By: Vanessa Riley
When headstrong West Indian heiress Patience Jordan questioned her English husband’s mysterious suicide, she lost everything: her newborn son, Lionel, her fortune—and her freedom. Falsely imprisoned, she risks her life to be near her child—until The Widow’s Grace gets her hired as her own son’s nanny. But working for his unsuspecting new guardian, Busick Strathmore, Duke of Repington, has perils of its own. Especially when Patience discovers his military strictness belies an ex-rake of unswerving honor—and unexpected passion . . .
A wounded military hero, Busick is determined to resolve his dead cousin’s dangerous financial dealings for Lionel’s sake. But his investigation is a minor skirmish compared to dealing with the forthright, courageous, and alluring Patience. Somehow, she’s breaking his rules, and sweeping past his defenses. Soon, between formidable enemies and obstacles, they form a fragile trust—but will it be enough to save the future they long to dare together?
A Duke, the Lady, and A Baby had a title I love. I was hoping for something over the top and amusing. Once again, I’ve disappointed myself with my expectations.
Things did not start well because I was quickly taken out of the story. Patience, the heroine, was committed to Bedlam for ten days by an evil man out to steal her son’s fortune. She was saved by a woman in charge of a secret society of widows who’ve been screwed over by the system. She spends weeks searching for her son before finally finding him again. What took me out of the story was her ability to breastfeed her son immediately. The stress of being in Bedlam would have taken that ability away if, by some miracle it hadn’t, the weeks away would have most certainly done it. It’s possible she would have been able to restart her production, but it would have taken weeks of trying. I might have been able to roll my eyes and move on, but breastfeeding her son and her milk production are mentioned several times. It’s such a misunderstanding of female anatomy that it bothers me a lot. It could have easily been researched, but it would have ended up requiring a lot of rewrites. I’m not sure if it wasn’t caught or if it was decided it would be too much work. Either way, it took me out of the story very early on.
Busick, the hero, is not consistent. He’s almost immediately attracted to Patience, even though he knows she’s lying to him. He is gruff, but not? It’s weird. He was confusing to me, and it would take too much thought to figure precisely why, and this book already took up too much time.
As a couple, they made about as much sense as the rest of the book. There wasn’t much romance, and the book lacked a lot of the couple’s usual internal emotion. They didn’t kiss until closer to the end, and it was not described. It was a pretty chaste book. Considering in the acknowledgment, at the end of the book, Riley starts thanking her heavenly father and quotes a Bible verse in her Author’s Note, it’s obvious why. I wish it had been explained before I started reading this was a Christian romance. That’s the genre that fits this best.
Many plot points sound exciting in the blurb but were either explained in the first few pages of the book or dragged out so long that I didn’t care; I just wanted it resolved. The only positive I can think of in A Duke, the Lady, and A Baby was that the heroine was a woman of color.