Author Jo Beverley brings the final book in her Secret trilogy to readers with The Secret Duke. As a part of the larger Malloren series, plenty of old familiar characters are in attendance. Even Rothgar makes his presence known – as expected.
Bella Barstowe has escaped her abductors, but her decision to enter a local tavern was clearly a very bad idea. Now the patrons believe her to be a lightskirt and are taking shocking liberties! How can she get out of this predicament without alerting her captors?
The Duke of Ithorne hears her distress as he walks past the pub. What on earth is a genteel young woman doing in a place like this? Luckily he is masquerading as Captain Rose, and his interference is met with little resistance. He is well-known in Dover and his reputation belays any argument. He may look dangerous but Bella is safe with him. Of course she doesn't know that, and at her first chance, steals his horse and heads for home.
After years of punishment for her folly, Bella learns the truth of her abduction. Plotting revenge on those responsible, she decides to try and find Captain Rose and ask him for help. She has no idea that Ithorne and his bastard brother both wear the uniform when the mood suits, nor that she has already intrigued the dangerous Duke at a masquerade. Now, it seems, the fates are in his favor.
The Secret Duke is filled with action, drama, and wry humor. Bella and Thorn don't make things any easier with their tempermental ways. Each of them has a stubborn independent streak a mile wide. It makes their path to happiness a very bumpy ride.