The Reluctant Duchess by Jane Goodger
Tracy’s rating: 2.5 of 5 stars
Series: The Brides of St. Ives #4
Release Date: July 9, 2019
Oliver Sterling, Duke of Kendal is a recluse, a unique condition has kept him a virtual prisoner in his home, so when he sees a painting of a beautiful woman, he sends his “guardian” Philip Winters to find her and marry her by proxy.
Rebecca Caine is summoned to her father’s study and informed that in order to save her family from financial ruin, she must marry the Duke of Kendal. Having no choice, she agrees, but takes an immediate dislike to Mr. Winters. When she arrives at the castle, she is surprised that the duke is not there to meet her, but later that night, he comes to her in the dark.
This was one of the most bizarre books I have ever read and I am still not sure if the author was trying to give the story a gothic twist or if it was supposed to be a twisted version of beauty and the beast or if it was a farce. I definitely didn’t love this book, but I can’t say that I hated it either, I am not exactly sure how I feel about it, which makes assigning a rating very hard – so, I am going to go middle of the road and give it 2.5 stars. The idea of the story is original, the characters are likeable and there is a very sweet HEA But, the twists and turns get out of hand and are at times completely over the top and there are several unbelievable scenarios as well as an “insta-love” feel to the story that was a bit off-putting. This is the fourth book in the series, but it can easily be read as a stand-alone title with no problems.
*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that was provided to me by NetGalley and the pulisher.