ARC Reviews


A Duke Like No Other (Playful Brides #9) by Valerie Bowman. Historical Romance Release & ARC Review.

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General Mark Grimaldi is devoted to his service for the Crown, risking his life and giving up everything for his career. The political promotion he's always wanted is now within his reach, but he needs to convince his estranged wife to return to England and play the role of happy bride in order for him to get the position.

Nicole Huntington Grimaldi has spent the past ten years in France, not having seen her husband since she left England. But now he's on her doorstep, asking her to return with him, and Nicole sees the opportunity to get something out of this deal. So she agrees, on one condition: she wants a baby.

A Duke Like No Other is a Regency spy caper with Valerie Bowman at her best as husband and wife match wits and may just fall in love in the process.


General Mark Grimaldi has work his way up in service to the Crown.  He is a spy master.  He has the chance of more promotion that he desperately wants.  With the war over, politics is the only way he can get all the changes he envisions.  Unfortunately the government bosses want a settled man.  That means he must face his past. 
Nicole has been living and working in France ever since she separated from her husband.  Now he has come to ask a favour.  She has the chance to get something she has always wanted. 
A fascinating historical romance with a murder / mystery mixed in.  There are many difficulties in an investigation in the times before a proper police force . Our characters are actually quite similar temperaments and that bull headedness is what gives them trouble,  but also causes the fireworks that make it worthwhile. 
This is part of a series of linked but stand alone stories. 
I have read most if them and loved them all. 



Valerie Bowman is an award-winning author who writes Regency-set historical romance novels aka Racy Regency Romps!

Valerie’s debut novel was published in 2012. Since then, her books have received starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly, Booklist, and Kirkus. She’s been an RT Reviewers’ Choice nominee for Best First Historical Romance and Best Historical Romance Love and Laughter. Two of her books have been nominated for the Kirkus Prize for fiction.

Valerie grew up in Illinois with six sisters (she’s number seven) and a huge supply of historical romance novels. After a cold and snowy stint earning a degree in English Language and Literature with a minor in history at Smith College, she moved to Florida the first chance she got. Valerie now lives in Jacksonville with her family including her rascally dogs. When she’s not writing, she keeps busy reading, travelling, or vacillating between watching crazy reality TV and PBS.

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