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A Duke in Disguise

(Regency Imposters #2)

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  1,097 ratings  ·  221 reviews
One reluctant heir

If anyone else had asked for his help publishing a naughty novel, Ash would have had the sense to say no. But he’s never been able to deny Verity Plum. Now he has his hands full illustrating a book and trying his damnedest not to fall in love with his best friend. The last thing he needs is to discover he’s a duke’s lost heir. Without a family or a proper
Kindle Edition, 216 pages
Published April 9th 2019 by Avon Books
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Average rating 3.80  · 
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 ·  1,097 ratings  ·  221 reviews

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Start your review of A Duke in Disguise (Regency Imposters, #2)
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

He held out a hairpin.
“When did you start carrying those in your pocket?” she asked, recalling that this was not the first time he had produced a timely hairpin. A very faint blush darkened Ash’s cheekbones and Verity felt her lips curl upward in response.
“I find them all over the house,” he said. “You ought to consider what conditions you’re subjecting your

Damn it. I was sure I was going to love this one. I loved parts of it. But then there were other parts that were less enjoyable for me.

*spoilers below*

I love that Sebastian included so much real history in the form of the female lead’s brother being involved in some seditious dissent against the British government and aristocracy. But then he was tidily bundled up and sent to America pretty early on and that all sort of disappeared.

I love that the female lead is bisexual and very upfront about h
Apr 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
I've given this a B at AAR.

Cat Sebastian returns to Regency London for the second instalment of her  Regency Imposters  series, A Duke in Disguise, in which an illustrator and a prickly publisher who have been close friends for a decade have to decide if friendship is really enough, or whether it’s worth risking what they have for the possibility of something more.  It’s a well-written story with a very strong sense of time and place featuring two engaging and complex principals; there’s a nod
Sam (AMNReader)
"Leave it to Ash to spend a fortnight courting the meanest cat in London." He looked at her, his eyes lit up with amusement, his mouth round with surprise. "He has a type."

The first 20%-30% of this book just clicked with me. I've seen everyone's ratings and was confused during that time thinking "But I LOVE this"...and now I see why they are mediocre.

There's so much Cat Sebastian does right, but in the second installment of the Regency Imposters, tension is missing. Everything ends up feeling
Sep 01, 2018 marked it as to-read
Shelves: mf
It's Cat Sebastian...if anyone can get me to read a "straight up" MF title, she can.
Mar 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: romance, 2019
"Be serious, Plum. There's far too much cheese for you to eat on your own."
"How little you know me," she said mournfully. This was a seduction. She was being seduced with cheese and lewd drawings and she could not be happier about it.

To quote Marie Kondo, "This sparks joy."

Cat Sebastian is one of my favorite historical romance authors, and I was thrilled to receive an early copy of the second installment in the Regency Imposters series. Her books never fail to make me feel warm and fuzzy, and th
I'm having trouble with this one! On the one hand, I liked it. On the other, I thought it needed just a little something else. I never really cared the way I should have, the way I've cared about her other characters in past books.

Verity Plum is a publisher and bookseller; John Ashby is an engraver. They have known one another for ages, and always a low-simmering attraction they've both ignored has been present. Both for different reasons have been scared to change their dynamic. But then a ser
2.5 stars

Unfortunately, this is my least favorite and probably, in my humble opinion, Sebastian's most below par novel to date. The reasons for 10 years pining and keeping the feelings to one self feel weak.

I found the romance to be sparkless. I tend to love friends to lovers romance, but I can't get excited for this one. Doesn't help that I felt like there were TONS of background story started off page.

I appreciated a bisexual female heroine though, and we have the female lover on page as well
Jul 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars. Very enjoyable and amusing. It's Cat Sebastian, so that's a given, right? How cool to read a *queer* m/f historical romance! This is an entertaining radical love story about sedition and friendship between a grumpy and independent radical queer lady publisher and a lovely radical epileptic orphan artist-engraver. They both hate the nobility and Ash is completely disgusted to discover he is to become a duke and he resists it and I loved that. They are best friends and have been in love ...more
Leigh Kramer
This is Cat Sebastian’s first m/f pairing but it’s still queer as hell. Verity has only been with women before and doesn’t find much to commend about men. She certainly never wants to marry a man, as it strikes her as a raw deal for women. Ash, on the other hand, has been in love with Verity for years but knows he doesn’t have a shot with her, at least not something long-lasting. Because he was orphaned at a young age, he does not want the possibility of his children being bastards. So there’s A ...more
BFF to more is one of my favorite things, so I was all over this book + the promise of a new to me author was something I couldn’t ignore.

I loved Verity and Ash. I loved their button pushing and loyalty. I loved her saltiness and his charm. I absolutely loved how they complimented and accepted each other. Verity’s brother Nate was a bit lacking, but I was especially smitten with Amelia and I hope we get more of her.

Plot wise, it didn’t quite go in the direction I was expecting. There was a lot
Link to live tweeting thread:

I'm very into aristocrat-hating MCs these days.

Disclaimer: I’ve interacted with the author, but these are my honest opinions about the book.
Amy Aelleah
Aug 22, 2018 marked it as to-read
*snicker/snort* 'Yes, this is an actual M/F romance.' *cough* Definitely hoping that we will still get some LGBT rep.
Putting this on pause at 30%. I love the concept of having queer MCs in an MF romance. However, I'm having difficulties connecting with the characters.
Apr 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Originally published at Reading Reality

I finished this a week or so ago, but unlike my usual habit, I did not immediately write up the review. It took me a few days to figure out why I didn’t want to revisit the book.

I think it’s that I was disappointed.

I expected to love this book. The first book in the series, Unmasked by the Marquess, was filled with light and verve and was just amazeballs. The author had managed to take a genre that has been done to death and took it into an entirely new dir
Elley Murray
Rating 4.5 stars

First off, HOORAY for a neurodivergent MC and a bisexual MC! *throws a party* When Cat Sebastian tweeted something about A Duke in Disguise being her first m/f romance, I was little like "but why?" Not that I don't read all sorts of romances (I do), but Cat does queer romance SO WELL. And if you haven't read the first book in the Regency Imposters series, Unmasked by the Marquess yet, GO DO IT - Robin is a nonbinary MC and the entire book is just AMAAAAZE. But I digress.

I'm a li
May 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Ash is the best friend of Nate and Verity Plum who run a Georgian publishing house. Various issues with both Ash and Verity's pasts have kept them from taking their deep affection for each other into a full relationship, but events overtake them and they do end up falling into one. But those events include that Ash isn't a bastard as he was raised to believe, but instead the son of a duke hidden from his family for his protection. Of course when the truth comes to light, a relationship with the ...more
Jul 14, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: queer-rep
I thought I was going to love this because the main characters emphatically state numerous times that they hate the aristocracy and everything they stand for. I thought I was finally gonna get a Regency romance where the dukes and viscounts and earls and marquesses are given the literary version of a dressing down they so richly deserve. I also thought that it was gonna be an interesting study in how one reconciles one's own beliefs and principles with unforeseen circumstances, considering the t ...more
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
Much as I loved Cat Sebastian's first trilogy, I've been less entranced with her subsequent efforts. A Duke in Disguise is by far my least favorite so far. The historical aspects are all done very well, as per usual, but the romance is the definition of tepid, and, well, that's what I was here for.

To start off, I did like Verity's job a lot. She runs the family's press, producing newspapers and books. Her brother writes political tracts, but Verity's the one who keeps the household and the pres
Jan 10, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020
I love a good secret nobility book! I'm really liking Cat Sebastian's plots, but there's something about the writing that isn't grabbing me. I'm enjoying it enough to keep reading for sure though.
Sep 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
I love Cat Sebastian’s historicals because they don’t abide by the usual strictures of the genre. The characters aren’t all straight, rich, or members of the nobility, and the women aren’t all virgins who have to be taught everything by men. (I am SO OVER quivering virgins.) It’s just so refreshing to read a historical romance that doesn’t erase queer people, working class people, and women who lived full lives outside of ballrooms and drawing rooms. Verity is a radical bookseller and publisher, ...more
Apr 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019
If you like your Regency romance with a radical twist, Cat Sebastian is the author for you. Another great book!
Ash has never been able to deny Verity Plum anything, so he reluctantly agrees to help her with some scandalous illustrations for a novel she's publishing in an effort to keep her family's publishing company afloat. He's always tried his best to hide his feelings and keep them from developing further since his friendship with Verity and her brother, Nate, is a fragile thing. Ash has been mostly alone his entire life and he can't afford to lose either of them. Besides he knows Verity has made it ...more
Cat Sebastian dedicated A Duke in Disguise to all the ‘difficult heroines’ and Verity Plum was definitely one of them. That wasn't a bad thing per say. In fact I on many occasions have loved heroines who others have deemed too cold, too harsh, too emotionally closed off, etc. etc. Basically any heroine that’s afraid to be vulnerable as that vulnerability could lead her to losing a vital part of herself or the independence she had worked so hard to cultivate in the first place, well, those heroin ...more
Longer review later, hopefully, but honestly all the reasons I stopped reading the book earlier this year still apply even now that I've finished it.

Original review: I really, really hate to do this, because I've been looking forward to this book and I LOVE the characters so far, but this is going to have to be a dnf-for-now at 50%. I am just Not In The Mood for anything coming up in the second half, based on what's happened so far and other reviews I've read.
Super spoilery reasons that I quit:
Mar 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Friends to lovers romance with a wee bit of sedition and Perkin Warbeck slash-fic. What’s not to love?

If you were hoping for a little Pembroke-and-Robin action, they don’t appear as characters here, although Mrs Allenby and Amelia appear as wonderful additions to this story. This narrative is almost parallel to that of Unmasked by the Marquess.

(To the cover designer: Verity would NEVER wear that gown.)
I want Cat Sebastian to slap me in the face because I know she'd find a cool and interesting way to do it, and somehow it would be everything I've always needed but didn't know I wanted.
Apr 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: edelweiss
This is only the second book I've read by Cat Sebastian, but I've already become a fan of her writing. I loved "A Duke in Disguise," a refreshingly different take on historical romance. Verity and Ash were such likeable, well-developed characters and I really appreciated the fact that they managed to stay true to themselves despite the many changes that took place over the course of the story. Not only that, both Ash and Verity were clear on what they wanted and were willing to accept in terms o ...more
Cat Sebastian novels are my catnip. She excels at writing my favorite trope (grump falls for cinnamon roll) and it’s on full display here. A Duke in Disguise is a delightful friends-to-lovers tale of the growing romance between a bisexual publisher and an illustrator. Verity and Ash have known each other for years but their bond begins to change when Verity commissions erotic drawings from Ash for a book she’s publishing. Cut to seduction over cheese plates and me losing my heart over these two. ...more
May 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shh, don't tell anyone but this was actually my first Cat Sebastian, but it absolutely will not be my last!

"Friends to lovers" is not my trope of choice for many reasons, but mostly because I just prefer the push and pull of enemies to lovers or the spark of new when strangers meet cute. That said, Sebastian pulls this FTL romance with aplomb. I adored Ash's struggle to keep from starting at Verity too long, to keep from touching her. He aches to do both, but treasures her friendship and his pla
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Cat writes steamy, upbeat historical romances. They usually take place in the Regency, generally have at least one LGBTQ+ main character, and always have happy endings.

Before writing, Cat was a lawyer and a teacher. She enjoys crossword puzzles, geeking out over birds, gardening badly, and–of course–reading. In high school, her parents went away for a week, and instead of throwing raucous parties,

Other books in the series

Regency Imposters (3 books)
  • Unmasked by the Marquess (Regency Imposters, #1)
  • A Delicate Deception (Regency Imposters, #3)

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“One who didn’t roll his sleeves up in such a wanton manner, for example. How she was meant to get anything done in such close proximity to forearms, she did not know.” 0 likes
“Plum, if you think I object in the least to your perverse ruminations, you have badly misjudged me. Now,” he said, rising to his feet and brushing invisible dirt from his trousers, “I’m off to draw you some well-fucked women.” 0 likes
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