Book Review: Duke of Nothing (1979 Club) by Jess Michaels

Duke of Nothing is the fifth book in the 1979 Club series by Jess Michaels. I have read some, but not all, of the books in this series. Each can stand on its own, but reading the series in order does give extra insights into the secondary characters and the group as a whole.

Baldwin Undercross, Duke of Sheffield, has a secret he’s keeping from almost everyone he knows and loves. He is destitute, thanks to gambling by his late father and his own bad decisions. There is only one option now, marry for money and do it soon. An opportunity presents itself when a rich American woman arrives in Society hunting for a title in trade for a huge dowry. Helena Monroe is the companion to her entitled cousin and she is miserable. But once she encounters Baldwin on a terrace, her time in England starts to look up. She quickly realizes he believes she is her cousin and everything starts to fall apart. Baldwin is now torn between a future that will save his family legacy and one with a woman he is growing increasingly attached to. Will he choose safety or passion, obligation or love?

Duke of Nothing is just what I have come to expect for Michaels. Baldwin and Helena are each facing big problems (or have) and are doing what they need to survive. They are willing to face less than pleasant options in order to help others, and sacrifice for the greater good. In fact, the only bad thing I could say about them is that maybe they are a little to perfect. Helena has been through hell but is still sweet and sunny. Baldwin is willing to toss away his own happiness to save those he loves. And the chemistry between them is hard core, although their efforts to deny themselves are sweet. I also loved their honesty with themselves, and each other, as they get to know each other. I was also glad to see some of the characters I know from the books I have read in this series make appearances and play a role in the story. I did find the bad to be a little over the top bad, and the good to be a little too good, but I was thoroughly entertained and found myself reading past my bed time.

Duke of Nothing is another entertaining read from Michaels. I liked the characters and the way they faced the problems at hand. This is a must read for fans of the author, and a good read for historical romance lovers that enjoy rooting for the underdog.
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