The Unexpected Duchess

The Unexpected Duchess

3.75 (2,414 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 
3.75 (2,414 ratings by Goodreads)

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Bestselling author Valerie Bowman sets the stage in Regency England for her Playful Brides series, where couples' misadventures on the way to the altar are witty, romantic romps based on some of the world's most beloved plays. The first installment, The Unexpected Duchess, is inspired by Edmond Rostand's Cyrano de Bergerac.


Lady Lucy Upton's tongue may be too sharp to attract suitors but her heart is good, and when her painfully shy friend Cassandra needs help she devises a brilliant scheme to help her discourage an unwanted suitor, the Duke of Claringdon. Lucy will hide behind the hedgerow and tell Cass just what to say to discourage the Duke of Claringdon...but it turns out that he's made of sterner stuff than either of them anticipated. And Lucy is shocked to discover that tangling with the tenacious man is the most fun she's had in ages.


Lord Derek Hunt made a promise to his dying friend to marry the demure Cassandra, and for a man who wants nothing more than peace and quiet after the horrors of war, she'll make the perfect bride. If only the impudent Miss Upton will let him court the girl! Doing battle is the last thing on his mind, but bantering with Lucy behind the bushes is too tempting to resist. And in The Unexpected Duchess, the spoils of this war just may be true love...

Valerie Bowman's Secret Brides novels are:

Intriguing [and] engaging.--Publishers Weekly

Too delightful to miss!--Lisa Kleypas

Sparkling...witty...engaging. --RT Book Reviews
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Product details

  • Paperback | 368 pages
  • 108 x 178 x 21mm | 295g
  • English
  • 1250844614
  • 9781250844613

Review quote

"Engaging characters, snappy banter, and judicious infusion of smoldering sensuality will have readers clamoring for the next installment in this smart and sext series." --Booklist (Starred Review)

"A fun, smart comedy of errors and a sexy, satisfying romance." --Kirkus (Starred Review)

"Smart, witty, sassy and utterly delightful!" --Romantic Times (4 1/2 Stars; Top Pick!)

"...a charming take on Cyrano de Bergerac." --Publisher's Weekly

"Fun, engaging romance with great characters!" --Fresh Fiction
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About Valerie Bowman

Valerie Bowman grew up in Illinois with six sisters (she's number seven) and a huge supply of historical romance novels. After a cold and snowy stint earning a degree in English with a minor in history at Smith College, she moved to Florida the first chance she got.

Valerie now lives in Jacksonville with her family including her rascally rescue dog, Roo. When she's not writing, she keeps busy reading, traveling, or vacillating between watching crazy reality TV and PBS. She is the author of books including Secrets of a Wedding Night and Secrets of a Runaway Bride.

Valerie loves to hear from readers. Find her on Facebook, Twitter, and at her website.
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Rating details

2,414 ratings
3.75 out of 5 stars
5 26% (619)
4 37% (905)
3 26% (635)
2 7% (181)
1 3% (74)
Book ratings by Goodreads
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