August Faulkner, the twelfth Duke of Holloway is a known ladies man and ruthless business man. Very few people know how extensive his holdings actually are, though. He’s just bought the Haverhall School for Young Ladies and is planning a trip to Dover to persuade the current Baron Strathmore to sell the family’s struggling shipping company to him for a large sum as well. Then he discovers that Lady Anne, his beloved younger sister, has run away to spend the summer with the Haverhall School’s summer program, and decides to combine fetching her back with charming the Haywards into selling him their family business.
Miss Clara Hayward and the Duke of Holloway shared a dance at a ball ten years ago, an occasion neither has forgotten. Clara is therefore taken aback when the Duke shows up, claiming to want to keep an eye on his sister. While the regular terms at the Haverhall School for Young Ladies is everything you might expect from a prestigious boarding school for the wealthy and titled, the summer program is meant for specially selected ladies who dream of something more. For twelve weeks, Clara works with them to increase their confidence and teach them self-worth, and they get to try their hands at professions that ladies are normally excluded from. She doubts Holloway would approve. His presence and his attempts to charm her are also very distracting to Clara, who may have had an unusual upbringing, but needs to keep her reputation spotless if she wants to continue as headmistress of her school.
While Clara and Holloway share an attraction, does their relationship have a chance of survival if Clara discovers why the Duke really came to Dover? Can she find happiness with the man who’s already purchased her beloved school and wants to take over what remains of her family’s business?
Full review on my blog.