Stacey is Sassy received a complimentary copy of this story. The copy provided was not the final version and may be subject to edits and changes
Published by Forever on July 26, 2016
Genres: Historical Romance
Love takes the stage...
Elise deVries is not what she seems. By night, the actress captivates London theatergoers with her chameleon-like ability to slip inside her characters. By day, she uses her mastery of disguise to work undercover for Chegarre & Associates, an elite agency known for its discreet handling of indelicate scandals. But when Elise is tasked with locating the missing Duke of Ashland, she finds herself center stage in a real-life drama.
Noah Ellery left the glamour of the London aristocracy to pursue a simpler life in the country. He's managed to avoid any complications or entanglements—that is, until he lays eyes on Elise and realizes there's more to this beautiful woman than meets the eye. But when Elise reveals her real identity—and her true feelings for him—the runaway duke must confront the past he left behind . . . to keep the woman he loves forever.
A Duke to Remember (Season of Scandal #2)
By Kelly Bowen
It was a controlled leap into love.
It’s not often when I’m reading (and enjoying) a story that the heroine is the highlight instead of the hero. In A Duke to Remember, Elise is by far the star of the show. Mind you, Noah ain’t no slouch potato, he’s pretty special too and the more you get to know him, the more you love him. Elise De Vries is an intelligent, determined, loyal and funny woman. She’s a part owner of Chegarre & Associates, the company that “saves the day” of the upper-class members of society who find themselves in a spot of bother and need to keep their problems quiet. Elise is also a part-time actress which helps her slip into disguise and infiltrate and fix things under the radar. While she’s great at her jobs, we also learn that her strength and determination were learned in a hard way on the frontlines of war. What made her stand out as a character, was that she didn’t hide her intelligence, skills or humour. Most of the time, when she’s not playing a part, what you see is what you get. It turns out that this confidence in herself is quite newfound. Someone gave her the strength to be proud of her talents. That someone is a Duke hiding behind the facade of an ordinary man.
Noah is an ordinary man. Most people who know him think he’s shy and a bit of a loner. What none of them would believe is that he’s a man in hiding. His past is ugly and something that he is ashamed of. Noah wants no part of his old life and tells his new friends and acquaintances that he has no family alive. People believe what they see…or what they want to see. None of his new acquaintances would ever think or consider him to be a Duke in hiding. This disguise is not just to avoid his past it’s also to cover for the fact that Noah sometimes struggles to communicate. It’s easier to avoid talking to a lot of people as uncomfortable situations makes him feel worse. What Noah doesn’t realise is that his past does not want to stay in the past and people, including his family, are determined to resurrect him.
Elise has been employed to bring Noah home. What she wasn’t counting on was meeting him and feeling an almost instant connection to him…and the feelings are mutual. Elise tries to not let her heart get involved but with Noah determined to keep her close and connected to him she’s fighting a losing battle.
A Duke to Remember was an enjoyable read from start to finish. I loved both Elise and Noah and enjoyed seeing them grow strength and confidence from just having each other by their side. This was a great example of what loving someone gives you when it comes to confidence in yourself. A loved one doesn’t always have to do something for you to show their love. Having someone at your back or by your side supporting you is as much a sign of love. Elise finds that she can be herself around Noah and he doesn’t expect anything more. She doesn’t have to put on an act, she can just be a girl with a gun who is able to out-shoot most men. Noah finds strength and confidence being with Elise. His history and issues don’t define him in her eyes. She sees him as a beautiful man with intelligence and compassion. They both bring out the best in each other which makes them even more appealing as characters.
I have to say that my only negative would be that the sexy times did not feel true to a historical romance. Elise is an actress but up till the sex scenes, it never seemed like she was one of “those” actresses who supported their income by performing services in the bedroom. I’m guessing with her confidence and familiarity with his bits and pieces that she’s been around the block a time or two. This is never explained and Noah never questions it either. Most historical romances have the female with a little less knowledge unless they are a widow or a courtesan. So, because of this, I felt like I was either reading a modern sex scene or I was kind of missing part of the story of how she gained so much knowledge. There are plusses and minuses for this happening. On one side we have very sexy times with both the male and female enjoying it from the very beginning. There wasn’t any deflowerings or maidenly shaming that normally makes me roll my eyes. On the other hand, it just felt a titch off for historical accuracy. Mind you, what would I know? It’s not like I was back there in the day and have first-hand knowledge.
Overall, I really enjoyed A Duke to Remember. The characters, scenery and storyline were exciting and drew me in from the start. It was great to see some of the characters from Duke of my Heart and I definitely want to read more of this authors work in the future.