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All the Duke I Need

All the Duke I Need, May 2022
Desperately Seeking Duke #3
by Caroline Linden

Avon
384 pages
ISBN: 0062913662
EAN: 9780062913661
Kindle: B093H5GFLW
Mass Market Paperback / e-Book / audiobook
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"Family scandal keeps an heiress and an estate manager’s love imperiled"

Fresh Fiction Review

All the Duke I Need
Caroline Linden

Reviewed by Make Kay
Posted April 23, 2022

Romance Historical

Caroline Linden brings us the third full novel, ALL THE DUKE I NEED, in her Desperately Seeking Duke series, which also has two novellas.  The Duchess of Carlyle is desperately seeking an heir to backstop her invalid son who suffered a traumatic brain injury years ago and who seems near death.  Book one, ABOUT A ROGUE, featured one candidate for the ducal heir who was a notorious rake.  Book two, A SCOT TO THE HEART brought us a Scottish army captain who might be the next heir.  Now Linden turns her attention to the Duchess of Carlyle’s ward, Philippa Kirkpatrick.

Philippa has been helping the Duchess run the estate of Carlyle, as the Duchess doesn’t want anyone to know of her son’s disabilities.  Philippa seems a little too good to be true, but she is a charming young lady and does have a streak of stubbornness to keep her from being too perfect.  She’s oh-so-conveniently shy, and has not wished to pursue a season in London to find a husband because she wants to remain at Carlyle with her dear Duchess.  I appreciate the fact that Philippa is not the traditional white bread historical romance heroine: She’s half Indian, although she’s lived in England most of her life.

American William Montclair came to England with his brother to help expand the family’s shipping business.  Inexplicably (to his brother), Will takes a twelve month stint as the steward of Carlyle, leaving his brother in London to try to juggle the shipping business alone while Will manages Carlyle Castle.  The Duchess has acted very conservatively in regards to her estate, not allowing any new-fangled ideas, improvements, or even repairs.  So Will has his work cut out for him, and I do appreciate his work ethic and his nurturance of the estate and its inhabitants.  This is the most interesting part of the story to me.

Linden tries her best to make Will’s reasons for being at Carlyle opaque, with limited success.  Mostly these machinations just made me frustrated with Will and with the story.  ALL THE DUKE I NEED is therefore my least favorite of the series thus far, hands down.  Philippa and Will knock heads early and often, and their enemies to lovers trope is fun, but is not enough to rescue the plot.  Linden’s ALL THE DUKE I NEED has plot holes and pacing issues, but readers along for the ride in the series will still enjoy seeing the overarching plot proceed.

Learn more about All the Duke I Need

SUMMARY

The third book in the clever, sexy Desperately Seeking Duke series from USA Today bestselling and RITA Award–winning author Caroline Linden.

Raised in the splendor of Carlyle Castle by her doting guardian, the Duchess of Carlyle, Philippa Kirkpatrick is one of the greatest heiresses in England. The duchess is eager to see her wed, but Philippa hesitates to leave the only home she knows. 

William Montclair is in London to expand his family’s trading firm, with little progress. Impulsively he takes a job managing the Carlyle estate—for the money, he tells his incredulous brother, and only for a year.

Philippa is shocked by the handsome, scandalously bold new steward. It’s all she can do to prevent the horrified duchess from sacking him on sight. She determines to teach him how to love Carlyle as she does, only to find herself reluctantly charmed by the rogue. 

It’s true; Will is falling for everything about Carlyle…including the duchess’s beautiful ward. But he has promises—and secrets—to keep, and telling Philippa would resurrect a devastating family scandal. Not telling her, though, means he must break her heart—and his own.


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