Series: Desperate Duchesses by the Numbers #2
Published by HarperCollins on March 31, 2015
Genres: Historical Romance
As a young girl, Emilia Gwendolyn Carrington told the annoying future Duke of Pindar that she would marry any man in the world before him—so years later she is horrified to realize that she has nowhere else to turn.
Evander Septimus Brody has his own reasons for agreeing to Mia's audacious proposal, but there's one thing he won't give his inconvenient wife: himself.
Instead, he offers Mia a devil's bargain... he will spend four nights a year with her. Four nights, and nothing more. And those only when she begs for them.
Which Mia will never do.
Now Vander faces the most crucial challenge of his life: he must seduce his own wife in order to win her heart—and no matter what it takes, this is the one battle he can't afford to lose.
As a girl, Emilia Carrington was forced to endue quite a lot for someone so small – among other things, a father carrying on an adulterous relationship with the object of Mia’s affection and giving one of Mia’s love poems about said boy to the boy’s mother as a joke. As a result, Mia was humiliated and swore she would never want anything to do with Evander Septimus Brody. Fast forward a fifteen years and Mia is blackmailing Vander into marrying her. Temporarily, of course. Just until Mia can gain parental rights over her disabled nephew Charlie. But Vander has his own reasons for remaining married to Mia and instead offers what he believes she wants – Him. But only for four nights of the year. The tables turn when Vander finds himself falling for his enchanting wife and precocious young nephew. Now Vander must seduce his own wife into staying married to him!
I honestly did not anticipate liking Vander. At first (and through much of the first half), he was a bit pompous, uptight, and incredibly arrogant. But thankfully his character began to grow into a much better person as he spends more time around Mia and her nephew – they truly bring out his better qualities. Mia herself is an intelligent, self-sacrificing woman who writes popular novels under a pseudonym to support herself and Charlie. As a couple, they are perfect for each other. Mia and Charlie’s influence humbles Vander as he is given an opportunity to care for someone other than himself. He teaches Mia not to coddle Charlie so much and we get glimpses of what a fantastic father he will be one day. Although she fights it at first, Mia eventually recognizes that she is and always has been in love with Vander. Her marriage to him teaches her that she can rely on others for support and won’t be let down as her father always did.
This book runs the gamut of emotions – you’ll laugh at the many humorous parts, sigh with pleasure at the romantic moments, gasp with fear during the more dramatic and intense scenes, and probably shed more than a tear or two for many reasons. As an aside, I would love to see Charlie get his own novel one day. He is absolutely precious and I’d like to read a novel about a disabled hero overcoming society’s expectations.
I highly recommend picking up FOUR NIGHTS WITH THE DUKE. I loved the characters and the plot was fresh and well-written. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this audiobook! This is part of a series, but you do not need to read the others to enjoy this stand-alone novel.