As an orphaned young woman with a sizable trust fund, Penelope has no desire to marry. For one, she is near-sighted and incredibly clumsy. The only part of life she excels at is as a botanists. Since women are not recognized in the field, when she writse up her findings and sends them to The Linnean Society of London, the world’s oldest active biological society, she does so as a man, knowing as a woman they would never read a word of her discoveries. Penelope intends to skip the marriage mart and go gently into spinsterhood, living comfortably on her inheritance as she pursues her discoveries a botanist.
Unfortunately, due to the prodding of her aunt, her guardian sends Penelope to London for a season. Her aunt settles her with a family boasting five sisters, (four unmarried), and a handsome young man, Drake, who, due to the death of his father, has taken the position of a Duke much too early for his liking. He is determined to uphold his position by marrying the perfect Duchess of elegance, style and social graces, certain his life will be better then.
When Penelope first arrives, Drake is downright rude to her, but in short time, he discovers, despite her clumsiness and a penchant to crawl in dirt, he genuinely likes her…enough to kiss her, not just once, but several times, each time ending with a declaration it will never happen again, for he needs to marry a woman capable of being a duchess.
Penelope assures him she is fine with that, for she does not wish to marry at all. She wants to be a scientist.
Despite their determined words, they continue to be drawn to one another until one of their unintended moments is witnessed by two ladies of the ton and Drake is forced to announce their engagement at once to prevent Penelope from being ruined by his actions.
Drake's first command is that Penelope cease all scientific study and learn to be a proper duchess. With that one order their future looks bleak.
I won’t say more, so you can enjoy the story.
So allow me to discuss other matters. The Duke’s Quandary is beautifully written. The characters are full and real. This is a book where the pleasure is the journey, not the actual ending. I enjoyed every page and always looked forward to returning to it. And to be honest, now that I reached the ending, I’m sad. I already miss them.
I give this book 5 stars