The spirited Wylder sisters continue to scandalize the ton in Isabella Bradford’s witty and winsome trilogy. This time, the most impulsive of the siblings meets her match: a charming rake determined to save her from an arranged marriage.
The youngest of the Wylder girls—and the last left unwed—Lady Diana is also the most willful, a trait that’s leading her ever closer to dishonorable disaster. While her family’s solution is a fast and excruciatingly respectable marriage, Diana can’t imagine being wed to the very staid and dull Lord Crump. But while wedding plans are being made, a chance meeting at a gala turns Diana’s world upside down.
A kiss from a dazzling stranger gives Diana a most intimate introduction to one of the ton’s most resolute and scandalous bachelors, the Duke of Sheffield. Torn between family duty and her heart’s desire, Diana recklessly surrenders to the headiest of passions, recognizing that she has found a kindred soul in the handsome young duke. Soon it’s clear that seduction is no longer the game: Something deep and lasting has come to bind their hearts, and the stakes are nothing less than true love
I had really hoped to like this book, I really did. But, unfortunately, it didn't live up to expectations.
Let me start by saying what I did like.
I loved how richly detailed the setting was and I loved the writing itself.
And I ADORED Sheffield. He was what really saved the book for me, the only thing that kept me from completely disliking it. He was so sweet and charming and just perfect. Once he realized that he was in love, he stopped at nothing to win Diana's heart. He was undoubtedly the best part of the book.
Now to the bad. It was really two things: the plot and Diana.
Diana was not what I expected. From the characterization, I thought she would be wild, lively, impulsive, and full of life. What I got was a meek lady who decided duty should come before love. This first came about when she accepted the hand of her suitor, Lord Crump. No one even forced her to do it, her family just wanted her to give him a chance. She was the one who decided to act like a martyr and accept his hand. You would think she would have fought even the thought of being engaged to someone she didn't know and later had nothing in common with. But she just meekly accepted him. And then, despite Sheffield's insistence that she should marry him instead, she continues to meekly accept the engagement THEN AGREE TO MOVE UP THE WEDDING DATE. Do you sense a pattern. She was meek, spineless, cowardly, and wimp.
Here I was thinking she would be a heroine full of life and she was just dull. First, that didn't fit the characterization. That was not the way she was described; her actions didn't fit her character. And second, her spinelessness made me dislike her. I like my leading ladies with some fire. Diana showed none. Until the last few pages when she suddenly comes to her senses. That last-minute return to sanity is what saved me from hating her outright. I just couldn't like her. I could understand why she wanted to do her duty, but I didn't think that involved dousing all of her fire and becoming a wimp. Forgive me if I sound like I was ranting. It was just really disappointing for me to start the book and realize that the heroine was the opposite of what I expected. I tried my best to like her, but I couldn't.
The problem with the plot was a result of Diana. It tended to drag. She spent 95% of the book acting like a wimp, so there wasn't really a move in the plot. It dragged from about a couple of chapters in to right before the end, with only a few moments of life in between. And those few moments were only because Sheffield was there, bringing some life and fun into Diana's depressing mindset. At the end, however, I must say that despite the couple finally coming together, I felt bad for Lord Crump. He was nice, really just a pawn in the story. I felt sorry for him. I don't think there will be any further books because all three sisters are called for, so I guess that loose end won't be tied.
I didn't hate When the Duke Found Love. But I didn't like it either. It was just okay. The problems I mentioned were too much for me to really like this book.
So, unfortunately, 2/5
Thanks to Netgalley for a copy.