My Darling Duke + Rebel | Mini Reviews

January 10, 2020 | Posted by Victoria in Book Reviews, Multi-Reviews | 0 Comments

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
My Darling Duke + Rebel | Mini Reviewsby Stacy Reid
Genres: Adult, Historical, Romance
Publication Date: December 31, 2019 by Entangled: Amara
Format: eARC
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4 Stars
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss

Miss Katherine Danvers is a desperate wallflower. Her family is on the brink of financial ruin, and it is up her to save her mother and sisters from a life of indignities. So she transforms herself into the incomparable Kitty Danvers, the fiancée of the enigmatic and reclusive Alexander Masters, Duke of Thornton—once dubbed the mad, bad, and dangerous catch of the Season.

Ten years ago, society and the woman Alexander Masters loved called him a monster, after a tragic accident left him scarred and confined to a wheelchair. His heart exists in cold, lonely exile, until he learns he has a fiancée—a deceptive, clever, and utterly intriguing woman he's never met. Miss Danvers will now learn the consequences of engaging herself to the beast, for Alexander is determined to make her his. Soon, they are involved in a chase, a clash of wills, and though he once vowed to never love again, he burns for the enchanting Miss Danvers. And denying his heart may cost him an exquisite love that happens only once in a lifetime.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

My Darling Duke is the first in a new series about a group of wallflowers who are tired of waiting on the sideline for men to approach them, and instead want to be active in choosing what they do and who they marry.

This was my first book by Stacy Reid, but definitely not be my last, because this was such a fun historical romance! I loved, loved, loved the premise, and I loved getting to know Kitty and Alexander and watching them fall in love.

I loved reading about how proactive Kitty and her friends were about putting their wants and needs first, and making sure they had a choice in their future. Even though they’re women, and are “expected” to stand and look pretty until a man approaches them, Kitty and her group of friends decide to work behind the scenes to get what they want.

The premise was also great. Kitty knows her family needs financial help, but men aren’t lining up to marry her since she’s “too old”, and her sisters can’t help because they can’t get married until she does. Kitty decides to announce she’s engaged to a duke no one’s  seen in years, to give her sisters time to find husbands. She doesn’t think the duke will acknowledge her since he hasn’t been seen from or heard from in years, and has never stopped any other rumors before. This time, Alexander hears the rumors that he is engaged, and is intrigued by Kitty and how she’s manipulated the situation. He decides to leave his place in the country and travel to London to meet the woman whose made all these lies.

Alexander hasn’t been in public in almost ten years and no one knows why. It turns out it’s because ten years ago he was in a fire that caused a lot of damage. He has scars from severe burns all over most of his body, and he cannot walk for long periods of time, and instead uses a wheelchair to get around. One thing I was a little ehh about while reading was that because of all the damage he endured from the fire, he cannot have sex. I was really interested to read about how this would affect Kitty and Alexander’s relationship because I’ve never read a romance where the characters cannot have sex because of a disability. I was disappointed in the end a little because of course once Kitty and Alexander get to know each other and spend more time together, he apparently starts getting use back and that issue is pretty much resolved.

Overall I really enjoyed this book, and cannot wait to read the next in the series because I love the group of friends mentioned here. In the meantime I’ll probably start working on reading some of Stacy Reid’s backlist.

This book may be unsuitable for people under 17 years of age due to its use of sexual content, drug and alcohol use, and/or violence.
My Darling Duke + Rebel | Mini Reviewsby Beverly Jenkins
Genres: Adult, Historical, Romance
Publication Date: May 28, 2019 by Avon
Format: eARC
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4 Stars
Source: Publisher via Netgalley

The first novel in USA Today Bestselling Author Beverly Jenkins' compelling new series follows a Northern woman south in the chaotic aftermath of the Civil War...

Valinda Lacey's mission in the steamy heart of New Orleans is to help the newly emancipated community survive and flourish. But soon she discovers that here, freedom can also mean danger. When thugs destroy the school she has set up and then target her, Valinda runs for her life—and straight into the arms of Captain Drake LeVeq.

As an architect from an old New Orleans family, Drake has a deeply personal interest in rebuilding the city. Raised by strong women, he recognizes Valinda's determination. And he can't stop admiring—or wanting—her. But when Valinda's father demands she return home to marry a man she doesn't love, her daring rebellion draws Drake into an irresistible intrigue.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

If you’ve been part of the romance book community for any amount of time, you know who Beverly Jenkins is. She’s a prolific historical romance author, and I am low-key embarrassed that it’s taken me so long to read one of her books. I’m excited however that my first read of 2020 was such a great book, and that I have so many others to go back to and read now!

I feel that in a lot of historical romance that I’ve read, there’s more emphasis on the romance than the historical aspect of the story. The romance in this novel was obviously very prominent, but so is what is going on around the characters. Obviously this is the case because so much of what is going on around the characters are things they have to deal with because of who they are and the time period.

Rebel is the first book in a new series called Women Who Dare, and honestly with a title like that, who doesn’t want to read this series? Book one follows Valinda, a northern black woman who travels to New Orleans post Civil War to help the newly freed by starting a school. Valinda meets Drake when he saves her from a dangerous situation, and offers her help. I loved both of these characters so much. I love how brave and independent Val was, her family doesn’t want her working, especially not in the South, but she finds a way to convince them to let her go before she’s supposed to get married. Drake was such a charming guy, who cared about his family, and cared about helping others and the city he loves. The two characters together were amazing, their chemistry was off the charts, and I had to keep reading so I could see them finally admit their feelings for each other.

I do want to give a trigger warning for attempted sexual assault that happens near the beginning of the book.

I’m so glad I finally read Rebel because it was a great book, and introduced me to an author I can’t wait to read more from!

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