Along Came a Duke by Elizabeth Boyle
Publisher & Release Date: Harper Collins Publishers, May 29, 2012
Time and setting: 1810, Sussex, London
Genre: Historical Regency Romance
Length: 388 pages
Heat Level: 1 Scorching Hot Flame
Rating: 4.5 Gold Crowns
New York Times bestselling RITA® Award winner Elizabeth Boyle is a wonder, and with Along Came a Duke—the first book in her delectable Rhymes with Love series based on well-known nursery rhymes—she proves once more that no one writes wittier, more endearing and original historical romance. Returning once more to England during the colorful Regency Era, Boyle transports readers to the small town of Kempton, where a local curse prevents the female residents from wedding—a fact that cannot deter a plucky young heiress who needs to marry to inherit her fortune, as she strikes out for London to wed a rakish and unsuspecting duke. Funny, touching, and wonderfully sensuous, Along Came a Duke is a prime example of the exceptional romantic magic that puts Elizabeth Boyle in the same master class as Lisa Kleypas and Christina Dodd.
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It has been a while since I have read a book by Elizabeth Boyle. I am so glad I picked Along Came a Duke to re-enter Ms. Boyle’s amazing writing world. I thoroughly enjoyed being transported back to Regency England in this wonderful story. Elizabeth Boyle does not disappoint!
This is a fast-paced romance from start to finish. In fact, while listening to it, I had a difficult time stopping to take care of mundane tasks. This book has a sweetly developing love story, yet Ms. Boyle kept it going with excellent sexual tension, one of the things I love most about historical romances.
Tabitha Timmons is a wonderful heroine. With just the right amount of spunky kid rolled into the waif character arch. While this starts out as a Cinderella story, it is much more than that. I loved the heroine’s lively spirit and saucy tongue when dealing with the bad boy duke.
At first, I didn’t think I would like the Duke of Preston’s character. He is a bit brash in the beginning and Ms. Boyle paints his character as an uncaring, notorious rake to such a point that he is no longer received by polite society. As the story unfolds, his back story pulled at my heart, and had me misty-eyed for the sad young boy he must have been. His need to always have company when he dines shows his vulnerable side.
Since I listened to the audio version, I want to mention the narration by Susan Duerden. She does an outstanding job giving all the characters distinctive voices, from the heroine to the servants. It was easy to figure out who was speaking. Unfortunately, I struggled while listening to the narrative portion of the book. Ms. Duerden has a bit of a sing-song tone to her voice. However, that is not present during the dialogue.
I always love a traditional Regency romance with the added benefit of the slow burn of sexual tension building to the actually love scene. If you enjoy historical romances, then Along Came a Duke is sure to please. I know I found it completely satisfying. Happy reading!