Miss Matilda Sheldon could care less what people think about her. Unlike her sisters who always the height of fashion and comportment, Matilda thrives to disappear into the background wherever she goes. Her only interest is opening and running an orphanage and to care for those orphans who have nothing. Her lovely but dim-witted sisters are on the lookout for suitors and consistently peck at Matilda about her drab appearance.
The Duke of Thornsby needs to find himself a bride, one that would fit into his lifestyle well but not overtake his life. The clock is ticking for the duke though, for unless he marries by the time he turns thirty he stands to lose his inheritance, but his scandalous reputation keeps the eligible ladies and their marriage minded mothers at a distance ans the pickings are slim for the handsome duke.
The Sheldon sisters, daughters of the 6th Earl of Bisset are quite the trio. While two are quite attractive and social, they are pretty much airheads, and Matilda, the middle daughter while dull in appearance, is intelligent and quite mouthy when she feels it's necessary. When the duke meets the outspoken Miss Sheldon, neither of their lives will ever be the same. While the duke needs to marry, and quickly, Matlida wants nothing to do with it. When the pair are caught in a compromising position placing Matilda's reputation at risk, instead of going the marriage route, she runs the other way leaving the duke in a state of confusion. Matilda is quite confused herself, for even though she says she will never marry, she has developed feelings for Thornsby and doesn't know what to do about them. In the wings, Matilda's beloved grandmother and the duke's sister champion for the pair to wake up and smell the proverbial coffee.
When Matlida refuses Thornsby's suit he needs to find an alternate solution to his problem. His subsequent proposal to an unsavory lady of the ton prompts quite a few displeasing incidents, one of extreme import is the disappearance of the two children who were left in the duke's care by their mother. a servant of the duke's who passed away, leaving the children alone. When the duke realizes his huge mistake in his proposal to the obnoxious lady he quickly dismisses her, but not before she threatens to make his life miserable. Now Thornsby must make an attempt to court Matilda, for as he finally realizes, she is definitely the lady for him.
CHARMING THE DUKE by the smart and sassy Holly Bush, is a fabulous read from beginning to end. Holly's unbeatable sense of humor and her remarkable storytelling shine through in CHARMING THE DUKE.. I thought the duke was going to be a stodgy bore of a hero and was so pleasantly surprised by his reaction to Matilda that he has wormed his way into being my new book boyfriend. Matilda's bright determination make her such an interesting heroine. Miss Bush is as comfortable in Regency England as she is in the American Mid-West and I will follow this brilliant writer anywhere.