Review: Never Desire a Duke

never desire a dukeReviewed by Carrie

Novels that utilize the failing marriage trope are another favorite of mine.  I like it because it’s often a good vehicle for conflict and angst and the reunion somehow always seems to me because of the pain they have to fight through to get back to each other. 

It’s been over a year since Sophia, the Duchess of Claxton, has seen her husband Vane, the Duke, despite hearing of his exploits on the continent through the grapevine.  Just as she is reconciling herself to request a legal separation, Vane returns, surprising her at a family holiday ball.  Vane is determined to get back into Sophia’s good graces after practically abandoning her following a personal tragedy.  All Sophia wants is for Vane to give her a child and then he is free from the confines of marriage but seeing him in person begins to shake that resolve.   They end up at Vane’s childhood home where a snowstorm forced them to address the fallout of their marriage.

As you might assume, the internal dialog is heavy and slow and takes up the first half of the book.  Vane alternates between berating himself over leaving and wanting to shag.  Sophia is still drawn to her husband and continually reminds herself what a dawg he is.  Had they sat down and spoke logically like adults, they would’ve cleared up their minor misunderstandings quickly.

Even with the lingering pain of their tragedy, I didn’t really feel anything for the main characters.  There was practically no back story to connect with other than naming said tragedy and as a result the conflict felt superficial.  Vane’s supposed horrible childhood was summed up in a paragraph and gotten over in 3 days.  There is a mistaken identity farce with Vane and his brother that was unneeded.  Finally, the “quest” that Vane and Sophia go on to connect with his mother was just plain silly.

What this book does give is a cutesy holiday historical romance that is entertaining enough for some light reading.  I just prefer my reunions with a little more teeth.

Rating: C

*ARC provided by Forever (Grand Central Publishing)

Click to purchase: Amazon

Never Desire a Duke
by Lily Dalton
Release Date: September 24, 2013
Publisher: Forever

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