About the Book:
Title: Dubious About the Duke
Author: Alexa Aston
Series: Second Sons of London #5
Page Length: 249
Publication Date: Aug. 18, 2022
Publisher: Dragonblade Publishing
Synopsis: An affable army colonel who abruptly becomes a duke. A shy beauty who missed her come-out. And two mischievous boys who bring this pair together . . .
A confident Colonel Winston Cutler finds himself a sudden duke when the brother he loathed perishes in a fire. Win returns to London, only to find he has two by-blow nephews to care for—and their specialty is running off their latest governess.
Reserved Seraphina Nicholls returns to England after being stuck in Canada due to war with the Americans. Sera is slated to attend a house party, where she hopes to make a match with a man who is quiet and loyal. Instead, she finds herself volunteering to act as a governess to a neighboring duke’s rowdy nephews.
Sera wins over the boys and is dismayed when she loses her heart to the roguish duke. Win finds Sera appealing but due to her retiring nature, he believes she would make for a terrible duchess. But Sera isn’t shy with him—especially when they are kissing. Win decides no one but this erstwhile governess will make him happy.
Can the outgoing Win persuade a bashful Sera that opposites can attract—and thrive—in a passion-filled marriage?
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Dubious About the Duke is the fifth book in the Second Sons of London series, and it is a wonderful read! The story follows Sera, the shy and reserved twin sister to Minta from book five. Sera has returned to London to be with her sister when she meets Win, who is also newly returned to society after years in the war. Now a Duke, Win learns of his deceased brother’s children who need a home, but their unruliness and poor behavior become exceedingly problematic.
When Sera volunteers to act as governess to the boys, Win never expected to fall for the shy and sweet woman. He is looking for a marriage of convenience – a duchess but not a love match. Sera, who wants to marry for love, is not the right woman for him, but the more time Win spends with her, the more he realizes he doesn’t want to let her go. Can he convince Sera that she is meant to be his duchess?
The characters in this story steal the show! I love Sera, Win, Win’s nephews, and so many of the secondary characters. Sera is such a sweetheart, and seeing her go from being a painfully shy woman when in larger crowds or with people she doesn’t know to a confident woman with exceptional intuitiveness and a way with children is brilliant. She’s well-layered, and once people get to know her and she is more comfortable, they see the kind, funny, encouraging, and nurturing woman she is. I think you especially see this as she befriends Win’s nephews.
Win’s nephews are a delight! They have big personalities and are so rambunctious, curious, and enthusiastic. Freddie and Charlie have been through so much, and their behavior when Win first meets them is atrocious. I love how well Sera gets them. She is the only one who understands why they act out and actually sees them and helps them adjust to loss, grief, and a whole new life. The transformation Freddie and Charlie undergo while under Win and Sera’s care is miraculous, and the bond this foursome forms is lovely.
Win changes and grows a lot over the course of the story too. Meeting Sera and spending time with Freddie and Charlie makes him see things from a different perspective. Sera’s really good at making him see things from the boys’ point of view, and it’s pretty revelatory. These revelations change Win and his relationship with his nephews, and as he becomes more present and involved, he also spends a lot of time with Sera.
The romance between Sera and Win is lovely. These opposites have strong feelings for each other from their first meeting, but they want such different things in life. Sera yearns for a love match, while Win does not. Neither feels they deserve the other for various reasons, and they struggle with a bunch of inner conflicts. But, they are so drawn to each other, and their chemistry is fantastic! I enjoyed watching this relationship develop and thought they had a very sweet love story.
One of my favorite tropes is the found family, and this story has two! The Second Sons and their spouses are a wonderful family unit, and Win, his nephews, and Sera are a little found family of their own even though they’re part of the bigger group. There are some great messages about love, friendship, and relationships!
I loved this historical romance, as I’ve loved all of the books in this series. You can never go wrong with an Alexa Aston historical romance! The characters are always layered and compelling, the stories are unique, and the romances are swoon-worthy! Thanks so much to NetGalley and Dragonblade Publishing for providing me with a copy of the book. All thoughts are my own.
- The romance.
- The found family.
- The character growth.
Life was made up of those small moments. It wasn’t always the important events he remembered clearly in his life bu the little ones… Win wanted to create a thousand of those brief moments with Sera.