Dukes, Eligible and Otherwise

Have you read the one about the lady of little fortune and less-than-illustrious lineage who married the dashing  duke?

It’s a common theme in historical romance novels set in the Regency era, and one of my personal favorites. Alas, through no fault of her own, the average woman was more likely to be run over by a carriage while crossing Oxford Street than to marry a handsome, young duke.

I’m no mathematician, but by my calculations there were approximately thirty dukes in Great Britain at the turn of the nineteenth century. Subtract the royal princes who could not marry without The Mad King’s consent, along with those already married or still in the nursery, and London’s marriage-minded misses had this motley assortment to choose from:

The Duke of Dorset was out of the nursery, though only just barely, when he passed away unmarried at the age of 22 in 1815.

Sanders, George; George John Frederick Sackville (1793-1815), 4th Duke of Dorset, in Academic Robes; National Trust, Knole; http://www.artuk.org/artworks/george-john-frederick-sackville-17931815-4th-duke-of-dorset-in-academic-robes-219039

The Duke of Bedford was available for bringing up to scratch, but only during the narrow window of opportunity from 1801 to 1803 when he was between wives.

Duke of Bedford

The Duke of Devonshire  was known as the Bachelor Duke for good reason as he managed to avoid marriage entirely.

Shee 001

The Duke of Marlborough became eligible (depending upon one’s notion of eligible) when he was widowed at 68.

Reynolds, Joshua; George Spencer-Churchill (1739-1817), 4th Duke of Marlborough; Woodstock Town Council; http://www.artuk.org/artworks/george-spencer-churchill-17391817-4th-duke-of-marlborough-43545

The Duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry was ripe for the picking when he was widowed at 42.

Duke of Buccleuch and Queensberry

The Duke of Argyll is my favorite I think. He inherited the dukedom in 1806 when only 38, and was snatched off the market four years later.

Duke of Argyll

The Duke of Roxburghe was clearly some woman’s idea of the perfect husband, seeing as he was widowed at 71 and remarried at 72. 

Duke of Roxburghe

The Duke of Newcastle was available only until 1807 when he married at 22.

Duke of Newcastle 1


My newest release features the granddaughter of a duke, though you’d never guess it by the company she keeps or the neighborhood she calls home.  

Cover Lo Res

Courting Chaos is available for pre-order for only $0.99.

What happens when London’s longest-reigning rake decides to make mischief?

Born of scandal and raised in squalor, Miss Harry O’Connell turned her back on her feckless, frivolous father and carved out a life for herself in the working-class neighborhood of Wellclose Square. She’s a creature of habit, a stickler for schedules, a keeper of secrets, and a woman adamantly opposed to wasting so much a single minute – let alone a spare shilling – on useless endeavors, sentimental nonsense or impossible expectations.

Opposites attract…

With three men standing between Phineas Griffith and the nearest title, he was perfectly content to float through life on a wave of mistakes, mishaps, coincidences and luck. Two unfortunate accidents and an apoplectic fit later, the new Viscount Knighton finds himself saddled with a decimated estate, a mountain of debt and two sisters in need of launching into Society in tandem. There’s really nothing for it but to woo and wed an heiress post haste.

Orbits align…

An unwelcome visit from the Earl of Dunaway sets in motion a convoluted chain of events that put Harry on a collision course with the handsome fortune-hunter. And wreak havoc with her meticulously managed, precisely timed and exactingly organized life.

Worlds collide…

Phineas cannot afford the luxury of falling in love with a prickly, pragmatic and penniless woman. Harry hasn’t the time or inclination to dally with a charming rake when all her considerable talents are aimed at laying waste to all the Earl of Dunaway holds dear.

And chaos ensues.

Some forces are greater than gravity and some risks worth taking. Can these two star crossed lovers find the wherewithal to risk it all for a happily-ever-after that defies all odds?

Available for Pre-Order

Read an Excerpt

January’s Corset is a lovely cream paisley print, just the sort of surprisingly sweet bit of fluff Miss Harry O’Connell would hide beneath her outrageous gowns. 

January 2017

To enter simply post a Comment.
Any comment will do, a bit of news, an idiom that’s always struck you as amusing,a historical ideal you’ve found ludicrous or a notion of any sort.
I’ll randomly choose one winner from all entrants on October 1st.
(U.S. Only)


  1. Lisa Ward
    Jan 28, 2017

    This Corset is Beautiful..
    Always wondered if they comfortable wearing these..
    Thanks for the chance

  2. Audrey Stewart
    Jan 28, 2017

    I love historical romance novels more than any other genre. I grew up with Fabio on the cover of my books. This corset is beautiful.

  3. Kathy N
    Jan 28, 2017

    I think January’s corset is beautiful.

  4. Kimberly Hatten
    Jan 28, 2017

    The corset is so pretty!

  5. Gina P
    Jan 28, 2017

    Wow that’s gorgeous. I think it would be so interesting to dress like ladies in those days.

  6. Nancy Luebke
    Jan 28, 2017

    I don’t think I could breathe in one of those corsets. I wonder at what age, they had to start wearing those. Thanks for this opportunity. I really enjoy reading historical romances.

  7. Bonny
    Jan 28, 2017

    Wow, what a beautiful corset. I wouldn’t mind The Duke of Newcastle taking off my corset. WOW, he was hot no wonder he was married by age 22. At least men back in those days where know to be players or not. These days most hide behind a fake façade.

  8. Denise
    Jan 28, 2017

    interesting list of dukes

    beautiful corset

    blurb sounds delightful

  9. Maureen D
    Jan 28, 2017

    Too many dukes?==everybody rewrites history, who better qualified than a writer of fiction?

  10. Nancy
    Jan 28, 2017

    Hmm, nip tuck here and there and one of my lampshades could look remarkably similar.

  11. Yaritza Santana
    Jan 28, 2017

    wow thanks for the historical information. Very interesting.

  12. Yaritza Santana
    Jan 28, 2017

    Thanks for sharing about Dukes and there eligibility.

  13. Cecilia Rodriguez
    Jan 28, 2017

    Very lovely corset. Nice for Valentines day

  14. JeanMP
    Jan 28, 2017

    Interesting historical information. The corset is very pretty.

  15. Julie Stafford
    Jan 28, 2017

    The corset is beautiful. The list of Dukes and the information about each is very interesting.

  16. Lena Lee
    Jan 28, 2017

    You give away a corset? Caught my attention.

  17. Bethany
    Jan 28, 2017

    Indeed. There were not as many marriageable Dukes to be had as many novels would have me believe. What is so wrong with a hero who is an untitled but wealthy gentleman? *cough* Mr. Darcy *cough

  18. Rose Foster
    Jan 29, 2017

    That is a really pretty corset

  19. Jennifer Wadkins
    Jan 29, 2017

    My grandma loves to say, “Six to one, half dozen the other.” I even say it sometimes myself!

  20. Donna Killian
    Jan 29, 2017

    I wonder if any said How time flies when your having fun, while wearing a corset. They are pretty to look at but I bet they came off fast. Thank you.

  21. Chris Gutowski
    Jan 29, 2017

    Happy 2017! I was wondering what happened to your newsletter. I’m happy to see you back and glad to hear your writer’s block has passed! January’s corset is beautiful! 🙂

  22. BookLady
    Jan 29, 2017

    I love the women’s clothing in historical romance. Thanks for the great giveaway.

  23. Darlene
    Jan 29, 2017

    This corset is so pretty and your newest book sounds like it will be another good one!!!!

  24. Kathy Davis
    Jan 29, 2017

    The corset is lovely! I just ate a huge dinner, and I’m laying on the couch. I’m not feeling so sexy right now. 🙂 Maybe I need a corset to perk up.

  25. Bianca
    Jan 29, 2017

    What a gorgeous corset!

  26. Karen
    Jan 29, 2017

    That is exactly what I want! And thank you for the information on the Dukes!! Loved reading about them.

  27. Linda Herold
    Jan 29, 2017

    Your corset this month is really gorgeous! I love idioms, by the way! I used to teach them when I was a special ed. teacher!

  28. Michelle Willms
    Jan 29, 2017

    I love this corset; it’s so beautiful. Of course, with such a light color, I’d be doomed to always wear it covered (of course, I’m so shy in that regard, I probably would, anyway). I tend to spill things on myself if I even THINK about wearing light colors. Though I’m certain I could get by with just a bit peeking out, don’t you?

  29. Kimberly Lane
    Jan 29, 2017

    Love the corset. Just wish I could wear something like that.

  30. Michelle Ferrari-Johnson
    Jan 29, 2017

    This corset is beautiful! On one hand I have always wondered what it feels like to wear one. On the other, I think I prefer being able to breath deeply without crushing my ribs. Although, I am interested to try this behind closed doors with hubby~

  31. wilma sparks
    Jan 29, 2017

    this is so pretty!!! I would feel so feminine!!

  32. Leasa
    Jan 29, 2017

    I love the corset! It seems that wearing one on a daily basis would be quite daunting. Although to look beautiful in a gorgeous gown would be amazing. Really would like to go on a re-enactment of the era and dress the part for a day. Just to experience the feeling. My very favorite idiom is “Knight in shining armor” only because we never get tired of wishing for one.

  33. Marybeth Wangler
    Jan 29, 2017

    Such a pretty corset, I hope to get a chance to try one sometime. If only for a flatter tummy and better posture.

  34. Lisa Hagenbucher
    Jan 29, 2017

    I love the corset! Thanks for the chance!

  35. Jennifer H.
    Jan 29, 2017

    Don’t worry about not getting a newsletter out for the few months that seem to slip by with the blink of an eye. I have always wondered why there seem to be hundreds of Dukes and so forth in all of the various historical romance novels, but am glad the various authors have taken liberties to make them up!

  36. Joanna M
    Jan 29, 2017

    I was wondering what happened to your newsletter and I even subscribed again just in case 🙂

  37. cari
    Jan 29, 2017

    Such a pretty corset.

  38. Shelly Hammond
    Jan 29, 2017

    The corset is absolutely beautiful as is this entire blog site. I could (and perhaps am guilty of) spend hours just hanging around clicking, reading, following, shopping, and wishlisting! Have a brilliant day, week, month, and year 😀

  39. Vicky
    Jan 29, 2017

    Absolutely love historical romances! Somehow everything seems better 😉

  40. Kathy Bunbury
    Jan 30, 2017

    Thanks for letting me join your newsletter and I look froward to reading them and visiting your website in the future. I love corsets and January’s is darling!

  41. Tina Hairston
    Jan 30, 2017

    I’m happy to report that the baby blanket I’m crocheting is halfway complete. It would’ve been done before now but I ended up starting over and tweaking it with a change of hooks. Looks way better and if I’m going to do something, I’m going to do it right (and she’s due at the end of the week so really she can have him at anytime). I’ll be happy when I’m done because I’ve been neglecting my reading and that’s just not acceptable 🙂

  42. Jo
    Jan 30, 2017

    I’m convinced I was a Queen in the past!

  43. Rachael Clemons
    Jan 30, 2017

    Thanks so much for the chance to win. It is beautiful.

  44. Amber Daulton
    Jan 31, 2017

    Awesome post. I’d consider only a few of those dukes ‘my’ kind of duke. The ladies back then certainly didn’t have many to choose from but I doubt the matchmaking mamas cared. Poor ladies…
    Anyway, I soooo love that corset. It’s all frilly, innocent and decadent at the same time.

  45. Laurie Gommermann
    Jan 31, 2017

    Gorgeous corset, sexy too! LOVELY!

    Off of work today and I’m running errands. Time flies!

    Looking forward to reading your next book.

  46. Susan
    Jan 31, 2017

    That corset is beautiful! On a personal note, hug someone you know that is affected by Alzheimer’s disease.

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