Tag Archives: Amelia Grey

It’s All About the Duke by Amelia Grey

It's All About the Duke (The Rakes of St. James, #3)It’s All About the Duke by Amelia Grey

Barbara’s rating: 4 of 5 stars

Series: The Rakes of St. James #3
Publication Date: 5/29/18

I enjoyed this third and final book in the Rakes of St. James series. The series is based on a really lame scandal, but the books are all nice reads even if they are a bit prosy. You can read each as a stand-alone if you wish to do so. I loved the last names of all of the heroines in the three books – Swift, Quick and Fast.

The big scandal is a wager made by three young friends – all dukes. They would write ‘secret admirer’ letters to all twelve of the debutants who were in their first season. The letters would say that they had long admired the lady and hoped she would meet them at a certain place and time. Whichever of the dukes had the most ladies actually show up would win the bet. When all twelve of the ladies show up and word of the wager and the ladies all going to the meeting places leaks out – well – SCANDAL. The dukes immediately felt remorseful, but there wasn’t anything they could do to change things. Someone decides that the duke should be punished for what they did and starts a scandal column that only talks about the scandal and the dukes.

Rath, Duke of Rathburne, was the one who suggested the cursed wager and he’s felt guilty about it ever since. He’s come to a point in his life, he’s almost thirty, where he feels he should become the gentleman his father always wanted him to be. I know he was described as a rake and scoundrel throughout the book, but frankly, I just didn’t see it. Yes, he had mistresses and widows on occasion, but he wasn’t a letch and he didn’t chase innocent ladies. Seems he was just a normal gentleman of the time – and maybe better than most.

When Rath received a letter from Mr. Olingworth, a very good friend of Rath’s father, his first inclination was to turn down the request it contained. Then, after he has finished a bottle, he pens a letter to Mr. Olingworth saying that he agrees to be the guardian of Miss Marlena Fast. When he awakens the next morning, he regrets penning his acceptance, but it is too late – the letter is already in the post – thanks to his efficient new butler. Mr. Olingworth is quite ill and can no longer properly see to Marlena’s care. Rath had met Marlena once when she was about twelve and holding a frog. He was sure it was going to be a challenge because ‘ruffian girls rarely, if ever, become decorous young ladies’.

Marlena Fast has been an orphan since shortly after she was born. She’s been passed from place to place and never had a real home that was hers. First, she lived with an aunt and uncle, then Mr. Olingworth, then her cousin Justine. Now, it seems, she is being passed on again – into someone else’s care. But, it can’t be – not HIM – one of the Rakes of St. James. He’s one of the despised men who helped make her friend’s life miserable – she can’t be his ward.

I liked both Marlena and Rath and I liked the way their insta-lust grew into solid attraction and love. Now, I’ll be honest – I did skim-read some of those long prosy descriptions/conversations – but it was still a good read. The book often refers to the conversations as banter, but I think more often than not it was either bickering or arguing – there is some lovely banter too because they both had quick wits and a lovely sense of humor.

The secondary characters are a hit-or-miss bunch. I loved the other Dukes of St. James and their families that made an appearance – especially Lady Vera. Then, there are Marlena’s best friends, Eugenia and Veronica, I never did like them – they seemed more like users than friends to me. They did, however, redeem themselves a little in the end – well, Eugenia did anyway. When it comes to Marlena’s cousin, Justine, well – nobody has enough time, space or energy to deal with her!

One of my favorite scenes is of Rath in a ladies shop – he was looking for smelling salts. Yes – where else would you go to buy something ladies use except Miss Lola’s Lacy Linens? His interactions with Miss Lola and then a couple of unexpected customers are delightful. Definitely shows his humor and irreverence.

We also finally unmask Miss Honora Truth, the person who has been taunting the dukes in a scandal sheet for the last three years. Will her identity surprise you? Probably not – but it sure surprised the duke!

If you are looking for a hold-your-breath, action-packed read, this isn’t it. But if you are looking for a nice, steady read of two people coming together, finding love and dealing with obstacles, then you have found a good one here.

The first two books in the series are:
Last Night With the Duke— Duke of Griffin and Esmeralda Swift
To the Duke, With Love — Duke of Hawksthorn and Loretta Quick

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“I requested and received this e-book at no cost to me and volunteered to read it; my review is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.”

To the Duke, With Love by Amelia Grey

To the Duke, with Love (The Rakes of St. James, #2)To the Duke, with Love by Amelia Grey
Tracy’s rating: 3/3.5 of 5 stars

Series: The Rakes of St. James, #2

Release Date: December 5, 2017

Maybe 3.5 stars

I liked this installment of the Rakes of St. James, but I didn’t love it.

The Duke of Hawksthorn “Hawk” wants to spare his sister, Lady Adele any heartache his past prank may cause her in the season by having her betrothed before it starts and he has found the perfect match for her, Mr. Paxton Quick, there is only one thing standing in his way……..Paxton’s sister Loretta.

Banished to the country after refusing to marry the man her uncle chose for her, Loretta is determined to make sure her beloved brother is not forced to marry against his will.

These two have an instant connection, but Hawk isn’t looking for a match for himself and Loretta has taken a vow to never marry. But neither can deny the pull of attraction between them. Hawk finds ways to see Loretta and when he finally asks her to marry him, she refuses, holding fast to her vow.

Hawk will have to find a way to convince Loretta to set aside her vow or lose the only woman he has ever loved.

The book is well written, but it is very “put-downable”, there is no real conflict, drama, angst or villain, and nothing keeping them apart save Loretta’s insistence at adhering to a vow she was forced to make. There is a bittersweet side plot involving an orphaned boy and a host of charming secondary characters, a lot of sexual tension and one or two semi-steamy love scenes and finally a HEA. This is the second story in the series, but it could absolutely be read as a stand alone title with no problem.

*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an Uncorrected eARC that was provided to me by NetGalley and the publisher.*

 

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