The Duke Who Didn’t, by Courtney Milan — This is the fun book I have been trying to get everyone at the library to read. I told a few people that “it’s like a cozy mystery with no murders and a few romantic scenes,” which is a funny description but I stand by it. It’s a Regency romance that takes place in a multicultural town with a Chinese couple. Chloe is a bit of a straight-laced grump, while Jeremy is the much beloved guy who comes to town every year for a festival. He’s been coming to it since he was a kid. (He’s secretly the Duke!) This year, he’s asked Chloe to help him find a wife who is exactly like her. Chloe starts looking everywhere but the mirror. She’s wrapped up in trying to make her father’s business a success and is mostly oblivious to the rest of the world around her. This book and this world-building just charmed me. The characters are multifaceted and I enjoyed reading about the friendships and the relationship between Chloe and her single father. The festival reminded me of a fall fete right here in New England, with funny local traditions and a few tourists scratching their heads. As a person who loves food writing, I enjoyed a bit of that as well. If romance isn’t your thing, the few steamy bits are easily skipped without affecting the story at all.
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