This review may contain spoilers, so fair warning, upon reading the review.
About The Book
New York Times bestselling author Lorraine Heath continues her Once Upon a Dukedom series with this lush love story of a duke who discovers what he desires in a wife may not be what he needs…
Hugh Brinsley-Norton, the Duke of Kingsland, is in need of a duchess. However, restoring the dukedom—left in ruins by his father—to its former glory demands all his time, with little room for sentiment. He places an advert encouraging the single ladies of the ton to write why they should be the one chosen, and leaves it to his efficient secretary to select his future wife.
If there exists a more unpleasant task in the world than deciding who is to marry the man you love, Penelope Pettypeace certainly can’t imagine what it might be. Still, she is determined to find the perfect bride for her clueless, yet ruthlessly charming employer.
But when an anonymous note threatens to reveal truths best hidden, Kingsland has no choice but to confront the danger with Penelope at his side. Beguiled by the strong-willed, courageous beauty, he realizes he’s willing to risk everything, including his heart, to keep her safe within his arms. Could it be the duchess he’s hunting for has been in front of him all along?
While I had him, while he was in my life, what I felt was like sustenance to my soul. The sun, the moon, and the stars were all inside me
The Duchess Hunt is a story that I was highly anticipating so much. In the previous book, “Scoundrel of My Heart” really built up the focus of the hero for this book. By the end of Scoundrel of My Heart you just want him to find his happy ever after. So I was so excited to delve into this book and get his story. It has a mix of unrequited love, forbidden love, class difference, and Boss and Secretary tropes. So pretty much some of my favorite tropes to read in romance but most especially a historical romance. I was really intrigued with the setup of the story and seeing the slow-built chemistry that is developed between Hugh and Penelope. I knew from the first chapter that this book would be rough on the emotions as we see how much Penelope has fallen for Hugh and he is kinda blind to it for quite a while. But I was also intrigued to see how this would work out for them. It definitely had the depths that you have come to expect from Lorraine Heath but it was a slow-paced read which I wasn’t expecting especially after the first book “Scoundrel of My Heart” kept me on my toes. So be aware before moving forward.
Hugh Brinsley-Norton, the Duke of Kingsland, is looking for a duchess. After what happened the last time, he is going to make sure he finds his duchess and someone that will fit the role perfectly and won’t get emotionally attached as his pride was hurt losing the woman he started to care for to another. He puts his secretary in charge of finding his duchess and will make his decision on the night of the ball he has in the plan for. Penelope is determined to find the perfect wife for Hugh, she may have been loving him from afar but if she is anything, she is efficient at her job and will prove herself to Hugh despite having secret yearnings for his touch and his heart. Hugh starts to take interest in Penelope but as the chemistry builds slowly between High and Penelope, there is a threat to them both. Someone that knows a secret and will blackmail them with it. As both High and Penelope have secrets in their past they would rather stay hidden, they aren’t ready for what is to come or the hidden desires that erupt between them. Will Hugh find that the love of his heart has been by his side this whole time or forsake it all for the sake of keeping up the pretense of being a proper Duke?
And every woman wanted a man who was there when she didn’t realize she needed him. A man of charm and grace and insight. A man who didn’t mind being bothered when a woman simply wanted someone near to reassure her that she was of value.
What I Loved
There was so many things to actually really enjoy about this book. The first I want to mention is the depth of the character growth. I just loved both Hugh and Penelope individually. They had such distinct personalities, and both are so efficient and capable at what they do which is also makes them a great team. They are so sync with each other and its pretty interesting to see how despite the practicality of their relationship in the past, there is something more deeper which is building between them. I did find that the this took some twists and turns I actually didn’t see coming. I do love how this author developed the plot in this book. It definitely keeps the interest of the reader to see where the story will take Hugh and Penelope. I was fascinated by how secretive they both are of their pasts, but especially Penelope. She is tight lipped about anything personal about herself. But when she starts to be more open with Hugh, this is were the relationship really takes its delightful turn into something deeper between them. I was intrigued b the complexity of their bond and seeing the intricate layers that form. Lorraine Heath has such a talent in developing these type of aspects within her stories and it really is evident within this one here.
I asked you to select a woman to be my duchess, and you chose wrong. But how can I blame you when even I didn’t comprehend that she has been with me the entire time? I would willingly die for you. I will kill for you . . . I will live for you. Miss Penelope Pettypeace, you shall always be the love of my life, the echo of my soul.
What I Struggled With
so I had ONE major issue with this book, and the pacing is just so SLOW! I am not sure if this is just me, but in some of her books especially her more recently published works, the writing just doesn’t engage me like her writing used to for me. I wanted so much to enjoy this one more because the romance was so delightful but it took me days to actually read this one, and i just wanted to get through it and I never like that feeling especially from a favorite author. After the first book, and being so engaged, I was expecting this book to completely blow me away, and the pacing really affected my true enjoyment of this one here, unfortunately.
The Duchess Hunt is a sweet softly built romance that develops a class difference romance into a complexity of emotion and passion that will curl your toes and leave you eager for more delicious treats from this author. You won’t be disappointed upon the reading of The Duchess Hunt.
Title: The Duchess Hunt
Author: Lorraine Heath
Genre: Historical Romance
Length: 384 Pages
Storytelling Quality: 3.5
Story Itself: 3.5
Character Development: 4
Writing Style: 4
World Building 4
Feels + The Romantic Heart 4
Cover Art 5
Overall Rating of the Book
Simmering—soft warm touches and light intimacy
Warm- a medium level of sexual tension, a balance of sexual and emotional intimacy, lighter on the details in the sexual moments.
Steamin’ up the room -the sexual content is more explicit in the language and tone, heavier amount of sexual scenes.
Blazing fire to the building-The prime focus is the sex scenes, scorching hot, and could burn one. Less focus on the emotional intimacy to the relationship.
( Once Upon A Dukedom )
Scoundrel Of My Heart-Pub 2021- #1 in Series
The Duchess Hunt-Pub 2021- #2 in Series
Return of the Duke-Pub 2022- #3 in Series
About The Author
Lorraine Heath has always had a soft spot for emotional love stories. No doubt because growing up, watching movies with her mom, she was taught that the best movies “won’t half make you cry.”
She is the daughter of a British beauty (her mom won second place in a beauty contest sponsored by Max Factor® during which she received a kiss from Caesar Romero, (the Joker on the original Batman TV series) and a Texan who was stationed at Bovingdon while serving in the air force. Lorraine was born in Watford, Hertfordshire, England, but soon after moved to Texas. Her “dual” nationality has given her a love for all things British and Texan, and she enjoys weaving both heritages through her stories.
When she received her BA degree in psychology from the University of Texas, she had no idea she had gained a foundation that would help her to create believable characters—characters that are often described as “real people.” She began her career writing training manuals and computer code for the IRS, but something was always missing. When she read a romance novel, she became not only hooked on the genre, but quickly realized what her writing lacked: rebels, scoundrels, and rogues. She’s been writing about them ever since.
Her work has been recognized with numerous industry awards including RWA’s RITA®. Her novels have appeared on bestseller lists, including USA TODAY and the New York Times.
The author of more than 60 novels, she writes historical and contemporary romance for adults and historical romance for teen readers.