My Scandalous Duke
Theresa Romain / November 15, 2016 / $2.99 digital
After three years of widowhood, Eleanor Palmer is ready for a second marriage. The first time she married the younger son of an earl, “the most flashy, dashing rogue in London,” after three season of vainly hoping Nicholas Bradford, heir to the Duke of Hampshire, would look at her with something other than friendship. This time Eleanor is ready for respectability, stability, and children. She has no illusions that Nicholas, now the Duke of Hampshire, will be more than a good friend. The man she is looking for will be “the most proper, the stolidest, the most staid man possible,” the very opposite of the scandalous duke.
Theresa Romain uses color throughout her novella to contrast the life Eleanor has been living and the life she thinks she wants with the vibrant life that love can offer. The prodigality of her husband forced her to give up the fashionable wardrobe of her girlhood and make do with refurbished gowns during her eight years of marriage. After her husband’s death Eleanor dyed her worn gowns the black of deep mourning. Nicholas thinks of them as “Plain and jetty, they bled the color from her face and made her look wan.” More recently, she has worn half-mourning: “Some were dyed again in grays and lavenders—wan colors for a widow’s half-life.”