My Last Duchess by Eloisa James
Series: The Wildes of Lindow Castle #0.5
Also in this series: Wilde in Love, Too Wilde to Wed, Born to Be Wilde (The Wildes of Lindow Castle #3), Born to Be Wilde (The Wildes of Lindow Castle, #3), Say Yes to the Duke
Publication Date: October 27, 2020
Point-of-View: Third person
Genres: Historical Romance
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New York Times bestselling author Eloisa James returns to the Wildes series with a prequel about the Wilde children's parents, Hugo, Duke of Lindow, and Ophelia, Lady Astley.
Every Duke needs a Duchess...
Hugo Wilde, the Duke of Lindow, has a drafty castle, eight naughty children—and no wife. Ophelia, Lady Astley, has a fine house, one well-behaved daughter—and no husband.
Hugo takes one look at Ophelia and loses his heart, but she doesn’t want more children or a castle. She takes one look at him and heads for her carriage.
Desperate to find a duchess, Hugo identifies an appropriate lady to woo. Yet when he meets Ophelia again, the duke realizes that he will marry her, or no one.
Now he faces the greatest challenge of his life.
He must convince Ophelia that their blazing sensuality, his exquisite castle, and his eight charming children add up to a match made in heaven.
When duke finds his duchess, can he win her heart?
A Wildes series prequel about the Wilde children’s parents, Hugo, Duke of Lindow, and Ophelia, Lady Astley.
Hugo Wilde isn’t interested in getting married again. His twin sister, Louisa, makes him think seriously about that choice as he has eight children, and they have no mother.
Hugo was in love with his first wife and they had three sons together. Unfortunately, she died. His second wife he married just so his sons could have a mother – he was not in love with her. She ended up having an affair and leaving her four small children with Hugo and obtaining a divorce (scandal!). He also had a ward that he adopted so that brought the children total up to eight.
He finally agrees with Louisa and heads off to London to find someone to mother his children. He’s a duke so it won’t be that hard to find another wife, so he thinks. All the women are a little leery of him as they know how many children he has and the divorce doesn’t help matters. Though Hugo has no plans to fall in love again, the minute he sees Ophelia he is sunk. It is said that Wilde men fall in love at first sight and this is proving correct in the case of Hugo and Ophelia.
Ophelia is a widow with a two-year-old daughter. She loves being independent (she has more than enough money) and she loves being a true mother to her daughter. She’s not interested in getting married again and she’s certainly not interested in taking care of 8 children who aren’t her own – even though the oldest 4 are older and away at school.
Hugo isn’t taking no for an answer and pursues Ophelia. They end up spending one night together and Hugo wants only her. Unfortunately, Ophelia is steadfast in her refusal and Hugo has no choice but to move on. What he moves on to doesn’t make him happy, but hopefully will be a good choice for the many children whom he loves beyond all else. When Ophelia finds out he’s moved on, she starts to rethink her decision, but it may be too late.
This was a short but very sweet novella that I enjoyed immensely. When I read romances about adult children I’m not normally interested in reading about their parents. In this case, I was curious about Hugo – especially after hearing about his past wives. I wanted to know how he had met his third and final wife and I’m so glad I read it!
Hugo was charming, Ophelia was lovely, and their story was adorable. I loved the children as they were so freaking cute! The questions the younger ones had for their potential mother were hilarious and they were so very serious about them, you couldn’t help but want to hug them.
Overall a great story and one that’s not to be missed.
Rating: 4 out of 5