Review: Never Fool a Duke (Wilful Wallflowers #2) by Claudia Stone

Print Length: 139 pages
Publisher: Claudia Stone (May 26, 2020)

From  A Season of Shakespeare Continues...

Miss Violet Havisham is in a bind. Having agreed to help her twin brother disappear from London for a spell, she now finds that his presence is needed by Whitehall, to help them catch a spy. Not only that, but the man who has summoned him, is none other than the formidable Duke of Orsino.

Afraid of letting Sebastian down, Violet foolishly decides to try and impersonate her brother, but quickly finds that this involves sharing very close quarters with a devilishly handsome duke. To further add to her woes, Orsino decides that he has taken a shine to the real Violet, and soon she is battling against her attraction to the duke on two fronts.

Jack Pennelegion, the sixth Duke of Orsino, assumed his title following his brother's tragic death. Having spent a decade on the continent, fighting under Wellington, Jack has little to no experience in dealing with the female of the species. But once he spots Violet Havisham, Jack knows that he will have to cast his nerves aside, in order to make her his bride.
When chance hands Jack the opportunity to work with Violet's brother, he seizes it, hoping that the lad might help him with his cause. But Sebastian is oddly set against the duke wooing his sister, and the lady herself seems determined to fight against her attraction to him.

As Violet struggles to navigate her two roles, she begins to fall in love with the duke, who is not so fearsome as he first appears. But when the truth is revealed, will Orsino forgive her for trying to fool him?

This sweet Regency Romance is based on Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night and is sure to delight readers of laugh-out-loud Regency Romps.


My Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Despite the blurb saying that this novel was sure to "delight readers of laugh-out-loud Regency Romps", I don't remember feeling particularly delighted, nor do I remember this book being all that funny. 

What I did find funny is the fact that a woman can put on a fake beard, pad the shoulders of her jacket and lower her voice and a Duke could not tell the difference between her and a man. Admittedly, it didn't sound like the Duke had met Sebastian before, but he had met Violet and seriously? He couldn't tell that it was a woman that he was speaking to? Did she not have any curves to give her away? Did her brother look THAT feminine? Did Orsino really NOT notice all the times "Sebastian" started to slip up and say "I" when speaking of his "sister"? No, it's not until the real Sebastian shows up that the Duke realizes he's been duped (oh and did I mention it was at this point he realized that the "Sebastian" he had "known" had overly feminine hands)? 

Of course Lady Olivia wasn't much better when she only sees "Sebastian" one time (and "he" is reading a letter that is supposedly to her from Orsino) and she decides that she's in love with him and wants to marry him? I can't help but wonder how SHE would feel if she ever learned the truth. 

The cast of background characters were at times more interesting than the main characters (especially Violet's aunt Lady Phoebe), which enticed me to give this one a higher rating than I would have otherwise. I may give this series another shot just to see if it improves. 

                                Never Fool a Duke 
is available from
                                      (for free if you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited)

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