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It started with a duke. The mysterious Miss Meredith Thorn and her beloved cat, Fortune, open an employment agency to help gentlewomen down on their luck. Her first assignment? Finding a governess for the three young daughters of the Duke of Wey. Odd how all her matches end up in matrimony.

Enjoy three warm, witty stories that begin the best-selling Fortune’s Brides series by award-winning author Regina Scott:

 Never Doubt a Duke - When the irrepressible Jane Kimball takes the governess’ position with the Duke of Wey, everyone has doubts. But when the duke must take a wife, thoughts turn to an unlikely governess who might make the perfect bride. 

“An absolutely delightful tale!” (Britt Reads Fiction)

Never Borrow a Baronet - Patience Ramsey is shocked when her new employer introduces her as the bride-to-be of her nephew. The pretty Patience could cover for Sir Harry when he spies for England. Can he convince her to overlook the scandals surrounding him and exchange their false engagement for a true love? 

“Regina is hooking me from the first page, and I don't want to set the book down until I finish the story!" (For the Love of Christian Fiction)

Always Kiss at Christmas - In the origin story for Meredith Thorn, she has one goal for her mother’s Christmas Eve party: convince her friend Julian Mayes to marry her. Julian is ready to make his mark in London. As the danger to Meredith’s future becomes clear, will one kiss prove to him how far he will go to protect her? 

“Witty, lighthearted, sweet, and romantic.” (Among the Reads)

Fall in love with a duke today.

©2018, 2021 Regina Lundgren (P)2021 Regina Lundgren

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  • LilMissMolly
  • 29-10-21

Wonderful regency bundle!

It Started With a Duke is a compilation of the first two books and a prequel short story in the Fortune’s Brides series by Regina Scott. Each book in the series starts with the mysterious Miss Meredith Thorn and her beloved cat Fortune as they place down on their luck gentlewomen in places of employment during England's Regency period.

Never Doubt a Duke is the first in the series wherein Jane Kimball, a widow who recently lost her husband at war, becomes a governess for a reclusive duke, his three mischievous daughters, and his demanding mother. Miss Thorn’s cat Fortune approves of the Duke, despite him appearing to be aloof and not interested in his children due to the demands of running his estate. Jane sweeps in and shakes everything up. Alaric loves the improvement he sees in his daughters’ demeanors after watching the loving affection she bestows on them. Soon their friendship grows into something more meaningful and Alaric can’t imagine life without her.

Never Borrow a Baronet is the second book in the series wherein Patience Ramsey needs a more meaningful position after caring for a demanding and never-satisfied countess. Miss Thorn offers Patience the post of assistant to Augusta Orwell, an amateur apothecary. Almost as soon as she arrives at her new job, Augusta is hosting an Easter house party and “accidentally” introduces Patience as the fiancé to her nephew, Sir Harold Orwell. While at first Patience doesn’t want anything to do with such games, she ultimately agrees to the charade after Harry persuades her to be his cover as a spy for the English, possibly against a few suspicious house guests who might be French sympathizers. Like many fake engagement stories, it doesn’t take long before Harry and Patience discover the similarities and compatibilities between them.

Finally, Always Kiss at Christmas is an origins story centering around Miss Thorn when she was 16 years old and known as Mary Rose. Mary Rose and her mother are hosting their annual Christmas Ball and everything seems to be going well, except for the vultures that are circling around the party as Mary's mother is gravely ill. Their home is entailed and Mary will be kicked out as soon as her mother passes away. Mary is desperate to marry the one man she has always been fond of, her neighbor and friend Julian Mayes. However, Julian is a newly graduated lawyer and working for a prestigious law firm in London. He doesn't have time for a girlfriend, let alone a wife. Throughout the party Mary keeps getting distracted by playing hostess until finally she gets Julian alone and they experience true love's first kiss.

As with all the stories in the series, I listened to the audiobooks narrated by extremely talented Jannie Meisberger. I highly recommend the entire series - to anyone who enjoys well written regency romance, without all the salacious details. I also recommend listening to this delightful series in order as each book builds on the relationships introduced in the prior book in the series.