Duke with Benefits by Manda Collins
Publisher & Release: St. Martin’s Press, June 27, 2017
Time and Setting: Regency period, London
Genre: Historical Romance/Regency
Book Length: 320 pages
Heat Level: 1 Flame
Rating: 3.25 Gold Crowns
LADY + DUKE = TRUE LOVE?
Lady Daphne Forsyth is a brilliant mathematician with a burning passion for puzzles. When she learns that the library belonging to her benefactress houses the legendary Cameron Cipher—an encrypted message that, once solved, holds the key to great riches—Daphne is on the case. Unfortunately, her race to unlock the cipher’s code is continually thwarted by a deliciously handsome distraction she hadn’t counted on. .and cannot resist.
Dalton Beauchamp, the Duke of Maitland, is curious as to why Daphne is spending so much time snooping around his aunt’s bookshelves. He’s even more intrigued by her bold yet calculating manner: She is unapologetic about her secret quest. .and the fiery attraction that develops between them both. But how can they concentrate on solving a perplexing enigma once the prospect of true love enters the equation?
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I truly wish I could say I loved this book, but I must be honest, it just was not my cup of tea. Whenever I accept an invitation to read and review a novel from a publisher, I consider all aspects of the story. Thanks go to the publisher and Net-Galley for the opportunity to read Duke with Benefits.
While Ms. Collins is skilled at her craft, the pacing for this novel was a bit slow. I am not a huge fan of mysteries and did not realize the romance would take a back seat to the book, or I would have passed on this one.
I struggled with the heroine quite a lot. Daphne has a difficult time connecting to people and her inner-personal skills are practically nil. Her personality traits kept me from connecting with her on a great many levels. Although, I could see she desperately needed to find her happy ending and was glad when it happened.
On the other hand, I did like Dalton, the hero. His persistence in conquering Daphne’s heart was commendable. He showed a great deal of loyalty to her and his friends. I liked that he stood up to his domineering mother.
I kept waiting for the sexual tension to build, an aspect of historical romance that I absolutely adore, but it never truly happened in Duke with Benefits. The emphasis was so devoted to the mystery that the love story did not fully develop.
Nonetheless, there is humor and camaraderie between the cast of characters in Duke with Benefits. I thoroughly enjoyed that. If you enjoy mysteries, then this may well be the book for you. Happy reading!