114- A Duke in the Night
Updated: Apr 5
August Faulkner, Duke of Holloway is a man with a head for business. Getting close to Clara Hayward, might lead to one of his biggest business deals yet. Clara may be drawn to August but she's not taken in by his charm. She meets him head on and August, cannot resist. Our second book of New Author November and Patron choice is Kelly Bowen's A Duke in the Night. **We're going to double the SPOILERS in this deal**
Pick up a copy of the book we read this week, A Duke in the Night by Kelly Bowen.
If you'd like to listen to a certain segment of our show, here's our outline this week:
0:00 - 06:18: Intro and Author Facts
06:18 - 10:15: Synopsis
10:15 - 12:26: Parlour
12:26 - 38:32: General Discussion
We include our synopses as a semi-transcription of the episode in our blog posts. You can learn more about how we compose these by reading this article. As a reminder though, our synopses are FULL of spoilers. Read ahead at your own risk :)
A Duke in the Night Synopsis:
August and Clara have a history. He, a swaggering youth trying to gain acceptance in the ton, decided to ask the known wallflower, Clara Hayward to dance. He had heard of her and expected to find a girl who would be rendered speechless by the encounter with a handsome young buck. For him, this was a lark.
However, August was the one rendered speechless. Clara was calm and confident, enjoying the dance and taking it as her due. There was no interaction beyond the dance, but it was not one that August soon forgot.
In fact, they did not interact again for 10 years.
Now August has risen to the rank of Duke and is known as a titan of business. He is known for taking what is failing and making it profitable. For years he’s been trying to get the property where Haverhall School for Young Ladies sits and it has finally been offered for sale. Going over the papers, August sees that Clara’s name is listed as owner. Strange and intriguing, more so, why is she, the headmistress suddenly selling after years of saying no.
Driven as always by his curiosity, he pursues this and it turns out the family shipping company has been slowly failing despite Clara’s brothers best efforts to get things back in ship shape after her father ran it almost into the ground. But August realizes that as he already has Haverhall, now he wants Strathmore Shipping, as he sees the incredible business opportunity it is.
He decides to use Clara to try and get access to her brother. While the first meeting between the pair does not go well, things do go in August’s favor when he is forced to pursue his sister, who has snuck away for the 6- week Haverhall summer course in Dover.
While there, he and Clara get to know each other better and the attraction is real. Clara’s summer courses are also very interesting. She takes a select group of girls and places them in internships of their chosen professional interest. In his sister Anne Faulkner’s case, she wished to be a hotelier and since her brother, out of guilt for not being there when she was a child, wants her to live a life of idle, luxury.
This is a bit of a contentious point with the siblings and Clara is determined to help August see that his sister is capable and ready for more.
Which he slowly sees and slowly starts to believe that maybe his ruthless business ways are not what they should be.
Things do happen in the 6-weeks in dover. There are government officials looking for smuggling operations, Anne is kidnapped by a man who thinks August did him a dirty deal but is just a greedy bastard, and Clara does find out rather quickly that August only made contact to try and weasel his way into her family’s shipping business.
We also get lots of tension and 2 very satisfying encounters.
At the end of 6 weeks no declarations have been made though. Clara is set in her independent ways and worries that August will always put business before people.
That thought feels confirmed when she does go to his house in London and finds that August is the new owner of Haverhall and has plans drawn up to tear down Haverhall. Her school and gift from her mother.
August tries to explain this was all put together before he knew her but Clara is a bit determined to see the worst in him.
It takes her sister, someone who was not an August fan, to show Clara the good side of August she knew existed.
August then makes a beautiful proposal in front of students. Instead of proposing with a ring, he proposes with the ribbon that belongs to the deed of Haverhall.
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