Book Review: A Duke in the Night (The Devils of Dover) by Kelly Bowen

A Duke in the Night is the first book in The Devils of Dover series by Kelly Bowen. August Faulkner is a man of many talents, not the least of which is enticing women into his bedchamber. He’s known—and reviled—for buying and selling companies, accumulating scads of money, and breaking hearts. It’s a reputation he wears like a badge of honor, and one he intends to keep. Clara Hayward, the headmistress of the Haverhall School for Young Ladies, on the other hand, is above reproach. Yet when she’s reunited with August, all she can think of is the way she felt in his arms as they danced a scandalous waltz ten long years ago. Even though her head knows that he is only back in her life to take over her family’s business, her heart can’t help but open to the very duke who could destroy it for good.

A Duke in the Night is a historical novel that takes a little more of a look at characters hat have or are currently struggling financially. August and his family have been completely destitute- and through his hard work and smart choices he has brought them back to being more than just surviving, he has what amounts to a business empire. Clara and her family are currently struggling. When they come together again, not exactly by chance, they rekindle an attraction that they have both been trying to ignore. Money, lies, and the expectations for women in general (and August's younger sister in particular) keep raising tempers and conflicts between the two. Add in a suitor that has less that noble intentions and lots of realizations on August's part and it is a book that offers romance and some intrigue along with equality. I live that while August seems so ruthless and composed, he really is a soft touch that worries about those that cannot care for themselves or have fallen on hard times. It is his desire to help and protect that actually fuels his drive. I loved his character's duality and heart. Clara is smart and determined, and very much apologetically herself. There was a good bit of humor and fun in the story and I caught myself giggling at a few of the shenanigans and misunderstandings between characters. I liked her and her siblings, and the way they view the world. I am hoping that the siblings of both Hope and August are the stars of the next books in the series, because I liked them as much as the main players. I have not seen a historical romance with this amount of a push for equality and awareness before, at least not that I remember. While it was done well, I do think that it occasionally came close to the line that would have felt more preachy than entertaining.

A Duke in the Night is a solid historical romance with a social messages interwoven in the story. There is humor and a good character building. I was an entertaining read, but I will admit to while loving the concept and characters I had a hard time getting fully engaged in the read. 
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