I was intrigued when I saw Every Duke Has His Day by Suzanne Enoch described as Bringing Up Baby, in the style of Jane Austen. I love Bringing Up Baby, which is a 1938 movie starring Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, and a Leopard. I grew up watching it, incorporated the song from the movie(I Can’t Give You Anything But Love) into my wedding ceremony, and had a framed Bringing Up Baby poster in my living room. I also like Jane Austen books.
In Every Duke Has His Day, an eccentric, scientifically minded Duke is watching his aunt’s pet poodle. He’s taking the poodle for a walk when a young woman’s near-identical poodle runs at them, knocking the duke and his poodle into a stream. They accidentally switch dogs, dogs are stolen, and adventure and romance proceed from there. The story takes place during the summer in London during the “Season”.
It was a bit slow to get into, but once I did, I really enjoyed it. The dialogue and banter were funny and engaging. It had multiple points of view, giving the reader a full picture of what was going on. There was also a Gaston-level villain, and a bonus commoner romance for a bit of upstairs/downstairs action. Good “swooniness”. Happily Ever After for everyone except the villain, even the pets. It had a 101 Dalmatians vibe too. It didn’t really have a Bringing Up Baby plot, though it had screwball comedy elements.
I couldn’t put it down and had to finish it before I could go to bed.
This is a “sweet” or “clean” romance with no “spicy” scenes.
Despite having read lots of classics throughout my youth, this may actually be the first contemporarily written “regency romance” that I’ve read. I actually had to look up British nobility rankings, because I wasn’t sure about the difference between, say, a marquis and a viscount. I’m glad I looked it up instead of just wondering if I had it right the whole time.
Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s press for the e-ARC in exchange for my honest review.