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The Duke Who Didn't

(Wedgeford Trials #1)

4.06  ·  Rating details ·  1,813 ratings  ·  461 reviews
Miss Chloe Fong has plans for her life, lists for her days, and absolutely no time for nonsense. Three years ago, she told her childhood sweetheart that he could talk to her once he planned to be serious. He disappeared that very night.

Except now he’s back. Jeremy Wentworth, the Duke of Lansing, has returned to the tiny village he once visited with the hope of wooing Chloe
Kindle Edition, 311 pages
Published September 22nd 2020 by Femtopress LLC
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2020 Fall Bingo (#fallintorombingo🍁): ‪Grumpy & Sunshine

Since our heroine Chloe loves lists, I thought that it would be fitting to write my brief review (aka All The Reasons I Liked This Book) in list form!

1) Grumpy/Sunshine vibes, y'all! Jeremy is a mischievous trickster who loves to tease Chloe and has given on ever being serious. And while Chloe isn't grumpy all the time, she's serious/no-nonsense enough that the couple dynamic still counts as a variant of Grumpy/Sunshine.

“Why not?” Jere
Lacey (laceybooklovers)
If you love an adoring hero who is the biggest DORK alive and who cannot stop cracking jokes, you’ll love Jeremy! Also, Asians!!! In a historical romance!!! One of whom is a DUKE. Bless you, Courtney Milan.
Sep 05, 2020 marked it as to-read
Recommended to Melanie by: Romie
Shelves: romance, historical
me: i just don't really read historical romance
courtney milan: *gives me THIS cover*
me: wow, i suddenly wanna be a historical romance reviewer !!

Blog | Instagram | Youtube | Ko-fi | Spotify | Twitch
Oct 03, 2020 rated it liked it
(2.5 stars) Well, I dunno. Maybe I missed something here, because I couldn't find a 5-star story in this to save my life. Yes, it's a sweet romance. Yes, it's a lovely homage to author Milan's Chinese heritage. Yes, it informs, to an extent, about prejudice, racism, and bigotry, about the importance of family and culture. These are all admirable things. And the characters here are appealing people. And I also appreciated Milan's author's notes at the end of the story, notes which were more instr ...more

What do you expect from a Courtney Milan book, right? But also, two British characters of Chinese descent falling in love in a historical romance? Sign me the fuck up. They're both absolutely wonderful characters to read, with the best kinds of suck it up moments. The only thing that might drop this below five stars for some readers is the pace and progress between no relationship and absolutely relationship, but stuff like that happens, yeah?

Anyway, I'm so excited for al
Sam (AMNReader)
In a time of pervasive toxic masculinity Milan (as usual) offers an antidote in the form of a sweet and often goofy-ish duke who lacks impulse control named Jeremy. Jeremy has a lot of names, is exactly what he seems, and all of his names make his life and dedication to Chloe a little more complicated than a rich guy loving a difficult woman.

Though I didn't find Chloe all that difficult, there are definitely shades of many women you know that are easy to spot and endear you to the character. If
Nenia ✨️ Socially Awkward Trash Panda ✨️ Campbell
Only 99 cents today!!!!!
Aug 18, 2020 marked it as to-read
Shelves: new-releases


Is the Worth Saga on indefinite hold? Is this some spinoff? Is this some completely separate new series?

I wish I didn't go nutzoid when Milan updates her GRs with any crumb of info. But seriously, the release date says Sept but release dates don't always hold true, so I'm kind of dying that it could be so close.

A new historical series by Milan!!!!
Joanna Loves Reading
First of all, I enjoyed this. It was low angst, which I enjoy. Overall, I thought it was lovely. I thought the leads were well drawn and relatable and I enjoyed the setting. I am not quite sure how I want to rate this yet. Hopefully I will figure that out by the time I get through this review.

If you are a fan of Milan, this is not a return to her old form à la Brothers Sinister, for example. It felt new. The pieces came together easily and smoothly. There was great banter, which is something to
Silvana [The Book Voyagers]
Sep 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
So happy to have read it because Courtney Milan continues to bless us with romance books. I'm so happy I live in a world (and at the same time!) where Courtney writes and publishes romance novels. Every single one hits my insides with so many emotions.

The Duke Who Didn't is a childhood friends to lovers romance where Jeremy returns to Wedgeford to finalyl ask Chloe to marry him. But Chloe was hurt when the last time he came (three years ago tho!) he broke her heart. Though Jeremy is ready with
Oct 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars
This book was such a breath of fresh air in the historical romance world. It's funny, cute, self-aware and has a genuinely interesting story as well as loveable characters and a very unique setting: the multicultural town of Wedgeford, whose population is largely comprised of characters of Asian descent.
I'm not too familiar with the historical details, but I'm sure there weren't many actual British dukes who were half Chinese. But this book just makes sense. The premise makes sense, the
Oct 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
At first, I wasn't really impressed about this book. The list making was too cutesy and all the reviews mentioned the book is a lighter read. But Sam and Heather told me they would buddy read it with me and it is Courtney Milan after all so I couldn't resist.

The beginning and the end of the book are light. The middle hit me upside the head. HARD. I do not think it is a light book at all. The characters do know what they want so they are already half-way to their happy ending. In that sense, the
*The Angry Reader*
Sep 30, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: historicals, 2020
Adorable. Slightly confusing. Funny. Meandering. A thoroughly enjoyable little read. And I loved all of the culture encapsulated in the story.

Michelle Zapf-bélanger
Ok so you all know how Tessa Dare created a seaside town called “Spindle Cove”, which is a haven for spinsters, bluestockings, and wallflowers? Basically, a whole village chock-full of romance heroines you can use for as many novels as you care to continue the series? Yeah so Courtney Milan has created the Spindle Cove OF DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION. Wedgeford is a late-Victorian English town, with a plausible backstory, where tons of people of colour live and thrive. Brilliant. The town is full of ...more
Heather *Undercover Goth Queen*
DNF for now at 40%

I barged into a buddy-read with Sam and Gaufre, only for them to finish and me to just... not. Not only that, they gave positive reviews. I'm actually finding this incredibly boring. As with many of Milan's previous works, everyone and everything is just so nice, and that's not my thing. Maybe I'll try to finish it some other time.
Melissa McHugh
Sep 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Received this book as an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Overall Impressions

It’s been a while since Courtney Milan’s last full-length historical novel (After the Wedding, 2018) and as a devoted follower on Twitter, I know that the last few years have been difficult for her because people are terrible and stupid. You might expect her first book to be a fluffy, delightful farce that distracts us all from the dumpster fire of 2020.

You’d be right.

You’d also be terribly wrong.

Somehow, this book
Nov 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
The town of Wedgeford is a nineteenth century melting pot of cultures squatting on an absent duke's land. The people of Wedgeford are proud of their heritage but still dream of doing well in England. Few more so than Chloe Fong and her father, working towards a plan to market a nameless sauce and get their revenge on businessman who ripped off Chloe's father.

Jeremy Wentworth is a young well-off half-Chinese man who has been visiting Wedgeford for a festival called the Wedgeford Trials ever since
This was an ARC sent to me by the author. I had already pre-ordered the book, and the free copy has not influenced my review in any way.

Chloe Fong is seen as strict, stern, intimidating, and demanding by everyone in the little village of Wedgeford Downs, where she lives with her father. Chloe's mother died when she was a baby, and Chloe's father was taken advantage of by unscrupulous businessmen, who have now gotten rich because of the sauce he developed for them. Chloe wants to help her father
nick (the infinite limits of love)

That's it. That's my review.
Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
Thank you for the gift, Green as Grinch Grouch!
Oct 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing

I loved this. This was the softest, gentlest, most beautiful romance I've read in a long while, and it was just what I needed.

Thank you, Courtney Milan. I hope you continue to find joy in writing like this.
Sep 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2021
First book of 2021! I loved so much about this. Courtney Milan did what Shondaland does so well with Bridgerton -- took a standard romance story, imbued it with history that involves people of color, and created something fun and clever and wonderful. It wasn't the retelling of Persuasion I was originally expecting based on early reviews, but it was something altogether its own and I enjoyed it that much more.


Aug 21, 2020 marked it as to-read
Recommends it for: Courtney Milan, Historical Romance
August 21, 2020
It Wasn't Too Much To Ask...
Miss Chloe Fong Explained The Obvious...
One Needed To Be Serious...
One Needed To Stop The Shenanigans...

Jeremy Wentworth, Her Childhood Sweetheart...
Was Smitten And He Was Told...
Stop The Nonsense and Then...
Miss Chloe Fong Will Converse With Him...

Unfortunately, Then Jeremy Wentworth Disappeared...

During His Time Away...
He Tried And Tried...
To Be What Miss Fong Wanted...
But There Was A Couple of Problems...

Mainly, No Matter What He Did...
His Persona
Sep 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
An objective 4 stars. I wanted to love it more than I did. The writing was superb as usual, but I found myself forgetting this was supposed to be historical. It didn't feel historical to me, (not because of the race/ethnicity of the characters) perhaps due to the language. I can't call it anachronistic because I don't know. Maybe it was.

I was shocked to see it was supposed to be a retelling of Persuasion, because I didn't see that at all.

I loved Jeremy. Chloe was okay. The food was wonderfully
This was an enjoyable read. It was funny, light and the gentle banter between Chloe and Jeremy was exactly what my soul needed right now. It was honestly refreshing that no major drama or miscommunication happened in the course of this novel I kept waiting for the shoe to drop in the end regarding Jeremy revealing he is the duke but (view spoiler) ...more
Sep 12, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: earc, 2020
I received an ARC of the book for review purposes. My opinions are my own.

This was a lovely, cosy and warm historical romance that's just the right mix of smart, funny and heartfelt. Chloe and Jeremy's affection and attraction are believable and worth rooting for - they're adorable together, their chemistry is visible on page and their happy ending was satisfying. I enjoyed spending time with them in Wedgeford and I loved the subtle humour as well as the more obviously comical moments, but perha
Mary Bertke
Sep 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
You can only read a book for the first time once, and I meant to make this one last. I meant to savor it, enjoy its complexities, not bolt it down in a single sitting. So I put it down several times through the day, between chapters, and did other things.

And that’s how it happened that I finished reading the author’s note at the end of Courtney Milan’s _The Duke Who Didn’t_ at one in the morning, rather than in the early evening.

This book is extremely unusual amongst romance novels, in that the
I haven't read any of this author's historicals, but have liked her contemproy romances. So I thought it was worth checking this one out. Sadly this one didn't work for me, giving it up around 30%. I found I was bored, I have a feeling that Jeremy's secret identity will not come out good and oddly enough I found myself more interested in knowing what they were going to name the sauce, but it wasn't enough to keep me reading. This one just wasn't for me. ...more
Sep 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
One of the few books I’ve been able to finish during COVID, and it was a very good escape to a place a little brighter and kinder. I am so grateful to Courtney Milan for her softer books, ones that don’t have a gut drop of conflict and betrayal in the middle. Those are thrilling and fun in their own right, and I enjoy reading them during other times, but right now? I love the soft reveals of honesty and the loving acceptances, and this book had them in droves.
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Courtney Milan’s books have received starred reviews in Publishers Weekly and Booklist. She is a New York Times and a USA Today Bestseller and a RITA® winner.

Courtney lives in the Rocky Mountains with her husband, an exceptionally perfect dog, and an attack cat.

Before she started writing historical romance, Courtney got a graduate degree in theoretical physical chemistry from UC Berkeley. After th

Articles featuring this book

  Talia Hibbert is a USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. A lifelong bookworm, she’s known for haunting the local library,...
81 likes · 17 comments
“His cooking had always been excellent, but the addition of spite to every recipe had brought an extra level of brilliance.” 3 likes
“British people love their non-British sauces, as long as they don’t know they’re not British.” 2 likes
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