“What to Do With a Duke” by Sally MacKenzie was my first time hearing anything by this author. I loved the idea of a Duke who could not be tricked into marriage and also a heroine who was determined to stay single.
This was the first book in the “Spinster House” series. I have not read the books and this was my first time with the author, but both the story and author were enjoyable. Marcus the Duke of Hart is sick of having London women throwing themselves at him. Some, literarily trying to trap him into marriage through different schemes. Luckily for him, he has to return to the Spinster house in Loves Bridge because of an old family curse and it gives him a chance to leave London. There he meets Isabelle Catherine Hutting.
Cat could care less about marriage and least of all to a Duke. She has one priority on her mind and that is moving into the Spinster House. There she will have some solitude and time to write. Although Cat loves her family, she is the daughter of a vicar with a house full of siblings. Cat is determined to live in the Spinster House but she is not impervious to Marcus and the affects he has on her.
Cat and Marcus are drawn to each other and even though both have no interest in marriage or love the more they get to know each other the less they can deny their attraction. There is a big catch however. Marcus and his ancestors have been cursed. His grandfather left Isabelle Dorring a native of Loves Bridge pregnant and unwed. The legend goes that Marcus’s ancestors are doomed to die after they are wed and with an heir. Cat is also a distant relative of Isabelle’s but she doesn’t believe in the curse however when she sees that Marcus does and is afraid she begins to understand how much his family’s past haunts him. The Spinster House was set up for women who don’t want to live in the confines of marriage but remain spinsters. When there is one opening, after following the procedures put in place, Marcus gives the open vacancy to Cat so she can write and have solitude as a spinster.
Marcus is a tormented man, besides the curse Marcus never grew up with his mother. He grew up thinking that she left him when he was born because his own father followed much in the footsteps of his grandfather.
Because Loves Bridge is a small town, the usual gossip ensues when Marcus and Cat are rumored to be involved. Marcus and Cat eventually find their way to each other, but not before they have to confront some ghosts from their pasts. I really enjoyed the hero and heroine and found them to be really fun characters. Much, if not all of their problems were self-inflicted. They caused many of their own heartaches and pains. But overall, this was a fun novel with many lively and fun characters.
Beverly A.Crick was a perfect narrator for this story. She kept the pacing lively and fun and I especially loved her voice of the cat!
**Audiobook provided by Tantor**