Print Length: 400 pages
Publisher:  AVON Books (July 26, 2022)

From Goodreads.com: A Former Ugly Duckling...

Miss Drewsmina "Drew" Trelayne is a former awkward child and one-time wicked stepsister. Raised by a bitter, overbearing mother, Drew is all grown up and has made peace with her orange hair and bean-pole height. Her transformation has inspired her dream of opening a finishing school that emphasizes inner beauty, capability, and confidence. But launching a school costs money so Drew must begin with private clients who pay well and don't ask many questions.

A Reclusive Duke...

Ian Clayblack, the Duke of Lachlan, lives alone on his Dorset estate, forced by scandal into a smuggler's life. When his estranged sister arrives with her two daughters, he feels obligated to give the girls a proper Season. Venturing back to society could clear his name and provide his vagabond nieces with a better life. Who better to help than the striking Miss Trelayne?

A Midnight Kiss...

Affording Drew's services isn't a problem for Lachlan, but his growing desire for her is. As his nieces warm to her gentle charm, he is overwhelmed by her unique beauty and open manner. When they're caught in a scandalous embrace, nothing short of marriage will save all of them from further scandal.

Can a marriage made in haste be love's saving grace?

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My Rating: 2 stars out of 5

The premise of this one reminded me of another book that I had read in the past and thoroughly enjoyed - however, this one didn't work for me quite as well. 

To begin with, I really wasn't feeling the chemistry between Drew and Ian. In fact, I found a few of their interactions to be a little weird, almost to the point of experiencing second-hand embarrassment for them. I am also not a fan of "instalove," which was definitely seemed the case (at least where Drew was concerned, as she told Ian she was in love with him almost immediately). Being attracted to someone and lusting after them is NOT love, and I wish more romance novels (historical ones especially) would do a better job making that distinction. 

Secondly, I was more interested in Ian's nieces and their backstory than I was in Ian and his love life.  Imogene and Ivy seemed to have a pretty twisted backstory, but I feel like there were too many gaps for me to fully grasp all of the details of what had happened to them (for example, were they a part of a cult of some sort or did it just seem that way?). 

Even with those things, the author had a strong writing style, and for the most part, it was a fun enough read so I'm sure other people will enjoy it more than I did. 

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel from the publisher. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.
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                                  A Duchess by Midnight is available on Amazon.com