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Never Doubt a Duke

Fortune's Brides, Book 1
Narrated by: Jannie Meisberger
Series: Fortune's Brides, Book 1
Length: 8 hrs and 31 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (7 ratings)

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Summary

After spending the last 10 years following her late husband on campaign, the irrepressible Jane Kimball finds herself badly in need of a position to support herself. Marriage holds no appeal; she’s not likely to find a husband like her Jimmy again. But when Miss Thorn of the Fortune Employment Agency offers her a post with the Duke of Wey, Jane feels drawn to help the lonely widower with his three daughters. He may seem a bit aloof, but Miss Thorn’s cat, Fortune, approved of him. Why should Jane doubt a duke?

Alaric, Duke of Wey, commands his staff, his tenants, and the halls of Parliament, managing vast holdings in England and across the seas. Why is it he cannot manage his own daughters? As an old danger rears its head, he comes to rely on Jane’s practical nature, her outspoken ways to navigate the waters of fatherhood. And when necessity dictates he take a wife, thoughts turn to an unlikely governess who might make the perfect bride.

This sweet, clean Regency romance is the first in the Fortune’s Brides series.

"Wow. I knew I’d enjoy Never Doubt a Duke, just because Regina Scott wrote it. I didn’t expect to love it. I loved the characters. I loved how she set up what will hopefully be an amazing new series. I loved how it was dramatic and fun and romantic." (Hott Books)

Never Doubt a Duke was picked by staffers at Hope by the Book as one of the best reads of 2018.

©2018 Regina Lundgren (P)2019 Regina Lundgren

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Delightful

A charming and entertaining read. I loved the banter between Jane and the Duke and it added to the lighthearted tone of the book. I'm very intrigued about Miss Thorn's story. I'm looking forward to following this new series.

I voluntarily reviewed an advance reading audio copy.

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    4 out of 5 stars

A charming Regency romp with a grown-up lovestory

Never Doubt a Duke is a charming, witty Regency romance with a more worldly couple at its heart. Both the Duke of Wey and his new governess have lived long enough, and hard enough, to have very definite opinions about their place in the world, and their role in the lives of the others in the household. What neither of them expects is just how completely they will come to question everything they thought they knew; about themselves and each other.

Widow Jane Kimball is no schoolroom chit, and Alaric, the Duke of Wey, is a widower with three daughters. Jane's full-throttle approach to life and Alaric's measured, slightly-weary perspective could have clashed dreadfully, but instead they complement each other very well. The ease of their connection is almost immediate, but their romance is more of a slow burn. Many Regencies concentrate on the all-consuming passion of first love, and it was very gratifying to listen to a romance between two people whose maturity and circumspection made their eventual love for each other feel very real.

The Duke's daughters, Larissa, Calantha, and Abelona are equally appealing in their different ways, and the Duke's mother is also a delight - as waspish and formidable a Dowager as one could ask for in a Regency.

The language throughout the book is somewhat informal for the period. It does not adhere to the formality of Georgian grammar, but it is true to the spirit of it, and this looseness makes it much easier on the ear.

Overall the story was well written and I was content to spend hours at a time with Jane, Alaric, and their girls. There was just enough intrigue to keep it moving along, and it set up the next book in the series well without feeling unfinished.

The narrator, Jannie Meisberger, had a lovely tone to her voice. Her performance was lively with good voices for the characters, even the children, who can be difficult to portray without falling into cutesy parody. The girls' voices are distinct, and at no point did they become muddled in my mind, which is quite an achievement when dealing with three young women aged between five and ten.

I would recommend this audiobook to anyone who enjoys the 'bluestocking' trope in Regency romance, and those who would like to read about a slightly more experienced couple. Listeners who enjoyed Jodi Taylor's A Bachelor Establishment, in particular, would like this one too. I hope the next in the series is available soon!

*I received this audiobook free of charge in the hope of an honest, unbiased review.

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Sweet and Clean Regency Romance

Fortune is a cat who may or may not be magical. And this cat is the mascot for a very special employment agency that helps ladies who have fallen into hard times find employment. That is how Jane ends up as the governess of a Duke's three daughters.

Overall the story is wonderful. Jane is an entirely unconventional, wonderfully intelligent, brutally honest, caring woman. She steps into her role as governess and shakes up the Duke's household. He and his children cannot resist Jane's charms but is she really Duchess material?

Perhaps the most exciting thing about this book is that it is part of a series and there appears to be a side character who has her own story and romance to address. Cannot wait to hear the other books in the series.

This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.

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  • Lu
  • 26-02-20

Beautiful

What a lovely story and i am entranced these fortune brides! I am so excited for book 2! Jannies voice is mesmerizing! I am ready for another listen! Thank you!

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  • LilMissMolly
  • 18-01-20

Wonderful Regency Romance!

Never Doubt a Duke is a wonderfully sweet Regency romance 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.

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.

As a bonus, we get a glimpse into Miss Thorne’s past, which I hope will carry over into the other books in the series.

I listened to the audiobook version of this story, narrated by Jannie Meisberger. She did a wonderful job and her voice reminded me a bit of Dame Julie Andrews. I highly recommend this story to anyone who enjoys a good regency romance without all the salacious details. I’m really looking forward to the next audio in the series!

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  • Laura
  • 01-01-20

Delightful Start to a Series

I received this book for free. I am voluntarily posting this review and all opinions expressed herein are my own.

What a delightful start to a series. I loved how the MC Jane got the job as governess through the Fortune Employment Agency - which could have been a great side story but I am sure it will be explored further in other books in this series. I very much appreciated that the romance between Jane and the Duke was borne from friendship instead of instant love. The supporting characters - from the Dowager to the girls to the Butler were all interesting and well-developed. I am looking forward to the rest of the series.

The narrator, Jannie Meisberger, has a terrific English accent and is a perfect compliment to this book.

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  • Jocelyne
  • 23-12-19

Sweet and Clean Regency Romance

This was my first Regina Scott's book. This is the first book in the Fortune's Brides Series. This is a sweet, fun, and a clean Regency romance. Jannie Meisberger did a good job with the narration.

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  • Lidia Chymkowska
  • 04-12-19

Never doubt a duke - or his daughters' governess:)

"Never Doubt a Duke" is one of those heartwarming tales that you know will have a happy ending and while getting there will take you on an enjoyable ride...:)

The Duke of Wey is efficient in his actions, caring and dutiful when it comes to his tenants, but a bit uncertain what to do with his daughters, unable at first to show his affection towards them. That's where Jane comes to help - a governess who is not at all what an average governess is rather expected to be; Jane who is not afraid to voice her opinions, who cares a lot for her wards and who gains respect even from the Duke's mother...

The main characters are two people I'd really like to meet and befriend - they're loyal, warm, with a sense of humor, and they do care about others. I also like the three girls - each of them is different and has her five minutes in the story. There is also enough trouble stirring in the background to give the plot the necessary tension and intrigue, and there's room for hints as to the background characters' stories which I hope will be developed in the next books in the series.

Narration by Ms Meisberger is fautless as usual. Her interpretation carries well the warmth of the story, the affections the characters feel for each other. and she also does the voices well. She's definitely a perfect narrator for sweet historical romances:)

DISCLAIMER: I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

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  • SIMARA
  • 01-12-19

More like historical fiction

I usually listen to romance books with some level of heat. For me this was more like a historical fiction book and only about the last 25% of the story the romance develops. Nice clean romance with the introduction of the next book in the series that left me intrigued.
This story is about a widow that comes to work as a nanny for a family and how she slowly develops a relationship with the daughters, the grandma and then the father. A good well developed story with very good narration that nailed the accent.

Note: I was given a complimentary copy of this audio book in exchange for an honest review.