Dawn With a Duke – 12 Dukes of Christmas #9

Dawn With a Duke
As the daughter of a duke, Lady Isabelle’s pristine reputation is paramount. Her high status is how she’ll attract the titled suitor her mother insists she wed. When Belle’s chaperone falls ill en route to a party, she must pose as an independent widow to avoid gossip. Why not have a wee innocent flirtation with a handsome tailor staying at the same inn? She’ll be gone in the morning…A sudden blizzard upends Calvin McAlistair’s plans…

I am not new to Regency romances. I’ve read every Julia Quinn book published up to this point, and many more by other authors. I’m currently challenging myself to reread every Quinn book by the end of this year. While they are my favorite, sometimes I need a different kind of historical romance.

Dawn With a Duke caught my eye because of the series name, the Twelve Dukes of Christmas. I mean, who can pass up a Christmas romance?

Adding to the appeal of the story is the snowstorm and illness that keeps everyone locked in for two weeks. The perfect time in Regency romance to fall desperately in love.

But what made this book truly special is the people. I loved the juxtaposition of Bella, a literal belle of the ball and high society miss, and Colin, a unique kind of working man. His use of clothing as armor reminded me of my use of makeup as a way to show the world who I really am. And his creativity and love of fashion made him something of a kindred spirit.

The plot had a solid amount of drive and interesting twists, with my favorite type of ending. One in which everyone is not just happy, they are happily themselves. It is always a wonderful addition to a happily every after when the romance helps the couple become the best versions of themselves.

While books like these follow a formula (and that’s a large part of their charm), they are still incredibly satisfying. They always make me look at my husband in a much for romantic light. We’re ensconced in the suburbs in a comfortable upper middle class life, and after 14 years, our marriage does somewhat lack a spark. But books like these with their sweet details make me think that the spark could still be there.

Dawn with a Duke is a lovely reminder to all of us that the best way to love and to live is by finding people who bring out the best in us.