Suzanne Enoch - Regency Romance Author
Suzanne Enoch - Regency Romance Author



Every Duke Has His Day

September 19, 2023

Brain meets Beauty in this sparkling, fresh take on the classic Bringing Up Baby – if Jane Austen had written it! A romantic comedy with a dash of chaos featuring the most ill-behaved poodle in Regency London, by NYT bestseller Suzanne Enoch.

Michael Bromley, Duke of Woriton, has a passion, but it’s not for chasing ladies or gambling till dawn. No, his is the far more dangerous pursuit of the science of chemistry. He may be a tad eccentric, but he can navigate a society ballroom, and manage a polite conversation—if he must. He’s certainly capable of taking care of his aunt’s perfectly behaved poodle, Lancelot, while she’s on holiday.

Elizabeth “Bitsy” Dockering, third daughter of a viscount, is enjoying her second, spectacular Season in London. She is a Diamond of the Season and is adored by all—and especially by her precious black poodle, Galahad. To everyone else, however, Galahad is a demon dog. So much so that Bitsy’s most insistent beau and particular victim of Galahad’s bad manners, has hired a thief to steal the dog, clearing the way for his suit.

But none of them can plan for a chaotic encounter in the park, resulting in lost notes, a soaking in the Serpentine and an accidental dog swap…and Lancelot being kidnapped instead of Galahad! Determined to locate the dog, Michael isn’t thrilled to be saddled with a flighty female insisting on helping—except that Bitsy has a great deal more sense than he expected. And a sharp tongue to match. Still, what’s a scientist to do but continue to pursue an outcome, however unexpected it may be? But chemistry is all about attraction, and this is one formula with some hilariously romantic results.

Buy at Amazon
Buy at Barnes and NobleBooks A Million

IndieboundBuy at iBooksKobo


Every Duke Has His Day



“Don’t be cruel, Bitsy! Come down and walk with us!”

Elizabeth Dockering grinned. “I’m sorry; I can’t quite hear you,” she teased, putting a cupped hand to her ear.

Another of the young gentlemen surrounding her barouche gripped the low carriage door and raised up on his toes. “Come down and join the rabble before we all expire from yearning, oh goddess.”

“I simply want to know her opinion of the new modiste,” Anne Caufield commented from the crowd, tapping Peter Cordray’s shoulder with her parasol. “Do stop trying to suffocate my friend.”

Laughing, Elizabeth leaned forward. “You may as well stop here, William,” she said to her driver. “We’re making no headway in the barouche, anyway.”

“Yes, Miss Bitsy.” The driver pulled the carriage to a halt, a barely perceptible change from the slow walk they’d been forced to since entering Hyde Park.

Elizabeth stood, taking the upstretched fingers of the nearest gentleman—which was, of course, Lord Peter Cordray. “Thank you, Lord Peter,” she drawled with a smile, tugging on the lead wrapped around her left hand.

“I’ve begged you simply to call me Peter, Bitsy. You must—”

Peter’s plea cut off as the big black poodle leaped to the ground beside her and jammed its nose into the crotch of the Marquis of Plasser’s younger brother. The dog snorted, and Lord Peter yelped, jumping backward.

“No, Galahad,” Elizabeth ordered, making what she hoped was an apologetic chuckle as she pulled her poodle back to her side. “You naughty boy.” She squeezed Peter Cordray’s fingers with her free hand. It would never do to have her foremost suitor in a sulk all afternoon. “I’m very sorry. You know he never listens.”

“No need to chastise him, Bitsy,” Lord Peter said, tugging at his trousers and favoring her with a smile that didn’t reach his eyes. “Though I am surprised you brought Galahad along at all. He is somewhat…unpredictable, and as you can see, the park is quite lively today. You might send him home in the barouche.”

“He’s a brute,” Elizabeth agreed as she ruffled the poodle’s coiffure, “but he’s also my protector and champion. And William could never both drive the carriage and manage Galahad. Go on, William.”

“Galahad’s a very effective protector,” Anne Caufield commented, grinning. “My father’s been talking about getting a large dog for my sister Alice for the very same reason.”

“For God’s sake,” Tom Hillstead exclaimed, “at this rate we’ll all be dog bitten by the end of the Season.”

“And shot by the ladies’ fathers, if we get past the dogs,” Tom’s brother Geoffrey added.

“You all know the course of true love never did run smooth,” Elizabeth pointed out, laughing.

“Oh, now you’ve quoted the Bard,” another friend, Florence Pickery said, though Elizabeth noted that the baron’s daughter kept her fingers well away from Galahad. “You know what that means, Bitsy—you must deliver us a soliloquy.”

“Yes! What will it be, Bitsy? Lady MacBeth?”

“Cleopatra, of course!”

Elizabeth cleared her throat. Of course she had a soliloquy to hand that would suffice. Every one of them did, she would have been willing to wager. “‘What’s in a name? That which we call a rose, By any other name would smell as sweet; So Romeo would—'”

Tom groaned. “Not Romeo and Juliet, Bitsy. For God’s sake.”

She grinned. “‘So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call’d, Retain that dear perfection which he owes Without that title.’”

“You can’t think she would choose Lady MacBeth,” Anne stated. “That woman is such a schemer.”

“‘Romeo, doff thy name; And for thy name, which is no part of thee,

Take all myself.’”

“Bravo,” Lord Peter cheered, as the others laughed and applauded. “Perfection, even with such savage interruptions.”

With a curtsy, Elizabeth chuckled. “That’s all part of the challenge, as I recall. I’ll have to memorize another one now, on the chance I accidently quote the Bard again.”

“I always say, ‘the greater the challenge, the greater the reward’,” Peter added, offering his arm. “Though I don’t think that’s Shakespeare. Shall we?”

Galahad growled, and Elizabeth tugged on the lead again to distract the poodle from his fixation with Lord Peter Cordray. Yes, her friends and suitors tolerated Galahad, and even pretended to like him, but the poodle could be a handful even on the best of days. Still, he didn’t care if she snored, or if she wore the same walking dress for two Tuesdays in a row—not that she would do such a thing. Not in London and not during the Season, anyway. He did give her the excuse of a few moments’ thought and distance when she required it, and he never failed to cure her of an ill mood. And he always, always, watched out for her.

“Have you seen Lady Prudence Fulton’s new dog?” Lord Peter asked, sending a glance over his shoulder when Elizabeth’s petite maid, Peggy, nearly bashed him with the parasol she was attempting to hold over the two of them. “A delightful little thing she carries in a basket over one arm. She calls him Cricket.”

“Don’t worry about shading me, Peggy; the trees will suffice,” Elizabeth said. “I promise I won’t burn.”

“I…Yes, Miss.” Collapsing the parasol, the lady’s maid fell back to mingle with the rest of the companions trailing close behind them.

Elizabeth glanced at the light-haired man walking beside her. “Are you suggesting I should give away Galahad in favor of a smaller dog, then, my lord?”

“I am only sharing information with one dog lover about another,” he said smoothly. “You know I adore you, which means I adore Galahad.”

On her other side the poodle growled, and she tugged the lead again. “Well, we’re both very flattered to hear that, my lord, though you should be glad Galahad doesn’t understand enough English to know you suggested he be replaced.”

“I’ve begun to fear the same for myself,” he commented. “We’ve known each other for better than a year, and despite my pleas you still won’t address me more familiarly.”

“I rarely call any gentleman by his given name, Lord Peter.”

He pulled her to a stop, shifting to face her. “Bitsy, I’m not jesting. You must give me some small measure of hope that you feel at least a fraction of the passion for me that I feel for you.” The marquis’s brother lifted a hand toward her face, as if to cup her cheek. “Please say you’ll call me Peter, and I can die a hap—"

Oh, this was too much, especially in front of all her friends. Elizabeth took a step backward. Apparently sensing her abrupt discomfiture, Galahad jerked out of her grip, reared into the air, and snapped his jaws around Peter Cordray’s outstretched sleeve, barely missing his arm.


With a yelp the poodle sprinted away, leather lead flapping behind him and a good portion of fine cloth and a cufflink hanging from his mouth.

“That damned—”

“Galahad! Oh, you frightened him!”

Hiking her skirts, Elizabeth ran after her poodle. Oh, dear. It wasn’t the first time he’d taken a bite from the vicinity of one of her suitors, but he couldn’t go about biting the brothers of marquises. Not even if he’d been attempting to protect her. Lord Peter Cordray should never have tried to be so familiar with her, of course, but now no one would be gossiping about that. They’d all be wagging their tongues about how Bitsy Dockering had allowed her evil, slobbering villain of a dog to nearly bite someone. Well, she was fairly certain that if Galahad had intended to draw blood, he would have done so.

When she considered it, what the poodle had actually done was deliver a warning to all gentlemen present not to attempt to take liberties with her, and if even one of them hesitated before they attempted to loom over her with love poems or demands for a walk or a dance, then she would call Galahad a hero. Not aloud, of course, because a man finding an appropriate bride, and a bride accepting the suit of an appropriate gentleman, was, quite logically, the rule of the day. A dog standing in the way of the marriage market was unlikely to be tolerated for long.

“Miss Bitsy!” Peggy, called from behind her. “Please come back!”

“As soon as I retrieve Galahad!” Retrieving Peter Cordray’s cufflink would also help to ease his bruised sense of…whatever it was that kept men in pursuit despite the odds against them.

She caught sight of the poodle, head up and blue sleeve dangling from his mouth, trotting close by the near bank of the Serpentine. Thank goodness he hadn’t gone far. Slowing to a more dignified walk, she crossed a riding trail and then a walking path that bordered the water. Her relief caught in her throat, though, as Galahad lurched into a run again—this time making straight for a black poodle nearly his size. Its owner stood by the pond, the lead loose in his hand and his attention clearly on a handful of papers rather than the impending disaster.

“Galahad!” she yelled again, ignoring the startlement of the crowd around her. “No!”

The two dogs came together in a flurry of barking, black, curling fur and flying slobber, splashing into the shallow lake…and dragging the man still attached to the second poodle with them. Oh, good heavens. He kept to his feet, one hand clutching the papers and the other holding onto his blue beaver hat—no easy task with the lead wrapped around his arm.

“Let go of the lead!” she yelled at him, before he could get himself drowned or something equally horrible.

He turned, pinning her with a glare. For a heartbeat, despite his expression, the perfect…symmetry of his face, the deep brown eyes beneath long lashes and curved brows, even his flattened, annoyed mouth—all struck her with the force of a blow to her chest.

“Adonis,” she breathed.

“What?” he asked. At that moment both dogs barreled into his legs, knocking him onto his backside. The papers, hat, and lead all went flying, and he splashed into the water up to his neck. “Damnation!” he cursed, standing again and plucking pages out of the water rather than wading to dry land as any sane man would have done.

Now one of the poodles seemed to be attempting to mount the other, and while with their wet fur and wrestling about she couldn’t tell which was Galahad, she could certainly guess. “Galahad! Leave that dog alone!”

The man swept up his wet hat and jammed it on his head. One hand clutching the mess of papers, he reached out with the other and snagged the collar of the top dog. “Off, you brute,” he growled, dragging the two poodles onto the shore.

Now that he was out of the water and not tangled in poodles, Elizabeth could see that he was well, if plainly, dressed. But as she didn’t recognize him—and she knew practically everyone of note in Mayfair—she couldn’t imagine who he might be. Perhaps a solicitor, or a clerk of some sort, though neither of those would be likely to appear in Hyde Park during strolling hours. Even in his ridiculous soggy cravat and dripping coat he seemed more annoyed than embarrassed and still ridiculously well-favored, his gaze direct and remaining on her as he and the dogs slogged onto the pathway in front of her.

With a bark Galahad twisted sideways, nearly escaping the man’s grip as he grabbed up the torn, sodden sleeve again. Well, at least Lord Peter hadn’t lost his cufflink. Elizabeth held out one gloved hand, and the man slapped the end of her dog’s lead onto her palm.

“Thank you,” she murmured with her most charming smile.

“Your animal needs to learn some discipline,” he snapped, water dripping from the brim of his sagging hat.

Elizabeth blinked. People—men—didn’t rebuke her. “If you’d paid more attention to your animal than your…love letters, you might have seen him coming and prevented this mess,” she shot back at him.

He lifted one curved eyebrow. “‘Love letters?’” he repeated, ignoring the snickering of the crowd around them. “I’ll have you know this is a scientific treatise on the composition of base elements.”

“Well, I’ll have you know that I don’t care what it is, and you look ridiculous.”

Brown eyes narrowed. “At least I have an excuse for my appearance. If not for your lips moving, I would have thought you a dressmaker’s mannequin. And your speech is that of a spoiled child attempting to evade responsibility for something clearly her fault.”

“‘A dressmaker’s…Oh!” Men as a rule didn’t insult her, either. Too many of them wanted to marry her. But now, while his insult had several interpretations, she’d evidently just been called pretty and empty-headed. And spoiled, though that one didn’t take any interpretation. He’d just come out and said it. “You are rude!”

“Bitsy,” Peter Cordray said, trotting up to her, one arm exposed to the elbow.

If he meant this to be a rescue, he should have arrived much more quickly, she decided, though that did seem rather uncharitable of her to think so. At the least, he hadn’t insulted her. “My lord.”

“There’s no need for fisticuffs, either of you. I’m certain that more than anything else Woriton wishes to go home and don a dry set of clothes, and you’ve the Sommerset ball to prepare for.”

Woriton. “You’re the Duke of Woriton?” she asked as she spun back to pin the tall man with a glare. “Well. You certainly live up to your reputation, Your Grace.”

“And you are?”

Peter cleared his throat. “Ah. Allow me. Woriton, Miss Elizabeth Dockering. Bitsy, Michael Bromley, the Duke of Woriton.”

The duke regarded her for another moment, then tugged on his poodle’s lead. “Come along, Lancelot. I’ve had enough of madwomen today.”

They walked away, the poodle balking only to be sternly spoken to before falling in beside his master. Elizabeth watched them for a moment, tugging back against Galahad’s pull as her poodle attempted to go after them again. “Oh, no, you don’t. You’ve made enough trouble today, Galahad,” she muttered, facing Peter Cordray. “That was Woriton? I’d heard he was old and walked with a cane and an ear trumpet.” He had certainly had neither of those things with him, and she wouldn’t have put his age anywhere over thirty, if that. His manners and madness, though, was something else entirely. “How do you know him?”

With a frown, pulling at the frayed end of his sleeve with his other hand, Lord Peter glanced after the duke. “He and my brother went to school together. Don’t worry about him; he’s a complete Bedlamite.”

Well, he certainly was that. If she’d initially thought him handsome, it had only been because he was standing quite a distance away. Yes, that must have been it. “How is it he’s allowed to be out in public, then?”

The frown became a grimace. “He’s a smart Bedlamite. And a very wealthy one. Anyway, I find it more amusing that your dogs’ names mesh, and that Galahad handed Lancelot a bruising.”

“Galahad handed you a bruising, as well,” Tom Hillstead pointed out, gesturing at Peter’s missing sleeve as the rest of her friends regrouped beside the lake.

“Yes, I’ll forgive that, though, since he put that stiff-spined Woriton into the Serpentine.” The marquis’s brother eyed Galahad. “I would appreciate getting that cufflink back, however. It was a gift.”

Oh, yes, that. Elizabeth squared her shoulders. “Give it, Galahad,” she ordered in her most confident voice, holding out one hand. The poodle, fur still drooping and water running off him in rivulets, looked up at her, lowered his tail, and dropped the sleeve onto her palm. Well. That almost never worked. Not unless she had a bit of beef to offer as a trade.

Trying not to look surprised, she straightened, handing the torn cloth and attached gemstone to Peter. “There you are, my lord. Please send me the bill for your coat’s repair or replacement; my father will certainly recompense you.”

He nodded. “I appreciate the gesture, but it’s unnecessary, Bitsy. Your company is recompense enough.”

“Smoothly done, Peter,” Geoffrey Hillstead put in. “That may even get you a dance with our diamond at the Sommerset ball this evening.”

As much as Elizabeth disliked promising dances before the actual event, Peter had certainly earned some consideration. “It will get you a waltz, Lord Peter,” she decided, smiling.

“I say, Bitsy,” Tom protested. “What about a dance for me, then?”

“And me?” his brother added.

She put up her hand. “Oh, no, you don’t,” she said, keeping her smile to show that she knew they were jesting. Mostly. Over-eager gentlemen seeking an advantage were nothing new in her experience. “I owe Lord Peter an apology. As for the rest of you, I will wait to see who makes an appearance at the Sommerset fete, and then I will decide with whom I care to take a turn about the room.”

“And what if Woriton makes an appearance?” Anne Caufield suggested, giggling behind her hand.

“Considering I’ve been out for two Seasons and today is the first time I’ve set eyes on the Duke of Woriton, I wouldn’t wager a penny that he would join his fellows at a dance. If he were even invited. A soiree is hardly the place for a madman.” Elizabeth recovered her parasol from her maid and opened it, appreciating again what a handy tool it was in keeping any overeager gentlemen from taking her arm. “If he did, I would certainly never dance with him.” She sniffed. “I might stomp on his foot, though.”

Her friends laughed, as she’d known they would. Yes, that was her, the witty one with hordes of admirers and suitors and hangers-on, and one rude man with whom she was barely acquainted but who evidently thought her nothing more than a spoiled, empty-headed, addle-pated ninnyhammer.


back to booklist page