He’d been ridiculous. His thrashing thoughts, his grand confusion and torment and helplessness – it was only love, had always been love, he supposed.  It was no precipice he stood at, or rather precipices have little meaning when one finally acknowledges that one has wings.

Redonk Nutshell: A friends-to-lovers story of a woman who runs from an arranged marriage with the help of a duke in hiding as a stablehand

Rebecca Tremaine has always been a spirited younger daughter, so no one is shocked when her latest shenanigans embroil her in a whole new ordeal of trouble.  Her late night attempt to catch her older sister and a man in a romantic embrace backfire when the man mistakes Rebecca for his sister.  The family arranges for their marriage within a fortnight, and Rebecca is appalled. She confides in her close friend, Connor, a groom in the stable, and two days before the wedding he helps her to escape.  What she doesn’t know is that Connor has his own secrets – after being seriously wounded at Waterloo, he takes advantage of a case of mistaken identity and assumes the name of Connor Riordan. His real name? Roarke Edward Connor Riordan Blackburn, the 5th Duke of Dunbrooke. He has no desire to assume his title, and no need to contact his family (in fact he has no idea they’ve all since died).  He’d rather sail off to America to start anew, which is what he offers to help Rebecca do.  What neither of them expect, however, is the realization of their mutual attraction.

This is a sorta Road Trip! book.  Rebecca is a hilarious heroine, having educated herself with peeks into her father’s medical journals and publications. She’s bold and brazen yet sweet.  Connor has always been a bit of her knight in shining armor, though he would deny it.  They’ve always gotten along well, so when she comes to him, crushed, at the realization that her marriage is going to, in fact, go through, he offers to help her. They escape without notice, but not for long.  Connor’s past comes lumbering up behind him, and he’s forced to make amends with his past actions before he can go forward with his relationship with Rebecca.

I enjoyed this, and I’m glad I picked it up at the library.  I like Ms. Long’s books.  They’re witty, romantic and light hearted. Her heroes are typically swoon worthy as well.  I have a soft spot for Connor.  If you’re looking for a nicely paced romance with a touch of humr, anything by Ms. Long would come highly recommended.

The Runaway Duke by Julie Anne Long

Rating: B

Romance: 3/5         Raunch: 3/5


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