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Last Duke Standing

A lovingly crafted historical novel with a deeply satisfying mystery! -- A "Crowned Heart" from InD' Tale Magazine

Lady Georgiana is engaged to the Duke of Fordham, though she's not particularly keen on the prospect. She admires him but doesn't love him-not passionately. She knew she would have to make an advantageous marriage, so things could be worse. Unfortunately, worse happens. The Duke's younger brother, Alex, now the new Duke of Fordham, arrives to give his brother's Fiancée the news of his death. When she insists on seeing the body, she recognizes signs that he's been suffocated. And the chase is on. Several people, including the new duke, were at the duke's country estate for a shooting party, and each has a motive for murder. As Georgiana and Alex try to solve the mystery, she sees the striking physical resemblance between Alex and his deceased brother. So why does he stir something in her that his brother never could? Worse yet, what if she falls for her Fiancé's killer?

"The Last Duke Standing" is a wonderful mystery tale in the vein of Agatha Christie. Ms. Bolen does a masterful job creating suspects, then cleverly entwining their motives to keep her readers guessing 'whodunit.' The chemistry between the two main characters builds slowly and inevitability, despite Georgiana's suspicions that Alex has the strongest motive for killing his brother. The plot whizzes along building suspense, within the structured, highly-mannerly world of Regency England, and brings the period to life without it becoming stale or overly affected. By the end readers will be rooting for Georgiana and Alex to break through the social strictures that hold them apart while unmasking the culprit. A lovingly crafted historical novel with a deeply satisfying mystery!


"An exquisitely written historical romantic suspense with very appealing characters" -- Fresh Fiction

Alexander Haversham had gone to the family estate to draft a bill for Parliament, with his friend Lord Slade. During the night, Alex's older brother Freddie, the Duke of Fordham, died unexpectedly and Alex was now the new duke. The fourth Duke of Fordham in as many years -- was the family cursed? Alex faces another daunting task that to inform Freddie's betrothed, Lady Georgiana Fenton, that her fiancé is deceased. Instead of being hysterical, Georgiana insists on seeing Freddie's body and then proclaims that he had been murdered. Alex and Georgiana both want to find the killer, and as much as she likes him, Georgiana cannot help but think that Alex had the most to gain from his brother's death.

A friend of mine has been a faithful reader of Cheryl Bolen for a long time, and I surmised there was nothing like the present to judge for myself. And I was enchanted by Ms. Bolen from page one. The author's prose is refined, polished, elegant and very much in tune with the Regency era. Her vocabulary is as impressive as is her attention to detail; her descriptions of the surroundings are crisp and vivid; the characters are carefully drawn, and her precision extends to the relationships that tie everyone together. While it's obvious that the two previous books concern Alex's best friends -- Lord Slade and Lord Wycliff -- I never felt left out. Alex is a wonderful hero: charismatic, a charming rake and a gentleman who respects Georgiana's boundaries and appreciates her intellect. Georgiana is a superlative heroine: opinionated, matter-of-fact, practical, and independent in ways that remain perfectly acceptable in an era that was not too kind to women. Georgiana's mother, Lady Harworth, is a constant source of entertainment and humor.

Cheryl Bolen achieves a perfect balance between the very compelling mystery and a most lovely romance, highlighted by very witty dialogues. I had decided to read a few pages for a quick preview, but instead, I kept on reading. I was completely immersed in LAST DUKE STANDING because of the exquisite prose and dialogues, the steady pace that wouldn't let me tear myself away from the book, and the undeniable chemistry that bound Alex and Georgiana. I also very much appreciated that no lengthy and unnecessary sex scenes disrupted the flow and the tone; there are, but a couple of chaste kisses and everything was as it should have been. There is nothing quite like discovering a new author whose work leaves you entirely satisfied. -- Fresh Fiction

"This book really ticked all the boxes for me and it gripped me from start to finish. " -- Dragonrose Books Galore

Last Duke Standing is the third book in the Lords of Eton series by Cheryl Bolen. It can easily be read as a standalone book but if you haven't read the first two you will definitely want to after this one. I have loved each book including this one.

Alex Fordham is devastated when he is told that his brother has passed away in his sleep. Not only is he shocked because his brother was a very healthy man, but he also never thought as a third son that he would ever become Duke Fordham! One of his first jobs is the very sad one of informing his brother’s betrothed that he is dead.

Lady Georgiana Fenton is that woman. She has had a long engagement to the late duke mainly because her mother had been very ill and she was helping nurse her back to health before the marriage could take place. It had actually been quite some time since she saw her fiance but she faithfully wrote him letters daily. When Alex informed her of the bad news, quite unexpectedly she demanded to be taken to see his body. Until then she would never believe he was dead. Alex agreed and they travelled to the Ducal estate where the body was still in bed where it was recently discovered.

There starts the drama of the story...after looking at his eyes and also seeing a small drop of blood on the pillow Georgiana tells Alex that her fiance had been smothered to death. A doctor's visit confirmed her statement and everybody was left in shock! Why would anybody want to kill Alex's brother and who had the opportunity?

I am not saying anything else because I don't want to give any spoilers. What I will say is that early on in the book I was a little disappointed because I thought I had guessed the murderer. It didn't matter because it would still be good to see how said person was caught! But...I was wrong in being so sure of the culprit because it wasn't too long before I was suspecting at least 3 other people. I love that I couldn't figure out who it was until he/she was revealed!

Along with the suspense of searching for the killer, there was also the budding romance between Alex and Georgiana to enjoy. There were reasons that they both weren't happy with the attraction they felt towards each other.  When they would give in and kiss, their relief was almost palpable. Afterwards, the guilt was crushing and I had to wonder how they would have their happy ending. Don't worry, there is one and I was left with a big smile on my face!

This book really ticked all the boxes for me and it gripped me from start to finish. There is nothing like a romance book written by Cheryl Bolen, add to that the fabulous suspense-filled plot and you really have an unforgettable book.  5 STARS -- Dragonrose Books Galore

"Cheryl Bolen spins a delightful tale of mystery, politics, and (of course) romance " -- IN PRINT

Alex Haversham, much to his own surprise, is the Last Duke Standing in the third tale in Cheryl Bolen’s Lords of Eton trilogy. Recently returned from service in the Peninsular War, he is stunned when his brother Freddie, the eighth Duke of Fordham, dies in his sleep, leaving Alex as the ninth Duke. As the third son, Alex never expected—nor wanted—to inherit the title.

Now he is faced with all the responsibilities of his new position, including breaking the sad news to Freddie’s fiancée, whom Alex has never met.

Lady Georgiana Fenton can hold her own in any situation, even the sudden death of the fiancé she was fond of, if not in love with. But she’s not sure what to think of this new Duke who looks so much like Freddie—but behaves so differently. And who seems to be the only person who would benefit from Freddie’s untimely, and perhaps suspicious, death.

Despite their prickly relationship—Georgiana is a Tory and Alex is a Whig—the two team up to discover the truth behind Freddie’s death, and the even more important matter of their future.

Cheryl Bolen spins a delightful tale of mystery, politics, and (of course) romance, in a most satisfying conclusion to the story of three men who bonded as boys in school and rushed to one another’s aid as adults.


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