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Caroline and the Duke

3.38  ·  Rating Details ·  313 Ratings  ·  52 Reviews
A Widow Determined to be Merry

At the urging of her best friend, Caroline, Lady Ballister, seeks a lover with no emotional attachments. After all, experience has taught her that love is a fickle, pointless thing.

A Duke Determined to Marry

Sutbridge has wanted Caroline for ten years and, now that she is once again free, is determined to make her his wife. But will he settle f
Kindle Edition, 40 pages
Published December 9th 2013 by Sabrina Darby
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Sonya Heaney
Also posted HERE .

Oh, I loved this little story. The only thing I wasn’t fond of was the topless guy on the cover! Actually, no, I would have – as seems to be the case with every Regency novella I read – loved to read this story as a full-length book.

It’s such a pity authors seem to save their most original storylines for shorter stories. Caroline and the Duke is about love lost and found again, about a woman forced to marry at eighteen for money, though she was in love with another. When we me
Sharon L
Dec 12, 2013 Sharon L rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2013
Truthfully, I find novellas and short stories to be a tricky thing.

the shorter the story, the less mistakes you are allowed to make.

Want to know the weird thing about this one? Once I finished it, I felt as satisfied as if I read a full lengh regency novel.

I guess it's because the attraction was apparent, as was the love.

The characters had enough depth, and the plot was achieved.

The problem is I'm not sure what to say much about it. it's a short fun read. 20 minutes tops. And once I finishe
Kathie (katmom)
This is a steamy short story. Caroline and John had really hit it off when they met ten years ago. He thought he had plenty of time to make her his but he wasn't quite ready to make things permanent. She certainly would have accepted his proposal, if he had made one.

Two months later she was married to the one man who had offered for her. Her family thrilled that she had provided for them.

Would have been really hard to live in those times, where your wishes and hopes didn't matter...only the bott
Charlotte Bugler
Well that was a waste of time..

Luckily it's was a really short read.

Or on the other hand, maybe it should've been longer.

I read someone else's review briefly and I saw the word steamy.. Hm, that person needs to read better erotica books because I would not use steamy to describe this book.
I wouldn't even say it was lukewarm.

One scene. Just one scene where they were gunna get on with it but no. One minute there talking about how good his hand felt on her thigh, the next she's washing her face.

Dec 11, 2013 Wendy rated it really liked it
Shelves: dec-13
Lust, Longing and Love make for the perfect novella!
Caroline, a widow, was in a loveless marriage. Now that she is free she is looking for a lover not another relationship.
Sutbridge, a duke, has wanted Caroline for ten years and now that she is free he is determined to win her heart and make her his wife.
A delightful romance!
Apr 14, 2016 Daniella rated it did not like it
I hated this book. I hated Caroline. I hated everything in this story except for the hero, who deserved someone infinitely better than the selfish, misguided heroine.

Because I can't think of a better way to rant about this book, I decided to give you a run-through of what happened:

*Newly widowed, Caroline was determined never to marry again. Her late husband had engaged in several affairs, which left her bitter and angry. She was griping about how love was a lie to her "friend", Julia, at the st
Jan 15, 2014 Tin rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014
Caroline is finally out of mourning and is free to do anything and pursue anyone she wants and she chooses John, the Duke of Sutbridge. To everyone else, it looks like a random choice -- a lark. But not for Caroline, who has waited ten years, suffering through a cold marriage, to finally answer the question: "What If?" And it is the same for John, who, at 20, had thought he had found "the one" only to see her married to someone else two months later. He waited ten years and loved her from afar - ...more
Linda Sims
Feb 06, 2014 Linda Sims rated it really liked it

After her husbands death, Caroline is free. Now she can do as she pleases, and what pleases her is to have an affair with John Duke of Sutbridge. But he has something different in mind.

This is a really short read, a great introduction to this author if you haven't read her before. She has a very flowing style and packs this story with detail. It may be short but you're not short changed.
ARC courtesy of NetGalley
Mary - Buried Under Romance
Apr 04, 2014 Mary - Buried Under Romance rated it really liked it
I have read all of Sabrina Darby's books and like the others, this one does not disappoint. How she manages to bring together two characters - one afraid to love, the other filled to the brim of love, and infuses the story with believable depth and vulnerabilities, is astounding. She is, in my opinion, one of the finest historical romance authors of novellas.

*Review copy courtesy of Netgalley for an honest review
Jan 18, 2014 Judy rated it liked it
Background: Caroline, Lady Ballister, was married at age 18 to a man she didn't love and who never gave her satisfaction in the marriage bed. Before she married, she was extremely infatuated with Lord Sutbridge who was 20 years old at the time. Now, she is a widow nearing age 30 with two young sons by her previous husband.

Her joyless marriage has contributed to Caroline's cynical and hardhearted attitude and her decision to never marry again. However, she does want to have a sexual relationship
Sarah Greenwood
Oct 25, 2015 Sarah Greenwood rated it liked it
Short but sweet historical romance. After reading a long book this is just what I needed to chill out to.

Caroline is almost thirty and widowed so is deemed to have more freedom in how she now acts. Her friend has said to her that she needs to start to live for herself, as she is now free to do so. Her idea is that she get herself a lover and the person that comes to mind is Julia’s brother John – the Duke of Sutbridge. Now her friend doesn’t come right out and say this but rather cokes Caroline
Originally Reviewed For: Bodice Rippers, Femme Fatales and Fantasy

Caroline and the Duke is a short story by Sabrina Darby. I am not usually a fan of short stories, they are just too darn short. But I liked the premise of this one.

What happens when you meet the love of your life at the ages of 18 and 20? It's a harder question than you think. In recency England a girl needed to be married as soon as possible. If she waited too long there would be someone to take her place. There will always be yo
Dec 22, 2013 Jennifer rated it liked it
What happens when a widowed lady and a duke finally submit to their des…a delightful short story from Sabrina Darby.

Lord Sutbridge has been friends with Caroline for the past 10 years and has been in love with her for just as long. She is the reason that he has yet to marry. Now that she is widowed he is determined to have her as his wife, but the lady has other plans. Lady Caroline is enjoying her freedom as a widow and has no plans to marry again. Caroline is interested in Sutbridge…just not
Elizabeth Bennet
Nov 30, 2014 Elizabeth Bennet rated it really liked it
What a delightful little read this was for me. It always amazes me when I come across something that I wouldn't think would appeal to me but proves me wrong. The duke is what appealed to me in the title and although this isn't a long book he made a great hero. Sutbridge fell for Caroline 10 years prior to the telling of this story and thought he had plenty of time before making his intentions known but to his surprise Caroline did not have that luxury and was married within months.

There was no l
Dec 11, 2013 Julie rated it really liked it
Caroline and the Duke by Sabrina Darby is an December 2013 release. I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Caroline, a widow with two sons, is free at last from a terrible marriage. She is determined to keep her freedom. Instead of being tied down in an oppressive marital situation, Caroline is looking for a lover with no emotional ties.

Sutbridge is a duke and much sought after for his title and lands. But, it was always Caroline
'“Ten years now, I’ve wanted you.” His voice was low, nearly hoarse, as if all that careful restraint had been ripped and what she heard now was the raw, ragged edge of desire.'


I don't usually read short novellas. The fun is usually over too soon. Yet, I'm a sucker for romance. I loved this short story of Caroline and John. From the start to finish it was a sweet little morsel I gulped down happily.

It's hard to write a short story and make it good, believable and make us love it. To put a fing
Heather andrews
Dec 14, 2013 Heather andrews rated it it was amazing
Short, sweet, and I loved! Caroline has doubts about getting married again because of what she went through with her first marriage, "what time, however, has gifted me is experience. As a girl, the mere touch of a man's hand on mine sent my pulse fluttering," she paused for effect, liking the shape of the sentence, of the image her words projected, "and my imagination soaring into the wilds of fantasy. I know now that love is a lie, but passion and lust are real and to be desired above all thing ...more
Jul 12, 2014 Sorcha rated it liked it
Shelves: romance, ebook, 2014
This may be a Regency romance, but Caroline is certainly not what we think of as a Regency woman. She has performed her duty - produced an Heir and Spare for her now dead husband, but is a widow before she is 30. She has sworn off marriage - she is not prepared to relinquish her freedom and rights to yet another man, but knows she still has needs and wants to enjoy herself with no strings attached

Sutbridge is the brother of her best friend, and the two of them have been attracted to each other s
Amy Alvis
Dec 14, 2013 Amy Alvis rated it really liked it
Originally reviewed for: Historical Romance Lover blog

Caroline, Lady Ballister has decided to take a lover at the urging of her best friend. Caroline had an unhappy marriage and doesn't want any emotional attachments.

She chooses the Duke of Sutbridge, who happens to be the man that she fell in love with 10 years ago. Unfortunately for Caroline, Sutbridge wants marriage. He has been regretting his lose of her since she married.

Who will win this battle of wills? Can Caroline tear down her walls to
Dec 29, 2013 Melanie rated it really liked it
This one was one of the shortest I’ve read this Christmas, but also one of the sweetest too and frankly, I was pleasantly surprised and relieved that being so short, neither the pace, plot or characters were sacrificed.

Caroline and John were likable and their story which has a long history between the two, enjoyable.

They’ve known each other fir some time, nd while Kohn lost a chance to declare himself ten years ago, now that she’s a widow, he aims to correct that and make her his wife. She on th
Caroline had an unhappy marriage, her husband was only interested in begetting heirs with her, saving his time and devotion for his mistresses.

Now a widow she wants nothing less than another husband. John has loved Caroline since they were 18 but she married another. This is his chance to make her his own.

So far, just like the blurb.

John's sister and Caroline's best friend Julia was, quite frankly, obnoxious. I fail to see why Caroline liked her at all even before she started trying to bring the
Kris - My Novelesque Life
2 Stars

(I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review).

Caroline was once in love with Duke Sutbridge but he was not quick enough to propose so she married another man with a title. The man she married was cruel and even after giving him an heir and a spare he still lavished all his attention on his mistress. When he dies Caroline does not want to get trapped into another arranged marriage.

Her married friend and sister of Sutbridge tells her to find a lover instead so she can
Dec 16, 2013 Cerian rated it really liked it
Originally published at Rookie Romance.

I'm going to keep this review short and sweet, just like the book.

I was very impressed by how well developed the story was, considering the length of the story. It only took about 20 minutes to read.
I think because Sutbridge and Caroline already had a history together, it made it easier to have a meaningful relationship and the romance didn't seem too sudden.
Caroline is definitely not interested in marrying again after a loveless and cold first marriage, bu
I had never read anything by this author before but the NetGalley blurb sounded interesting. I also hadn't realized that this was a short story (though it does say it right on the cover.)
Normally, I don't really enjoy short stories, but Ms. Darby created some characters that I quite enjoyed.
Caroline, Lady Ballister, is a widow. Marriage? Been there, done that. At the story's open, she is in a ballroom with her best friend Julia, discussing possible lovers. Julia offers up her brother, a man tha
Yericka Avilés
Jul 03, 2015 Yericka Avilés rated it liked it
2.5 Stars
It was an OK read, well written, few to no grammatical errors.
I feel like the author should have made this longer. I wanted to know how John and Caroline met, how the love happened, how it was lost. What was delivered was just empty words. I didn't feel or believe they loved each other.

John and Caroline met when she was 18 and he 20. They "fell in love" and then she was married to another. 10 years later she's a jaded widow and he thinks he has a chance. She offers him the chance at a
Amanda Richardson
May 13, 2014 Amanda Richardson rated it really liked it
Caroline, a widow, decides she is ready to take a lover. In her first season, before her marriage, she wanted John and he wanted her. She was 18 and was expected to marry, while he was 20 and was too young to settle down. She and John have wanted each other for 10 years, John is determined to win her love and marry her, Caroline, just wants a lover.

Very sweet story, a couple of love scenes, Caroline is a little hard to like, she was married to an awful man who pretty much left her alone after sh
May 07, 2014 Joy rated it liked it

64 pages
Stand alone

At 20 the Duke thinks time is on his side to push his suit for Caro his sister's best friend but he's stunned when two months later she's married and lost to him forever or so he thinks. Ten years later she's widowed with two boys and approaches the Duke to be her play thing, he's not interested, he's holding out for marriage and this reader is thinking WHAT THE HELL? I just love this guy already. Sutlidge has a rethink, giving her what she wants just might get him what he wan
Jennifer (FFT Reviews)
A very short, but still entertaining story about two people who finally get the chance to be together after a decade. I liked the premise of this book with Caroline being a widow and John being the duke who has been in love with her for years. I just wish there had been more pages so readers could get to know more about these two as people. I did like the writing style and will probably look for more of Sabrina Darby's work in the future.

I received a free copy of this book via Netgalley in excha
Dec 22, 2013 Linda rated it really liked it
A quick read (40 pages) of reunited lovers. Ten years earlier, Caroline would have said yes if he had proposed, but a young man of twenty doesnt have to think about that. Not like a eighteen year old girl, in need of a promise.
Now, ten years later, shes a widow, confirmed in her belief to never marry again, but still with a flame burning for him.
But what does he want?
Fluff, regency and romance.
Dec 13, 2013 Christa rated it really liked it
Shelves: ebook-arc
Caroline and the Duke was an entertaining story of a widow and the man who has loved her for years. After a terrible marriage, Caroline isn't willing to be anyone's wife again, but the Duke of Sutbridge is determined to make her his this time. He missed his chance to offer for her in their youth, and he won't accept any less than her hand in marriage this time. Caroline and her Duke are both interesting, likeable characters, and I enjoyed seeing how their story played out.
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Mar 11, 2015 05:47PM  
  • The Piano Tutor
  • The Groom's Gamble (Bridal Favors, #3.5)
  • A Winter's Knight (Regency Rhapsody, #1)
  • The Only Reason for the London Season (Greenford Waters Legacy #0.5)
  • A Slight Miscalculation (Half Moon House #1.6)
  • His Request (His Client, #2)
  • The Secret Diary of Lady Catherine Bexley
  • Little Miss Independent
  • Conquest (Off-World, #3)
  • More Than Passion (Dashing Nobles, #1)
  • Tempted by His Touch
  • The World of Stephanie Laurens
  • A Wizard for Christmas
  • Maddie's Marine
  • Aching for Home
  • Duke of Deception
  • Reckless Curves
  • Holding On (Hold Trilogy, #3.5)
Sabrina Darby has been reading romance since the age of seven and learned her best vocabulary (dulcet, diaphanous, and turgid) from them. She started writing romance the day after her wedding when she woke up with an idea for a Regency; she’s been back in the early 19th century ever since.

She currently resides in California with her husband.

And for more historical romance fabulousness, join Sabrin
More about Sabrina Darby...

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