Saturday, October 12, 2013

Never Desire a Duke by Lily Dalton + Featured Freebie

Never Desire a Duke (One Scandalous Season, #1)
Release date: September 24, 2013
Publisher: Forever
Genre: Historical (Regency) Romance
Series: One Scandalous Season #1

A secret from his past holds the key to their future...

A Marriage Beyond Hope

Lady Sophia has long been estranged from her husband, Lord Vane Barwick, the Marquess of Claxton, whose rumored list of amorous conquests includes almost every beautiful woman of the ton. Yet a shocking encounter with him in a crowded ballroom—and a single touch—are all it takes to reawaken her furious passion for him. But how can she trust the man who crushed her dreams and took away the one thing she wanted most?

A Love Beyond Reason

Lord Claxton has never forgiven himself for the youthful mistake that ruined his marriage to Lady Sophia. Now, after nearly a year abroad, the reformed rogue vows to win back the only woman he's ever truly loved. He'll do whatever it takes to prove he can be the honorable husband she deserves—and the passionate lover she desires. As the snowdrifts deepen outside their ancestral home, can they rekindle the flame that burned so bright and find a new path to forever?

My Rating: 4 Roses

A sweet holiday romance about second chances, Never Desire a Duke was a lovely historical romance. It was sweet and a wonderful read that I really enjoyed.

Sophia was an okay heroine. She was my one problem with the book, though. On one hand, I thought she was strong to survive the heartbreak and scandal she dealt with. And, most of the time, she was nice and likable. But, then Vane came into the picture. And she became a shrew. She was really mean and judgmental and harsh to him. I can understand that she was angry that he wasn't there for her when she lost their baby. But, didn't she consider that he had his own grieving process to go through? And, why did she freak out over a note from one of his past lovers? He wasn't with that woman anymore, hadn't been with anyone else since they met. Her first reaction for everything seemed to be freaking out. She never let Vane defend himself or explain the situation. Instead, she listened to the rumors, turned against him, and took every chance she could to make him out to be even worse. But, the worst part was when she asked him to write a list of his previous (as in, before they met) lovers. She literally forced him to, saying that she wouldn't give up the idea of a separation unless he wrote down all the names. Then, when she sees the list, she freaks out and makes a huge problem out of it. Which was so unfair, I couldn't even deal with it. She asked him to write it. All the women were in the past. She knew his father forced him into a life of debauchery that he didn't want. Yet, she still carried that list around to remind herself not to trust him. Does anyone else see anything wrong with that? Because, I do.

I apologize if I ranted a little, but it just really bothered me. The thing is, I still didn't dislike her, even with all of that. She irritated me beyond belief, but there were still moments where she acted like a nice person. And, that made me still kind of like her. So, while she wasn't my favorite heroine, I was okay with her.

Vane, on the other hand, I completely adored. He was so sweet and wonderful and I thought he was brilliant. He has a rather sad past. While his childhood with his mother was happy, when his father took him in, things went downhill. His father was not a nice person and he tried to force Vane to be that way. But, Vane was still nice and sweet and adorable. I liked that, while he was determined to win back Sophia, he wasn't going to be a doormat, either. When he deserved it, he took his scoldings with good grace. But, when Sophia was being unfair, he turned the tables. I thought he was a wonderful hero and I really liked him.

The romance was sweet. Despite my issues with Sophia, I really liked these two together. They were definitely a sweet couple. And, the attraction between them was constant. There were definitely some very hot sparks there. I thought they were a lovely couple.

I really liked the scavenger hunt that Vane and Sophia did for most of the book. Vane's mother used to leave him and his brother little hints on a scavenger hunt to keep the boys entertained and Sophia finds one of them. So, to honor the memory of Vane's mother, they decide to go on the hunt. I thought it was really sweet and it made the book more fun and light. That was one of my favorite parts of the book.

The plot was fast paced and I was hooked the entire way through. The secrets of Vane's past were a surprise and they definitely added an unpredictable element to the book. I really enjoyed the story and the ending was lovely. I'm excited to read more from the series, especially with how interesting the next book sounds. Can't wait to read it!

Never Desire a Duke was a lovely historical romance. Despite my one complaint, I still really enjoyed the book and I thought it was a wonderful holiday read. It was a sweet, light read about second chances and I really liked it. Lovers of romance, if you want a great holiday read, this is one you'll want to pick up.

*I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Featured Freebie:
Today, I have historical romance that sounds interesting: Rescuing Rosalind by G.G. Vandagriff. Go forth and get it for free!

When frigate Captain Buckingham Kernow-Smith encounters a sprite in a topiary garden going by the name of "Gannymede," he remembers his Shakespeare. Pulling off her stocking cap, he reveals the character of "Rosalind" from As You Like It, played, in this case, by the appealing Fanny Edwards.

Three years pass. The War over, Buck encounters his Rosalind at a ball, where she has developed into a notable beauty. However, her guardian confides to him that she is dancing on the very edge of propriety. Buck, who has been fighting the French since he was twelve, also finds the ton confining and sympathizes with Fanny/Rosalind's plight as a properly reared young lady.

Together, they make a dangerous pair, straddling the line between propriety and scandal, indulging in a masquerade in daylight, riding together in a phaeton race, and laying plans for Fanny/Rosalind to play a role in Covent Garden Theater. Will Buck confide his secrets and overcome his life-long aversion to marriage?Can someone as headstrong and impetuous as Rosalind ever settle for such a union?

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