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 Avon on December 26, 2017
Genres: Historical Romance
He was only supposed to keep an eye on his friend’s sister . . . now he’s about to lose his heart . . .
When Thomas Heathmore, Duke of Coventry, agrees to steer his friend’s inexperienced younger sister through society, he doesn’t expect the lady in question to be so infernally stubborn. Amelia Matthews seems to have little interest in balls or suitors at all. Instead, she intends to open a school, and against his better instincts, Thomas offers to help. Yet somewhere along the line, Amelia ceases to be a simple responsibility . . . and becomes an undeniable temptation.
Since her brother inherited a dukedom, Amelia’s prospects have transformed. But though she’s long been secretly infatuated with Thomas, she refuses to heed the arrogant aristocrat’s advice. If only it were as easy to ignore his heated touch. And as Amelia soon learns, the ton is a minefield, where one moment’s indiscretion can unleash a scandal—or entice her to surrender everything to the duke of her desire . . .
The Duke of Her Desire
(Diamonds in the Rough #2)
By Sophie Barnes
Needed a change, and I’m glad I found The Duke of Her Desire
Sometimes, a change of genre (well, sub-genre) is all it takes to get me out of a book funk. Maybe book funk is the wrong word, more like book flats. You know where it’s OK but it’s kind of a straight line with no passion to turn the page or desperation to find out what’s next.
I admit, at first I was just humming along, thinking flat thoughts, but then it starts to get a little interesting. I wasn’t sure how I would go considering I had not read the first book in the series. I was fine. Yes, I was definitely curious about the first book but I managed to follow along without any problems.
Historical romance is a genre that satisfies my deep need to be a lady. Anyone who knows me knows that I have an interest in fashion and can be quite obsessive about table manners. This does not mean that I am always well put together. I love lounging around in trackie daks. My boys know and follow most of my rules on eating etiquette but I have been known to let them turn their fork over to scoop up their peas. Even with my knowledge of etiquette and manners, I would probably fail and scandalise the ton, as a lady of those times, but I find it fascinating. I have standards though, I’m not going back in time unless I’m wealthy and titled.
Thankfully, there is no time-machine in my life and I’m quite happy to step back in time through my reads.
I really enjoyed The Duke of Her Desire. This is an interesting storyline where a family of aristocratic birth, are left destitute. Now quite a bit of this was skimmed over (because it was in the first book) but I got the impression View Spoiler »that Dad topped himself and Mum did a runner « Hide Spoiler. This left our heroine, her older brother and younger sister to grow up in St Giles, poor and living rough. Well, after years of rough, the older brother finds out that he’s been named Duke of something or other.
From the slums to the ton.
Duke, does OK, falls in love (book 1) and settles his family into town. Unfortunately, with their rough upbringing, the girls need a little polish before they can join society. It’s hard work, with books balanced on heads while quoting Shakespeare, but Amelia (the heroine) and her sister Juliette, are up to the task. Next step, marry them off of course.
Amelia has the hots for her brother’s best mate. Thomas, Duke of something else, has helped Duke of something or other to settle into society. Their friendship is tested when Thomas and his mother are asked to keep an eye on Amelia and Juliette when Duke of something or other goes on his wedding tour. At first, it seems like it will be a fairly easy job until Thomas sees Amelia dressed in rags and walking towards the bad side of town. What follows is a courtship that starts with a deal.
While still maintaining the excitement of balls, teas, pleasure gardens and fashion plates, The Duke of Her Desire has a little more. We get a strong and determined young lady who wants to do a good deed but doesn’t have the cutthroat mentality to win over dastardly deeds. There’s a baddie trying to scare her off, and solicitors trying to take advantage. Each time these bad events happen Thomas is there to help. Unfortunately, Thomas is a bit of a knucklehead. In the usual fashion (of historical romance), his affection and desire for Amelia must be put off because of his duty to his family and title. Blah, blah, blah…bloody Thomas…look inside my man, feel those emotions. You can’t just push them away.
Anyways, I really enjoyed The Duke of Her Desire. It was an entertaining read that kept my attention from start to finish. If you enjoy historical romance with a dash of mystery, a strong and chivalrous hero and a determined heroine, this will be perfect for you. I definitely recommend and think it could be read as a standalone but would probably be enhanced if the first book is read.