Hello, Sunshines, Today I have the huge pleasure to be sharing my review of; The Duke’s Runaway Bride by Jenni Fletcher, this is the third book in the Regency Belles of Bath mini-series and I highly recommend this charming series – especially if you love a biscuit or two…or three 🙂

About the Book

The Duke’s Runaway Bride by Jenni Fletcher.

Series: Regency Belles Of Bath #3

Genre: Regency, Historical Romance

Publisher: Mills and Boon, Harlequin Books

From shopkeeper…

To duke’s wife

When Beatrix, Duchess of Howden, writes to her estranged husband offering a divorce, she’s stunned when he arrives on her doorstep with a different proposition: a six-week marriage trial!

Quinton Roxbury seems cold and inscrutable, but Beatrix gradually realizes his rough exterior hides a heavy burden. As their connection deepens, dare she trust him with her own scandalous past and risk the marriage she never knew she wanted?

Purchase link – The Duke’s Runaway Bride


The Duke’s Runaway Bride is the third book in the Regency Belles of Bath series and unlike the previous two I felt that this is a true stand-alone there are tangible connections with the first two books but not in a way that would have you thinking you’ve missed out on something. I have thoroughly enjoyed this series, it’s charming – there is no other word to describe ‘Belles of Bath’ it’s heart-warming and delicious, stepping into belles is like a big comforting hug – with added tea and biscuits.

This has a very different feel to the stereotypical Regency romance, I liked that instead of falling head over heels in love with the Duke as soon as meeting him, Beatrice doesn’t particularly like her new husband. She thinks him to be cold and unfeeling something she didn’t want to be stuck with for the rest of her life. But, once her back story becomes apparent you understand her revulsion to this prickly staid gent. Yes, she acted rather callously after the wedding (in my humble opinion) but again all is explained as we rather quickly discover the reasons behind her decisions. She married him to gain her much sought-after freedom from her villainous relatives. So, she does the only thing she can do to be free; get hitched! But, finding out her new husband isn’t exactly what she wanted, she soon throws away her bouquet, disbands with the uncomfortable wedding shoes and flees her new husband before he can say ‘right let’s seal the deal and jump into bed‘.

I like that you have two different tropes running through the book, first, you have the mention of a marriage of convenience, his estate needs funds and she has money, but there is something very different about it than what we have seen before in this trope. I think because the actual wedding part happened away from the pages, and the story starts at the pinnacle moment in the character’s lives, instead of being bored with the rigmarole of the usual rules of doing this, do that – to be honest, all those regency rules can be a bit grinding at times, The Duke’s Runaway Bride was a breath of fresh air away from all the regulated regency protocol. Then you have the second chance romance which is the prominent trope running through the book, I don’t know if there was supposed to be a double troped story, I picked up on two – or maybe it’s just me!

Quinton has a lot of those ducal shoulders of his, not only is his wife who he barely knows want a divorce so she can carry on baking in Bath but his estate is in difficulty and the family is living in the shadow of scandal. He needs his Duchess back, beneath that cold and unruffled exterior lives the heart of a man who is trying with all his might to keep his family together and to keep himself from falling apart, it is that vulnerable side which warmed my heart to him. The only reason he travels to Bath is for one reason and that is to retrieve his wife. I think he is delusional to think that being a Duchess will be enough for Beatrix, he doesn’t know women very well, does he? Some may have been happy in that life, but our Beatrix has found her freedom and she isn’t prepared to let it go without a fight. I like that despite contemplating dragging her back by her hair kicking and screaming he decides to respect her and give her another option; which is they do a home trial of their marriage, six weeks to test the waters, to get to know each other and see if they are a good fit. Very magnanimous of you Quinton!

Beatrix only married Quinton because; A. She had no choice as her uncle had already decreed she has to, and; B. She wanted to be free of her family and their oppressive nature. She had thought that once she married she would have everything she wanted in life – or what she thought she wanted – something who respected her, who was nice to her but her groom soon turned out to be not too different from her own family; controlling and cold, she has only met him the once before the ‘I do’s and that was about as much as she could take so she fled and started a new life, reinvented herself as Belinda and made a new life for herself in Bath working as a baker in Belle’s.

Once Beatrix has finally settled into her whole new life, she has found her confidence, her independence, she sends a note to her husband and asks for a divorce, she is hoping he will comply and everyone will be able to move on. How, how wrong she is as Quinton has other ideas and when he turns up suddenly and asks her to give their marriage a go and reveals that he has to know where she is for a long time, she is not only shocked by that alone but angry and fearful and determined to get her way as she has spent too much of her life being governed by controlling men she doesn’t want that again not now she has tasted freedom and especially not with the cold Duke.

I love that when Quinton turns up to take Beatrix back, he is stunned to find her completely different to the woman that he married. He thought she would be the same little mouse who really wouldn’t say boo to a goose, but instead, he is faced with a fiery, independent and determined woman who has found her voice and rather amusingly refuses to give it up. I think our Quinton is a little out of his depth with this new Beatrix. I like the woman she has become, she is in no other words but herself and more importantly she has found friends who love her for the woman she is, and not the heiress or the Duchess which is something she needed to have in her life to be able to take on the next challenge of getting to know her husband.

The chapters of them on their road trip of ‘getting to know each other are the best, their journey to happiness isn’t straight there are forks in the road and misdirection but the more that they have to face as people the closer they become as a couple. They are such a sweet couple, I love how we get to know them as people at the same time they get to know each other, it’s a marvellous piece of writing.

The Duke’s Runaway Bride is an elegant, charming and lovely story of finding true love. With an engaging and unique plot, likeable, memorable and multi-layered characters, beautiful scenery and rich historical detail this book is just charming.

Another sparkling romance from one of the finest romantic novelists around!

About the Author

Jenni Fletcher was born in Scotland and now lives in Yorkshire where she writes historical romance novels. She studied English at Cambridge and Hull and has been nominated for 4 RoNA awards, winning for Short Romantic Fiction in 2020. In her spare time she loves baking and, of course, reading.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.