Review: A Duke in the Night by Kelly Bowen

Reviewed by Jen

Kelly Bowen is becoming one of my go-to authors for historical romance. I think this one is my favorite from her to date! It’s got an independent heroine and a hero who has pulled himself up from the streets to financial success. August is shrewd, but he has so much to learn. And thankfully, not only is Clara there to teach him, he’s not too stubborn to grow.

These two have a history. Many years ago, he asked her to dance on a dare, but was shocked by how captivating her found her. Now, he finds himself back in her orbit because she has something he wants. And sentimentality won’t stop him from doing what needs to be done.

Clara runs a school for young ladies. She doesn’t know it, but August has purchased the building she uses to teach her classes. Not only that, he has his sights set on buying her family’s shipping company too. Lucky for him, his younger sister enrolled in her summer session in the country, giving him an excuse to ingratiate himself into Clara’s life.

Clara’s school provides more than just a standard ladies’ education. She gives exceptional young ladies an opportunity to live their dreams outside the confines of society. The nearness of August Faulkner threatens her hard fought reserve. But why fight it? She can enjoy his body without giving him her heart.


I enjoyed this book tremendously. Clara is so comfortable in her own skin. I loved her confidence and how she worked to make a difference in the lives of other young women. She is in command of her mind, body, and spirit in a way few heroines in HR are. Her family is great, so supportive of one another. Their school is awesome, and it’s punctuated by the fabulous old ladies who help bring levity to the scenes.

August is a cunning businessman, but what I love about him is his ability to see past his preconceptions… how he really listens to what Clara has to say, even when she challenges him.

The only thing I didn’t love was the Big Secret that lasted throughout the story. (And the fact that Clara made any sort of apology after it was revealed.) Big Secrets are my least favorite trope, but there were too many great things going on for it to ruin the story.

The dialogue is witty and made me laugh out loud at times. Like when Clara’s brother asks her and August to ride ahead together to meet him at a restaurant:

“I am honored that his Lordship entrusts me with your safety and well-being.”
“I’ve been ensuring my own safety and well-being for almost thirty years, Your Grace. I’m a capable woman, not a capricious lapdog. I promise not to throw myself out of a moving equipage after a squirrel. At least while we are traveling at high speeds.”

The romance is fantastic and so are the family relationships both among Clara’s siblings and August’s with his sister. I can’t wait to see where this series goes next.

Rating: A-

*ARC provided by publisher

Click to purchase: Amazon

A Duke in the Night
by Kelly Bowen
Release Date: February 20, 2018
Publisher: Forever

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