Designs on a Duke (The Bluestocking Scandals Book 1) by Ellie St. Clair

The Naked Reviewers
3 min readMay 14, 2020

Her secret will save a legacy…
The daughter of a famed architect, Rebecca Lambert has been raised among the nobility yet understands the circumstances of her birth. As a common woman, she will never be able to pursue her passion and become an architect as well — at least, not under her own name. When her father slowly begins to lose his sensibilities and falls into debt, Rebecca becomes far more than a secretary, but rather the designer. No one, however, can ever learn the truth.

He is duke only in name…
No one was pleased when Valentine St. Vincent was shockingly named the Duke of Wyndham — least of all Valentine himself. He made a career and a name for himself through the use of his fists, but all it led to was his brother’s death. Now determined to become the man his family always wanted him by fulfilling his brother’s destiny, Valentine is caught between two identities.

A relationship that can never be…
When Valentine hires Rebecca’s father, she must complete the work commissioned to them. But as she spends more and more time at Wyndham House and the Duke’s country manor, she finds herself hopelessly falling for a man she can never have. For the Duke of Wyndham must marry a woman of the ton for her dowry and respectability — two things Rebecca can never provide.

Will Rebecca and Val resign themselves to the lives chosen for them, or those they were born to live?

Karen Meyer’s Review: 5-Stars

Such a fun book from start to finish. You will enjoy getting to know the exciting and somewhat colorful characters in this classic and timeless love story.

After the untimely death of his older brother Matthew, followed shortly by that of his father, Valentine feels obligated to take over as Duke of Wyndham . Upon arrival to the estates, him, his mother and sister learn of the unfinished state the late impoverished Duke left it in.

Needing a dowry that would ultimately come from a aristocratic bride, the Duke’s mother insisted on the renovation before the first ball. She wanted to impress everyone and in turn find the bride her son needed.

The daughter of a renowned architect is forced to cover up for her father’s lack of memory when they capture the coveted job working for the rather wayward duke. Love ensues and it ends happily ever after.

I loved this genre and this is a favorite. 5 stars is definitely what I will give this book.

Sherry Terry’s Review: 5-Stars

The cover is AMAZING and just what I want in a Regency Romance novel. Filled with bold colors and era perfect, this cover caught my eye right away. The story inside did not disappoint either. It took me back to my youth when I couldn’t get enough of the 70’s bodice rippers.

Ellie St. Clair has a smooth, laid-back style of writing that captured me from the first page until the last. Like easy-listening music, the words flowed into my mind. I could smell the smells and sense the deserted feel of the house. The characters are very well thought-out and jump off the page with a mere movement. I love how Ellie worked the story, adding Regency details here and there that brought it all to life for me.

This is my kind of historical romance. Effortless emersion into the time period, believable characters who stayed true to the era, and Elegantly written, great sex scenes that move the relationship forward. When the sexy bits between Rebecca and Valentine arrive in the book, they are tasteful and well-done leaning a little more to the sweet side.

Designs on a Duke is a time-honored trope of common girl meets a man with a high title. They fall in love, beat the odds and stigmas of the times, and live happily ever after. What makes this book different, and frankly one of the best I’ve read in a very long time, is Ellie’s style and abilities as a writer.

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