You may recall that I was obsessed with Scoundrel of My Heart by Lorraine Heath and was desperate for The Duchess Hunt, the sequel, after I finished and I am so pleased to tell you that I also loved The Duchess Hunt! It’s out now so you can pick up both Scoundrel and Duchess for your shelves and fall in love the way that I have. I am so grateful to Avon for the advanced e-ARC. After I rave about The Duchess Hunt, I’ll move onto a discussion about The Devil’s Own Duke by Lenora Bell and who I think the book would work for and why it wasn’t totally my cup of tea. And then finally, I’ll end with A Reckless Match by Kate Bateman. All three books released yesterday so they’re available for you if you would like to pick them up! An despite having e-ARCs, I read both The Devil’s Own Duke and A Reckless Match as finished books that I picked up from Barnes & Noble because I’ve been struggling to read e-books lately. So let’s go ahead and dive in!
The Duchess Hunt by Lorraine Heath
In Scoundrel of My Heart we’re introduced to Hugh and he’s sort of the other part of a love triangle and I really wound up enjoying his character. And when he said that he would not kneel for any woman I could not wait to see him brought to his knees. I am so pleased to tell you that the journey of Hugh being absolutely destroyed by love was just as glorious as I hoped that it would be.
Penelope Pettypeace is Hugh’s right hand woman and he relies on her so much, which is understandable because this woman could run like… anything. I would really like to have her run my life, tbh. Anyways, they both are sort of pining for one another, but Penelope has something that she’s keeping secret and she’s convinced that her secret means that she and Hugh will never be together. Meanwhile, Hugh is all about duty and other such nonsense.
I know that there is a plot to this novel, but honestly, in hindsight, I couldn’t tell you what it was. The only real thing that matters is that the romance between Penelope and Hugh was everything. Also, there’s a side plot with Hugh’s relationship with his brother and I adored that aspect so much! Honestly, this entire book is just an utter delight. OH! I almost forgot how much I loved Hugh’s mom when she shows up in this book….
Basically, if you haven’t read Scoundrel of My Heart and The Duchess Hunt, I would really suggest you change your mind and if you would like a review that is actually coherent, please check out Nick’s review because she’s a gem and amazing with reviews.
The Devil’s Own Duke by Lenora Bell
The Devil’s Own Duke was a perfectly fine romance novel, but not one that’s going to stick with me for a long time. In fact, in the two or three days since I finished it, I have already forgotten so many of the details. That said, I think this book is definitely for someone and so I’m going to try and explain what did work for me and what didn’t the best that I can.
Lady Henrietta Prince is a winemaker who thinks that she has a good grasp of what’s going on on her father’s estate and if he would just get married again to have a male heir, her life could continue to be as wonderful as it is at the moment. Except, it turns out, her father has been keeping secrets about their overall financial health from her and also, this scoundrel is claiming to be the long lost heir to the estate. When the two wind up in a marriage of convenience, Hetty is determined to convince Ash that they need to keep the vineyards and not abandon the wine making in favor of stables. She has lists and rules for their marriage and is determined not to let herself fall in love with him. Obviously, that goal doesn’t work out so well.
Now, I am usually a person who loves lists and rules and the breaking of said rules, but for some reason, the pacing of this book didn’t quite work for me. It was a book where it felt like there wasn’t room to breathe in spaces where I felt needed that and too much space in times I thought we could move along quicker. It could have just been that I was grumpy because on paper this book seems like something that would absolutely appeal, but unfortunately, it just didn’t quite work for me.
A Reckless Match by Kate Bateman
I stayed up too late finishing A Reckless Match and have mostly positive feelings toward it. There’s something to be said for an enemies to lovers romance where you can really tell that the enemies is more because they’re supposed to be rather than any actual animosity. And there are a lot of really great sexual tension moments in the book that just really appealed to me.
Essentially, A Reckless Match is about a Montgomery and a Davies falling in love. The Montgomery/Davies rivalry is akin to the Hatfields and McCoys where the actual cause of the rivalry is somewhat lost to time. But for Maddie and Gryff, this rivalry is something they play into but also have always been… overly interested in one another. So there’s a little bit of a mutual pining/forbidden love with we’re enemies so I hate you type situation going on here. Then there’s a smugglers plot situation that takes the adventure levels up to a 10 and lots of good stuff comes from all of that.
I loved the set up for the next books in this series because, yes, please. The set up isn’t exactly subtle but I’m curious which specific pairing will come next since two were set up quite nicely. I loved the family vibes and the adventure. Where this book fell short for me is that toward the end when there’s a survivor type element, I just… I mean, danger banging is a thing for some people and then there’s me wondering how other people’s brains work because I just don’t think that could be me at all. But all in all a book that I would recommend if you like historical romance!
Have you read any of these? Are you interested? Let me know!