Along Came a Lady by Christi Caldwell (quick review)

Miss Edwina Dalrymple is determined that she will convince the Duke of Bentley’s three children to join their father in London, ensuring that her services will then be sought after by the peerage. Only, they, led by Rafe Audley, eldest child and now foreman of a mining operation, have no interest in complying. Did I mention how determined Edwina is? And how reluctant Rafe is? Yep, perfect storm for a fun and a bit spicy romantic romp with two strong willed people.

I started by reading an excerpt and was quickly drawn in by the circumstances and the personalities in Along Came a Lady by Christi Caldwell. This is a romance with a great deal to enjoy, from the push-pull of the romantic storyline, to the eventual reveal of Edwina’s secret. And to add to my delight with this first-in-series story of a reformed rake’s children reconciling (reluctantly, and as little as possible) with him and finding love, the last names of Audley and Dalrymple quickly brought references to mind that had me nearly laughing out loud.

If you enjoy an open door, cross-class Regency romance with a bit of humor, as well as characters dealing with the heartbreaks and difficulties of illegitimacy, Along Came a Lady is one for your wish list.

This review refers to an e-book that I voluntarily read and reviewed through my library’s Overdrive service.

About the Book

The brooding, illegitimate son of a duke meets his match in the determined woman hired to transform him into a gentleman from USA Today bestselling author Christi Caldwell—perfect for fans of Bridgerton.
Rafe Audley lives to thwart his father, the Duke of Bentley. The ne’er do well who abandoned his children claims he wants to make up for his failures, but Rafe only cares about protecting the people of his mining community and providing for his three siblings, who’ve been his sole responsibility since childhood. So far, Rafe has turned away the duke’s man of affairs, solicitor, and other interlopers, until the clever duke sends the unlikeliest of people to convince Rafe to join English High Society—a bold and intriguing woman.
Edwina Dalrymple has never failed a charge. She’s quite adept at successfully transforming young women of the gentry and daughters of newly minted lords to take their place in society. Taming a bastard son of a duke will be child’s play, plus this job promises to enhance her reputation within the ton. All she has to do is fetch the wayward Rafe and groom him to be presentable to Polite Society. 
As the tenacious teacher and her domineering, stubborn, refuses-to-be-taught pupil engage in a fiery battle of wills, their chemistry ignites and the true lesson becomes clear: opposites attract and hearts must be heard.

Along Came a Lady by Christi Caldwell (All the Duke’s Sins, book 1) | Berkley, August 2021 | ebook, 320 pages (also available in mass market paperback and audiobook)