Sebastian Lewis never expected to become a duke. But with the sudden deaths of his cousin and uncle, Sebastian’s position changes. He is determined to fulfill his new responsibilities with grace, even if it means remarrying, and even if the attractions of women, so often lauded by poets, fail to interest him.
Captain William Carlisle, newly returned from India, is elated when he meets Sebastian. Nobody knows of his inclinations, but his harrowing experiences in battle have prompted him to reach for the type of companionship he longs for. He thinks Sebastian might feel an attraction as well, but to his dismay, he discovers that Sebastian is courting his sister Dorothea.
After a semi-arranged engagement and a disconcerting romantic tangle with William, Sebastian escapes London to look after his manor, only to face mysterious thefts, a headless ghost, and the arrival of his fiancée, her brother, and his family. Sebastian’s new estate sits on the south coast, England’s most vulnerable location, and Napoleon has set his sights on conquering the area. Amid this growing turmoil, Sebastian must sort out his feelings for his fiancée’s brother and keep his home safe . . . and determine if he has the courage to reach for his own happiness in the process.
I did not see the ending coming. I worried the whole way through the book that the duke would never get his happily ever after. I found the way that the author resolved the romance to be plausible for this time period. I also thoroughly enjoyed that she portrayed both men as strong individuals who weren't just cookie cutter Regency Era Rakes. Sebastian's desire to do the right thing for his family and for Dorothea is both adorable and heartbreaking. I was elated when his family shows compassion for him. I hate the thought that anyone would have to choose to put their own feelings aside for another but I know it happened in the Regency Era but I still wish that everyone could find love and be true to their own hearts. I loved that William had come back from battle with such a positive attitude. War and battle can tend to destroy those who have experienced them. I was glad to see that William had such a positive outlook even after seeing such horrors. I did not care for Dorothea. She just rubbed me the wrong way even though I still felt bad for her at times. As a woman, she had so few opportunities that it made her behave in ways that I hated. I thought that the women in the story were selfish and a bit one dimensional. The portrayals were true to the era though, so I can forgive them. Overall, I loved this book and I think that it may be a new favorite! I plan to read and reread this one!
You can click here to add The Duke in Denial to your Goodreads. You can find author Alexandra Ainsworth on her website, Facebook and on Twitter. I give The Duke in Denial 4 Fairies for a lovely M/M Regency romance that I absolutely adored!