Review: A Duel for Christmas by Rosanne E. Lortz

Title: A Duel for Christmas
Series: Jacob Pevensey Mysteries, Book 3
Author: Rosanne E. Lortz
Publisher: Madison Street Publishing
Release Date: October 1, 2018 
Genre: Historical Romance
Links*: Goodreads l Amazon l Book Depository 

After seven long years in Devon, Lady Maud Worlington returns to London to reclaim life on her own terms, but a nefarious shadow and the prospect of financial ruin dog her steps. An impulsive and unforgettable kiss under the mistletoe creates a connection with Geoffrey, the handsome, young Duke of Tilbury. Yet as pleasant as it is to have a suitor, Maud is not sure how a boy of one-and-twenty can prove an equal partner in life and the equal of all the forces mounted against her.

The Duke of Tilbury considers himself as adept at managing matters as he is at swordplay, but his beautiful new acquaintance Lady Worlington has other ideas about how to manage her complicated life. Intrigued by their stolen kiss, Geoffrey pursues Lady Worlington’s affections, only to be foiled by the lady’s own doubts, by rivals for her hand, and by a sudden death that affects both their families. When Jacob Pevensey, the investigator from Bow Street enters the scene, the duke becomes a prime suspect in the murder case. Truths are unearthed that Geoffrey would rather keep hidden, and the twelve days of Christmas race toward a perilous end.


I'm a huge fan of stories set in the Regency period. From the societal constraints and obligations to the subtle sense of romance to all the names of dukes and ladies, who doesn't want to immerse themselves in? Well, I was happy to pick up A Duel for Christmas by Rosanne E. Lortz. Only after reading the story did I realize this is part of a series, which I assume we will see some repeat characters. However, it definitely can be read as a standalone.

The premise had already interested me to pick it up, and the mystery and suspense part had me intrigue to continue on. Add on interesting main characters, one should be well immersed in the world of Lady Worlington and Duke of Tilbury, and the cloud of mystery that surrounds them. Unfortunately, it fell short in capturing my attention beyond the "First Day of Christmas," which by the way was an innovative way to separate and title each chapter.  Despite, I trekked on. Though it did pick up periodically, there were times I was reading it just for reading it, and not able to bring myself into the story. I read the story, instead of live within the story. And that differentiates it from a good story to a great story, at least for me. Despite all, I do think A Duel for Christmas is a good story. As previously said, it had a great premise and the author did a great job in keeping the characters mysterious, at least in terms of their past. If you're a fan of Regency romance or historical mysteries, give this a try.

Disclaimer: I received a digital ARC of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. This is my honest opinion.

For my review policy, please see my Disclosure page.



Rosanne E. Lortz is a writer, editor, teacher, history-lover, and mom to four boys. She loves to read, sing, draw, compose, write, and create. Education is one of her passions, particularly a classical, liberal arts education. She has taught English composition and grammar, Latin, history, music, and various other subjects for ten years at both the elementary and secondary level and is currently the Director of Academics and Admissions at Paideia Classical Christian School in Gladstone, Oregon.
Rosanne’s first book, I Serve: A Novel of the Black Prince, released in 2009. This book explores the tumultuous landscape surrounding the Hundred Years’ War and the Black Death and is a tale of arms, of death, of love, and of honor. In 2015, Rosanne began her Pevensey mysteries, novels of romantic suspense set during the British Regency (with inspiration from medieval characters and events). The first three titles are: To Wed an Heiress, The Duke’s Last Hunt, and A Duel for Christmas.

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  1. Good Morning! Thank you for the book description.These tours are great and we have found some terrific books so thanks so much.

  2. Enjoy regency fiction thanks to my niece. Vivian Furbay jtandviv(at)q(dot)com

  3. Thank you for being honest about your experience with the book! I know how hard it is to write a review that is less-than-glowing.

  4. Thank you for sharing your honest thoughts.


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