Title/Author: If I Only Had a Duke (The Disgraceful Dukes #2) by Lenora Bell
Publisher/Date published: Avon, August 30th 2016
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley
Goodreads summary: After four failed seasons and a disastrous jilting, Lady Dorothea Beaumont has had more than enough of her family’s scheming. She won’t domesticate a duke, entangle an earl, or vie for a viscount. She will quietly exit to her aunt’s Irish estate for a life of blissful freedom. Until an arrogant, sinfully handsome duke singles her out for a waltz, making Thea the most popular belle of the season.
The duke ruined her plans and he’ll just have to fix them.
Dalton, Duke of Osborne, is far too heartless for debutantes or marriage—he uses dalliances and public spectacle to distract from his real purpose: finding the man who destroyed his family. When his search leads to Ireland, the last thing he needs is the determined, achingly innocent Thea, who arrives in the dead of night demanding he escort her to her aunt. His foolish agreement may prove his undoing. The road to the Emerald Isle is fraught with unforeseen dangers, but the greatest peril of all might just be discovering that he has a heart...and he’s losing it to Thea.
So I really enjoyed the first book in this series that features the basically identical looking half-sister of the heroine of this one, so I was excited to start this. And I liked it, just not as much as the first.
I liked the sassy correspondence between Thea and Dalton that starts of this story, it was witty and flirty and just lots of fun. And at first, the dialogue between the two is exactly that when they meet in real life. They challenge each other and have very nice chemistry and I was just really feeling it. But then the adoration started overflowing and it just sort of fizzled down a bit and I did still find myself hoping they'd find a way to be together, but it wasn't making me smile as much anymore as it did at the start.
I did very much enjoy Thea's antics, pretending to be an Italian opera singer and just getting up to all sorts of mischief. And the duke mainly just staring and dealing with it, while being a bit of a brooding hero with a not-so-servant-like man-servant. I did like the two of them together, they brought out a side of each other that was fun to watch.
The thing is, I was having a bit of trouble with the way that Thea thinks she 'knows him better than anyone' after having slept with him. I mean, seriously? You've known the man for what, two weeks, and because you've been intimate you know him better than ANYONE else? I can't help but roll my eyes when I read something like this, I mean, if you've actually known someone their whole lives and have deep conversations, then maybe you can say something like this, but having sex once or twice doesn't really do the trick. It's not a magic mind-reading experience.
But I could have gotten past this with just an eye roll or two, if I hadn't been disappointed by the way things concluded, which was a bit anticlimactic. ***SPOILER LIGHT UP TO READ*** Dalton walks away cause he's 'heartless' and then his brother ends up wanting a relationship with him and his brother and all of a sudden he's like YES I LOVE THEA and I'm like WHAT THE WHAT??? You left her like 5 minutes ago, I mean, SERIOUSLY??? What if his brother hadn't turn back around, then they would have been apart forever? And his mother magically learns to get over her fear of going outside that's kept her inside for 20 years because of said brother returning? I was seriously not into the ending at all. *** END OF SPOILER***
Aside from these issues, mainly with the ending, If I Only Had a Duke was an enjoyable read, it's just a shame that the ending left me not so much heaving a happy sigh at yet another happy ending, which is one of the things I love about reading historical romances.
My rating: 3 stars