Love by a Dangerous Duke by Collette Cameron
Barbara’s rating: 5 of 5 stars
Series: Seductive Scoundrels #13
Publication Date: 7/20/21
Period: Regency London
I thoroughly enjoy this author’s books. Her characters are always delightful, the writing is excellent, well-paced, and well-delivered, and the witty banter always leaves you wanting more. In this book, we have those delightful characters in the form of Miss Ophelia Breckensole and Stanford Bancroft, the Duke of Asherford. They may seem a most unlikely pair, but it seems opposites really do attract – OR – are they really opposites?
Stanford is known as the Dangerous Duke because of the methods he used to turn the fortunes of his duchy around. He had few options when he inherited the run-down, pockets-to-let title at the age of fourteen. With hard work, courage, determination, and sheer intelligence, he did what most grown men could not – he turned the duchy around and made one of the richest and most powerful ones in the realm. He did all of that by the time he was twenty-five. Many thought he was ruthless, but he had to use the tools at hand and he never, ever, forced anyone to wager. He did, however, expect those who wagered and lost to pay their debts. Strangely, some of those whose debts he collected didn’t think they should be required to pay.
Ophelia Breckensole is a bright light who brings smiles and happiness wherever she goes. She’s good-natured, kind, and loving – and is absolutely aghast when that pompous, cold, hard-hearted, self-centered, dour, Duke of Asherford tells her they should wed. He doesn’t ask her; he just tells her they would suit and then lists all of the reasons she’d make an excellent duchess. He doesn’t even make a rudimentary attempt at wooing. Well – her answer, of course, is a resounding NO! When he persists, she promptly tells him he doesn’t always get what he wants. He just smiles and lets her know that, yes, he does.
When fate decides to step in and lend a hand, Stanford is happy about it – but not happy about it. He’s happy Ophelia will become his Duchess, but he doesn’t want her to feel forced into marrying him. He doesn’t see much choice for her because it is either ruination or marriage – but he still wants her to be able to choose.
It was lovely to watch these two get to know each other and come to love each other. I’m sure Stanford was already in love, he just didn’t know it yet, but Ophelia had always disliked Stanford, so it took a bit for her to have a grand epiphany. As she came to care for him, she realized her heart – “Well, the silly, gullible organ fluttered like an inebriated moth when he directed his full charm toward her.”
I can definitely recommend this book and will probably read it again in a few months. Not only are Ophelia and Stanford delightful, but he had lovely visits with characters from both previous and future books in the series. I hope you’ll enjoy this book as much as I did.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.