Say No to the Duke by Eloisa James
Tracy’s rating: 5 of 5 stars
Series: The Wildes of Lindow Castle, #4
Release Date: June 25, 2019
Lady Boadicea “Betsy” Wilde wanted a best friend more than anything, she wished for a chance to find another girl to talk to and finally her wish was granted when she was allowed to attend boarding school – she soon learns, be careful what you wish for… Her first day she is confronted with a nasty girl who tells her that her mother was a whore and that Betsy has surely inherited her mother’s wanton ways and that no decent man will want to marry her. Betsy swears that she will have more proposals than any other girl in the school…
3 years and 18 proposals later at her brother North’s wedding ball, Betsy is expecting a proposal from Thaddaeus Erskine Shaw, Viscount Greywick and heir to the Duke of Eversley. At her Aunt Knowes urging, she shows him the billiards room and graciously turns down his proposal, when he asks why, her brother’s best friend Lord Jeremy Rodan speaks up and tells her she really should marry him. Betsy is annoyed, Jeremy has been at the castle for months, she knows something happened to him, but not exactly what. She leaves the room with Thaddaeus, thinking maybe she should marry him. But deep down, Betsy worries that she will be like her mother, who ran off with her lover and left the Duke and her children. She has worked hard to portray herself as a perfect lady and isn’t sure she should marry at all.
Later she returns to the billiards room and finds the room empty, but Jeremy arrives not long after she does. They talk and she finally taunts him into playing a game with her, he will but only if they have a wager – if he wins, she will spend the night with him, if she wins, he will find her men’s clothes and take her on an adventure – maybe to a men’s club to play billiards. He agrees – She wins. He won’t take her to London, but if she can provide a chaperone, he will take her to an auction house dressed as a man. Deal!
Jeremy has spent the last two years under a blanket of guilt and shame, but now he feels alive for the first time in a really long time and Betsy is the reason, so he decides to spend more time with her. What could possibly go wrong?
This was a delightful story with a lot of witty banter, wonderful secondary characters, a hero and heroine with insecurities, healing, steamy love scenes, sneaky relatives, a few twists and turns to keep you guessing and finally a very sweet HEA, complete with an epilogue. Overall, this was a great story and I am happy to recommend it!
*I am voluntarily leaving a review of an uncorrected eARC that was provided to me by Edelweiss and the publisher.*