A Lady for a Duke

Alexis Hall. Forever, $15.99 trade paper (480p) ISBN 978-1-5387-5375-0

Hall (Something Fabulous) delivers a delicious Regency romance filled with brooding, longing, and hope. After going MIA at the battle of Waterloo, trans woman Viola Carroll left her previous life behind, along with her (dead) name and noble title, to live authentically as herself. But in doing so, she had to cut all ties with the Duke of Gracewood, her erstwhile best friend and the object of the adoration she could never have fully realized while living inauthentically as a lord. When circumstances return her to Gracewood’s estate, she finds him lost in grief, numbing the loss of his closest friend with laudanum and liquor. As she begins to lift him from the haze of his mourning, bringing him back to a version of himself he’s tried so hard to drown, she must decide whether to reveal the truth and allow him to know her for whom she truly is, or abandon him for the second time. The period banter is unparalleled as Hall pulls his characters out of the drawing room and into far closer quarters. He explores difficult subjects with a sharpness matched only by the tenderness underpinning the relationship between Viola and Gracewood. Fans of Lisa Kleypas and anyone looking for romance centering trans characters owe it to themselves to check this out. Agent: Courtney Miller-Callihan, Handspun Literary. (May.)
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