Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Book Review: It's All about the Duke

It’s All about the Duke by Amelia Grey

Publisher & Release: St. Martin’s Press, May 29, 2018

Time and setting:  Regency England, London

Genre: Historical Romance

Book Length:  Full length

Heat Level: 1 Flame

Rating: 3.5 Gold Crowns

Book Description: 

Nearing thirty, the Duke of Rathburne is finally ready to make amends for the wager that caused him and his best friends such scandal—but taking on a ward who needs a husband is a feat he’s not sure he can manage. The last he saw of Miss Marlena Fast, she was a spirited little ruffian, not the sort of bride most bachelors on the marriage mart sought. But one glance at the lovely lady she has become is enough to convince him otherwise… 
Orphaned young and shuffled from family to family, Marlena counts on her fierce independence and quick wits to keep herself content. Being the responsibility of a notoriously wicked duke who upended so many lives is an unexpected challenge when she realizes he arouses her decidedly feminine desires. Marlena must be careful. She has her own scandalous secret to protect. If he finds out, will it shatter her chances of a happily-ever-after with the notorious rake?
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Vikki’s Musings

This is the third book in The Rakes of St. James series. When I received an invitation from the publisher, via Net-Galley, the book description intrigued me, so I accept to read and review. This is a light regency novel that puts the reader into the glittering world of the London ton.
I struggled with the premise for It’s All about the Duke. I have a difficult time believing her previous guardian would choose a rake as her new guardian, but I held judgment. Unfortunately, I never grew more accepting.

Marlena’s character is supposed to be independent, feisty and quick-witted. For me, those characteristics were not present, so I never truly identified with Marlena and never became invested. Fortunately, I did find several secondary characters who kept me entertained and the story moving along at a decent pace.

The Duke Rathburne is a likely hero. I particularly enjoyed his dry wit and patience with Marlena’s aunt, self-absorbed, flitty character, but humorous with no ill designs toward her niece, just a bit thoughtless of Marlena’s wants and desires.

Now, for me the romance was fine, just not throbbing with sexual tension and passion. I did not feel a strong chemistry between the hero and heroine, which made it difficult to care about whether they found their happy ending.

Nonetheless, this is a decent read with several nice moments and a secondary romance with two of other characters that I found interesting. No doubt, It’s All about the Duke is well-written and flowed well. It also has a nice feel of the Regency period, which will appeal to other readers of this sub-genre of romance. Happy reading!

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