Anna Bennett is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. I absolutely loved the previous book in this series, First Earl I See Tonight (see review here ) and had similar feelings for this book. The Duke Is But A Dream also had adventure, humor, and (of course) romance. This time it focuses on the headstrong and bold Lily Hartley’s love adventure following memory loss from a bar brawl injury. This injury brings her and Nash, the Duke of Stonebridge, together in a unique situation that forces them to show their true character. Even if Lily can’t remember her character, or her own name for that matter. It then forces the question: Can you truly love someone if you don’t even know who you are?
This is not a simple romance. All characters are dealing with heavy subjects that are not simply resolved by a true love’s first kiss (sorry Disney, I still love you). Grief is an ongoing struggle that cannot truly be resolved, just like the void cannot truly ever be filled in reality. However, this novel does portray how to cope with the grief in healthy ways and that trying to avoid it just makes you stuck and does not honor their memory well. Abandonment is another issue that is dealt with as there does not seem to be anyone looking for Lily as she is missing and going by the name Caroline (as she does not remember her own name). Don’t worry, reader, it was a misunderstanding that has a happy ending.
Additionally, this book briefly catches us up with the characters from the previous book in the series, Sophie, Gray, and her sister Fiona. However, this book could be read as a standalone as it does not rely heavily on previous events. Probably because Lily does not have any memory of previous events. I did like the new characters that were introduced and I hope there are more books in the series. I would love to see a story about Lily and Fiona’s close friend and colleague, Sophie. I would also love to see a story about Nash’s sister, the bubbly and lovely Delilah.
I would absolutely recommend this book for fans of regency romance novels that have to do with brooding dukes and concerns about the reactions of the ton. I would also recommend this book for adults as there are graphically sexual scenarios, mild foul language, violence, and alcohol use.
Please note: An electronic Advanced Readers Copy of this book was generously provided by the publisher via NetGalley for free in exchange for an honest review. Thank you!