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    Can they see what is right in front of them?

    A Duke Like No Other by Valerie Bowman is Playful Brides #9. General Mark Grimaldi has devoted his life in service to his country, rising the ranks on his own merits as a spymaster and he is now up for promotion to Home Secretary. With one condition. He needs to be settled. They want him to have a wife. The only problem? He's already married. Nicole Grimaldi has lived her life driven to do more. First as an assistant to the Bow Street runners and then as part of the foreign office as a lady spy during the war. Estranged for 10 years from her husband and retired to France, she more expected to receive notice of his death before seeing him at her doorstep. I found both characters to be passionate and driven as well as witty and intelligent. The one hole each seems to have in their ability to figure out and influence their environment with confidence is their relationship with each other. I liked how much confidence and capability each displayed as well as how fun their battles with each other were. While at first the idea that both Mark and Nicole, very intelligent in other areas, had such a difficult time seeing the things in their own relationship, in the end I found this almost more realistic. Often times its the things right under our noses that we have the hardest time seeing. Overall I very much enjoyed A Duke Like No Other by Valerie Bowman and the battles and passion that Mark and Nicole shared with each other. (I voluntarily reviewed an advance review copy of this book I received for free from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my open and honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.)
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    Love , intrigue and a dash of murder

    ❤️❤️❤️❤️ 💋💋 A sentimental romance , set in England And France . Mark and Nicole , married for 10 years , living in different countries. Secretly they still, and have always been in love , but although the feelings are strong they just don’t seem to be able to show their emotions to each other . When situations arise Mark goes in search of Nicole and returns with her to England, but will they both get what they want this time round ? A cant put down Novel , love tears and intrigue and a dash of murder , make this book a must read . I read an advanced copy of this book and chose to submit a review
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    Historical Romance

    A Duke Like No Other by Valerie Bowman Playful Brides #9 Looking for a second chance at love historical romance with spies, strong minded stubborn outspoken characters? This might be for you. If you are looking for a believable story true to the times…probably not this book though it does have a mysterious murder to solve and an interesting group of characters. Nicole and Mark met and married quickly. She comes from a titled background and his father was without a title though there are titles on his mother’s side of the family. He has been a spy and so has she. When he needs to be “settled” to receive a promotion to a position he’s been working toward he decides to talk his estranged wife of ten years into returning to England with him. With his agreement to her condition they head from Calais to London. Shortly after they arrive a murder occurs that sets in motion changes that can and will impact both of their lives. I had trouble believing this story though it was well written. The reason they became estranged seemed like an easily remedied one if they had not been so stubborn and taciturn. I wanted to shake them both and have an intervention in which they had to speak truthfully to one another. Solving a problem for another, finding a murderer and time in the bedroom seemed less difficult for this couple than an honest conversation. I did enjoy the story…just had trouble buying into it. Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the ARC – This is my honest review. 3-4 Stars
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    Misunderstanding Leads To A Second Chance

    General Mark Grimaldi is a determined man. At 34 he is already a general and a spymaster for the army. In A Duke Like No Other Mark is about to get his dream promotion and become the Home Secretary. He has spent years in the army and growing his spy network. The position of Home Secretary will mean that he can finally make some real change and create the police force he believes that the country really needs. The only thing standing in his way is a wife. Lord Tottenham, who runs the Home Office, doesn’t want a single man in the position. Which is not a problem in as far as Mark is already married. The problem stems from the fact that she doesn’t live with him, she doesn’t even live in the same country. And Mark isn’t sure he can get his wife to come home. Nicole has been living in France these last 10 years. Ever since they became estranged she has been keeping her distance as best she can. When Mark comes to France asking for her help, Nicole thinks this might be her opportunity. Marc wants something, and if he wants to get it he’s going to have to give up something in return. Misunderstanding Leads To A Second Chance Normally I hate stories where the problems all arise from a stupid misunderstanding. It is irritating when the simple truth could have made all the problems go away. In this story, however, the author managed to make it much more believable. Not something as easily corrected as simply telling the honest truth. The separation may have been misunderstanding, but there is no misunderstanding the fact that they still want each other. Despite their differences, the passion between the two characters was undeniable and exciting. The twist in the story was equally exciting and unexpected. I particularly enjoyed how the author solves the mystery, the truth is quite astonishing. This is ninth in the Playful Brides series by Valerie Bowman. It stands well as its own separate story but makes you want to read the rest of the series at the same time. Reviewed for LnkToMi iRead in response to a complimentary copy of the book provided by the publisher in hopes of an honest review.
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    Good read, second chance in their marriage

    I enjoyed this story of a married couple finding their way back to each other. Nicole and Mark hurt each other but find they need each other now. The physical attraction never disappeared, but the trust needs to be rebuilt. Both are strong characters, and I laughed and cried as the story progressed. I recommend this book and look forward to more from this author. I received a copy of this story through Netgalley, and this is my unsolicited review.
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