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A Duke in Time by Janna MacGregor | #BookReview @JannaMacGregor @StMartinsPress @AuthorsUmbrella #ARC #HistoricalRomance

Three wives, one dead husband

A Duke in Time is the first book in the Widow Rules series but can be read as a standalone.

This first book tells the story of Katherine, who, while attending the reading of her husband’s will, discovered that he had also married two other women.

Our thanks to the author,  St. Martin Press, and Author’s Umbrella for the advanced reader’s copy. 

Book Details

Title: A Duke in Time by Janna MacGregor
St. Martin’s Paperbacks (June 29, 2021)

Book Description

Katherine Vareck is in for the shock of her life when she learns upon her husband Meri’s accidental death that he had married two other women. Her entire business, along with a once-in-a-lifetime chance to be a royal supplier, is everything she’s been working for and now could be destroyed if word leaks about the three wives.

Meri’s far more upstanding brother, Christian, Duke of Randford has no earthly clue how to be of assistance. He spent the better part of his adult years avoiding Meri and the rest of his good-for-nothing family, so to be dragged back into the fold is…problematic. Even more so is the intrepid and beautiful Katherine, whom he cannot be falling for because she’s Meri’s widow. Or can he?

With a textile business to run and a strong friendship forming with Meri’s two other wives, Katherine doesn’t have time for much else. But there’s something about the warm, but compellingly taciturn Christian that draws her to him. When an opportunity to partner in a business venture brings them even closer, they’ll have to face their pasts if they want to share each other’s hearts and futures.

From the Publisher’s Blurb


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Katherine owned a linen shop and had ascended in society after her marriage to the fun but elusive Lord Merriwether Vareck.

Their marriage was short-lived as Meri disappeared a few hours after the ceremony and died a few months later, having fallen from a horse.

The situation that was already bad became worse when Katherine found out that Meri had married two other women and spent all their dowries.

The premise is intriguing, and it was nice to see how Katherine and Merri’s other wives Beth and Constance, chose to place blame in the right place and join forces to weather the scandal.

Christian, the hero, was Meri’s older brother and a Duke who had spent years soldiering. He was compassionate and loving—an excellent match to the loyal and independent Katherine.

There were a few skeletons in their closets, but no big misunderstandings. The relationship was well developed and based on their mutual attraction and similar interests.

My favorite side character was Willa, and I’m hoping she gets a novella or a side story, preferably paired with the charming Morgan (Christian’s valet).

As sometimes happens in a series first installment, some points were not fully clarified, especially regarding the circumstances of the marriages. As the series progresses, I imagine things will become more clear.

I’m looking forward to the next book as I loved Constance, and I’m a sucker for marriage of convenience stories.

Disclosure: I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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About the Author

Janna MacGregor was born and raised in the bootheel of Missouri. She is the author of the Cavensham Heiresses series, which begins with The Bad Luck Bride.

Janna credits her darling mom for introducing her to the happily-ever-after world of romance novels. Janna writes stories where compelling and powerful heroines meet and fall in love with their equally matched heroes. She is the mother of triplets and lives in Kansas City with her very own dashing rogue, and two smug, but not surprisingly, perfect pugs. She loves to hear from readers.

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