Book Review: One Duke Down by Anna Bennett

About the Book:

Title: One Duke Down

Author: Anna Bennett

Series: Rogues to Lovers

Page Length: 352

Publication Date: Jan. 24, 2023

Publisher: St. Martin’s Pub

Miss Poppy Summers is determined to keep her family’s fishing business afloat. Her poor widowed father has fallen ill, and her foolhardy brother has moved to London, leaving her precious little time to read or pursue her own dreams. But she’ll do anything for her family, so she cheerfully spends mornings in her rowboat, casting her nets. The very last thing Poppy expects or wants to find tangled in them is a dangerously attractive man. Especially one with a head wound—who’s convinced he’s a duke.

Andrew Keane is the Duke of Hawking, but he’s having the devil of a time convincing his wary, fiery-haired rescuer of that fact. The truth is he came to the seaside resort of Bellehaven Bay to escape his life in London. Unfortunately, someone in Bellehaven wants to kill him—and he intends to find out who. He implores Poppy to tend to his injuries and hide him on her beach, reasoning it will be easier to find his attacker if that man assumes Keane is already dead. She wants no part of the scheme but can’t refuse the generous sum he offers in exchange for food and shelter while he recovers. It’s a mutually beneficial business arrangement…nothing more.

Under Poppy’s care, Keane regains his strength—and a sense of purpose. As they work together to solve the puzzle of his would-be murderer, he’s dazzled by her rapier wit and adventurous spirit; she’s intrigued by his mysterious air and protective streak. Though Poppy’s past gives her every reason to mistrust someone like Keane, the seawalls around her heart crumble in the storm of their passion. But when clues hint at the prime suspect in Keane’s attempted murder, Poppy must decide where her loyalties lie. Torn between the world she’s always known and the one she’s always dreamed of, she’ll need true love for a shot at her fairytale ending.

LINKS:   Goodreads   |    Amazon

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, including Amazon, and I may earn a small commission, at no cost to you, if you purchase through my links.

My Review:

This was such a great historical romance. I loved Poppy and Keane and their clandestine love story. It begins as Poppy, a fisherwoman who works hard to provide and care for her father, finds an unconscious, injured man trapped in her fishing net. Little does she know she has caught a duke. When Easton awakes, he is smitten by the woman who rescued him, and concerned that his life might be in danger, he asks Poppy to hide him until he recovers and figures out who targeted him. As the pair works together to uncover the truth, Keane also determines to show Poppy that even though they are from very different worlds and social classes, they have a future together.

Much of the story takes place in the seaside resort of Bellehaven Bay, and like the first book, it sounds like a unique town. If you read Girls Before Earls, you will recognize some of the characters and locations from that story, but several new places are also introduced. My favorite is the secret place where she hid Keane. Here is where they fall in love, and it is a magical and little hiding spot. They have a mix of sweet, fun, and steamy moments there, all of which are lovely and swoon-tastic.

Poppy and Keane are such compelling protagonists! Poppy is a strong and capable woman who works hard to care for her ailing father. She has some strong, negative feelings about the upper class that prevent her from opening her heart to Keane. Though Keane is a duke, he is struggling to find his place in the world. However, the more time he spends in Bellehaven Bay and with Poppy, the more he finds a sense of purpose. I like the emotional depth of each character as they deal with their pasts, their growing feelings for each other, the target on Keane’s back, and Poppy’s reservations about being in Keane’s life and all the obstacles they would face, especially from the judgmental ton. Their story has some strong messages about love, life, prejudice, taking changes, finding adventure, and forgiveness.

Though a lot of trials and tribulations stand in their way, Poppy and Keane have incredible chemistry, and their feelings for each other are undeniable. They have such a wonderful and unconventional love story, and I love that Keane falls first! He is so taken by Poppy, and he does not hide his feelings. It’s pretty swoon-worthy to see him fall so head-over-heels in love with her.

I also enjoyed the mystery surrounding Keane’s attack. It was dramatic, and there were a couple of twists that challenged Keane and Poppy’s relationship. I would definitely recommend One Duke Down to readers who enjoy a low-angst historical romance with great characters and a bit of intrigue.

Special thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Publishing for providing me a copy of the book. All thoughts are my own.



Favorite Parts:

  • The romance.
  • The setting.
  • The characters.

Favorite Lines:

You can’t escape your past until you make peace with it.

Life carries us along like we’re fish swept up in a current. But if you keep swimming, eventually you’ll find your way back to the people who matter most.


Want to learn more about the series? Check out my review of Girls Before Earls!

7 thoughts on “Book Review: One Duke Down by Anna Bennett

  1. Once again, you have intrigued me with another book and series. I like the sound of this one, a bit of a Little Mermaid vibe to it. Wonderful review, Elaine.

Leave a Reply