Review: The Brooding Duke of Danforth by Christine Merrill

Print Length: 288 pages
Publisher: Harlequin Historical (June 1, 2019)

From Stranded at a house party

with the mysterious duke…

When a storm hits, outspoken Abigail Prescott is trapped at a house party with Benedict Moore, the Duke of Danforth—the very man she was once betrothed to! Wishing to know the man she was to marry, Abigail had called off their sudden engagement. But reunited once more, Benedict seems determined to win her back and make her his duchess. His method: irresistible seduction…


My Rating: 2 stars out of 5

This was sadly one of those stories where either the characters are being so thick headed that you wanted to shake them, or they are acting in a completely different way than they should considering what we know of them. 

Abigail jilted Benedict months before because of two reasons. One - she didn't know anything about him. Apparently he arrange things with her father, proposed to her, she accepted without question and then he ..... never saw fit to call on her again. No getting to know her beyond what he thought he knew of her from seeing her in a crowded room. A moment in which they weren't even introduced. Reason number two - Lenore. Benedict's oldest friend. A beautiful widow that is presumed to be his mistress. Something he not only did not deny, but in fact seemed to flaunt. It would seem that poor Abby for all of her tough person bravado, in reality can't stand.... gossip? I mean I can understand not liking it and not wanting to have your name bandied about, but to the point that you are physically sick over the thought of what people might be saying about you when you aren't there? Or thinking about you if they do see you? Girl. You're going to be miserable the rest of your life with an attitude like that. 

But anyway. Due to unforeseen circumstances, these two end up at a house party together. A house party during a biblical flood if the amount of times it rains, we are told the roads are impassable or someone sinks to their breeches in the mud is to be believed. And whilst at said house party, Benedict decides that maybe just maybe, he should get to know her. He gives her some compliments. He shows her that he is capable of conversation. He shows just a tiny bit of emotion and she allows him to take liberties with her person, whilst doing the same to his person. Seeing the depth of her passion, Benedict ups his efforts, even going so far as to *gasp* dance with her. So of course she sleeps with him. Because of course someone who is so keen to protect their reputation that they get physically ill at the thought of people speaking badly of them would sleep with someone she's not married to. 


What makes this even worse is that she not only sleeps with him, and agrees to marry him for a second time, but she quickly (and I mean its so quick the sheets haven't even had time to cool off) calls this one off because *drum roll please* Benedict has no plan to give up his friendship with Lenore. It doesn't matter one whit to him what people will say or (heaven forbid) think if he's seen with her after he's married. He's explained to Abby that he and Lenore have never been (and will never be) anything more than friends, so that should be good enough for her, thank you very much. 

A few more unfortunate events. A couple of huge scandals and an almost second jilt at the author an this unlikely duo seem to find their happily ever after. I guess. Although I'm wondering realistically how happy their union would turn out to be. 

Regardless, I am sure there are numerous others to whom this story will still appeal. I would give this author a second chance.

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.

                         The Brooding Duke of Danforth is available from

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