasn’t quite as enamored of Verity’s brother, Nate, but one side character I did really enjoy is Amelia! I really hope she either gets her own book or that we’ll get to see her progress through the other books in the series.
A Duke in Disguise is the second book in the Regency Imposters series, but can be read as a stand alone with no spoilers for the first book. In fact, I don’t think the characters from book 1 even show up in this one… just some side characters in common.
An ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via Edelweiss for review.