Maggie Blackbird

Romancing Canada's Indigenous People

Yay, I won another book.  It’s always fun when I win books.  And because I won, and as my way of saying “thanks” to the author, today I am reviewing The Duke and the Wallflower, book one in the Unwanted Dukes series by Jessie Clever, a Historical Regency Romance.

Title: The Duke and the Wallflower
Series: The Unwanted Dukes, Book One
Author: Jessie Clever
Genre: Historical Romance
Length: 262 Pages
Publication Date: August 20, 2020
Publisher: Someday Lady Publishing, LLC

Blurb:  Shunned by a society that puts attractiveness above all else, Lady Eliza Darby’s wallflower status keeps her from getting the one thing she wants most, namely, to be a mother. But when her scorned older sister returns home to see all of her sisters wed in happy matches, it may be Eliza’s only chance to secure a husband and have the children she so desires.

Jilted in a publicly humiliating display, Dax Kane, the Duke of Ashbourne, has sworn off love forever and has no wish to wed. But when the title demands it, he selects the most perfect candidate for the position: Lady Eliza Darby, a wallflower so unattractive, he won’t be in danger of falling in love with her. But the Jilted Duke will soon discover looks have nothing to do with love.


I won this book in a contest, and I always review free reads as a “thank you” to the author.  I was able to pick whichever novel I desired from Ms. Clever’s backlist, and the blurb and title stood out, because I adore Eliza Jane Wilder from the Little House on the Prairie TV series, and always wished she’d get a happy ending of her own.

The author did not disappoint.  Eliza, a wallflower, is on the marriage mart.  As for the duke, Dax, he needs an heir, but he won’t marry just anyone after being jilted by his ex-fiancée who ran off and married his best friend.

The book gets down to business in the opening chapter by introducing Eliza and her sisters.  I must say the eldest sister, the bossy but vulnerable Viv, really stood out:  her marriage, her predicament, and if she’ll do something about it. It makes me wonder if there is a story for her, and for the other two sisters and the brother.  I really enjoyed this family and hope the series concentrates on them.

Anyhoo, back to the review.  I really liked Dax and Eliza.  Both are quite different in looks and personality.  Eliza is given a wonderful character arc, growing from a shy, nervous wallflower to a strong woman who can stand on her own two feet, and even give the duke a much-needed push when he needs one.

As for the duke, he’s a bit of a mess.  After being jilted by his two best friends, he’s at a loss of what to do, and the only one thing he can guarantee himself is to never fall in love if he marries a plain-looking woman.  But right from their first meeting, he’s hooked.  He senses something special about Eliza—special enough for him to ask her brother for Eliza’s hand in marriage.

I enjoyed how they married quickly, and their marriage became one where they had to find their footing.  Would it be another marriage of convenience or could they make what they shared work?

The writing is excellent.  The author somehow manages to keep a tired and true plot, with tired and true plot devices, fresh.  I mean, I did groan at one point when I saw what was coming for the couple, but there’s something about Ms. Clever’s writing that kept me reading.  I do believe it’s because she made the duke and his wallflower so likeable and easy to root for.

Will I continue with the series after winning this free book?  Yes.  As I said, the author conjured up great characters, and if there are great characters, I’m always in for reading.

I recommend you give this novel a read.  You won’t be disappointed.

Have you read The Duke and His Wallflower?  If so, do you agree with my review?  If you haven’t read the book, would you be willing to now?

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