Review A Duke Like No Other (Playful Brides) by Valerie Bowman

A 2018 Daphne du Maurier finalist 

First comes love, then comes marriage. Unless it’s the otherway around. . .

General Mark Grimaldi has sacrificed everything for his military career, working his way through the ranks without the benefit of a nobleman’s title. Now, his years of dedication are about to pay off—with an offer for a prestigious promotion to Home Secretary. There’s only one condition: Mark must be married. Aside from the small matter of not actually wanting to be wed, Mark faces another troubling problem: he already has a wife.

Nicole Huntington Grimaldi has spent ten contented years in France without her husband—and without regret. When Mark asks her to return to London and play the part of his beloved wife, she sees her chance. But neither of them is prepared for news that will throw Mark’s future into chaos…nor the undeniable desire they’ve rekindled. Maybe happily-ever-after can happen the second time around in A Duke Like No Other, the next Regency romance from Valerie Bowman.


Valerie Bowman’s Playful Brides novels are:

“Wholly satisfying.”—USA Today

“Smart and sensual…readers will be captivated.”—RT Book Reviews

“Smoldering.” —Booklist

A Duke Like No Other (Playful Brides) by [Bowman, Valerie]


Editorial Reviews


“Fans of second-chance romance will be charmed from the first chapter. ” ― Kirkus on A Duke Like No Other

“Chock-full of charm.” – BookPage on A Duke Like No Other

“Readers are sure to be enthralled.” – RT Reviews Top Pick on A Duke Like No Other

Another entertaining entry in Bowman’s fanciful and fun Playful Brides series.” – Booklist on A Duke Like No Other

Top customer reviews

Mary Gramlich

Mark Grimaldi rose to the position of General without his family’s influence or a wife by his side. Now Mark wants to be the Secretary of the Home Office serving as the head spy to all other spies in England and in order to make that happen he must reconcile with is 10 years estranged wife, Nicole Huntington Grimaldi.

Nicole and Mark separated shortly after their wedding under very heated circumstances and yet after all these years of enjoying her freedom and life in France Mark shows up begging for a reconciliation on paper only. Mark must appear to be a happily, steady married man and only Nicole can accommodate that request. However, Nicole is willing to provide him a wife but she also has a request and one that shocks Mark to the tips of his toes. Nicole wishes to be a mother and the only legitimate way to make that happen is with Mark’s assistance which is readily agrees to but he wants the intimacy to have meaning not be a cold, distant coupling and Nicole fears if they do just that she will be back into the space where her love and obsession for Mark are returned. Nicole cares not for any title, or appointment Mark ever had she just loved him and now in order to have a baby that will be the love she desperately needs right now agreeing to Mark’s terms is a fact and her worst nightmare.

While Mark and Nicole spend days and nights together rekindling their friendship as well as their intimate relationship both are tested to see where they stand with each other when Mark’s cousin and next in line for duchy is murdered. Mark is now the heir apparent to a title and family he has refused to acknowledge his entire life, but they are here now and not going away so Mark does what he does best and finds the murdered. Nicole always had the knack for solving crime which is why the Bow Street Runners always relied on her abilities and Mark pulls her along for the crime solving part of their newly formed life and discovers that she is as smart as she is beautiful. With each night together they are both pulled into a dance neither forgot how to do, but fight to allow their love for one another to show. What has kept them apart can also draw them together and love will seal the deal of commitment.

Valerie Bowman shows readers how book after book a great writer can lay out a story, build characters, and pop the romance between the alpha male and female.

Pamela R Mitchell

I really enjoyed this Regency romance with unforgettable characters, family drama, mystery, and so much more that kept me entertained and intrigued from the first page to the last. Once I started reading, I couldn’t put the book down because I didn’t want to wait to see what was going to happen.

I loved General Mark Grimaldi and his wife, Nicole, who are stubborn, prideful and passionate in their second chance at love and happiness. I really liked how snippets of their past were seamlessly inserted so I could better understand this couple. This is the first book I have read by Valerie Bowman but it definitely won’t be the last. This is a must-read for anyone who enjoys well-crafted Regency romance.

I received an advance reader copy of A Duke Like No Other from the publisher via NetGalley and this is my unbiased review. I liked the book so much, I purchased a copy for my keeper library to read again later.

Morgan 6
I really enjoyed this story. It kept me interested from beginning to end. A very independent, strong minded heroine in Nicole. And a very dominant, strong, fair minded hero in Mark. So needless to say, it was a very combustible relationship for both good and bad. Throw in a murder mystery and you have the makings of a really good book.


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