The Trouble With Being A Duke by Sophie Barnes
Book One of the At the Kingsborough Ball series
Publisher: Avon Books
Publication Date: August 27, 2013
Rating: 4 stars
Source: eARC from Edelweiss
***Warning: this is an adult book, and for the eyes of mature readers***
Summary (from Goodreads):
Sometimes happily ever after…
Anthony Hurst, Duke of Kingsborough knows the time has come for him to produce an heir. But first he must find a bride. When he meets the most exquisite woman at his masquerade ball, he thinks his search is over…until the breathtaking beauty runs off. With few clues other than her figure, her scent, and the memory of her kiss, Anthony must find his mystery lady.
…needs a little bit of help.
Isabella Chilcott can scarcely believe it: she is finally at the Kingsborough Ball. As a child, she dreamed of dancing a waltz here and now, thanks to a gorgeous gown she’s found in the attic, Isabella is living her fairytale fantasy. And she’s waltzing with the Duke of Kingsborough himself! But she must escape before he discovers her secrets…for she is not who she pretends to be, and falling in love with Prince Charming is the last thing she can allow herself to do…
What I Liked:
This book was so adorable yet so striking at the same time! I love the idea of it - it sounds like Cinderella! Anthony is a rich Duke who knows he must get married soon, so he can have an heir. Isabella also knows that she has to get married soon - because her parents have fallen on financial hard times. Isabella has a suitor - Mr. Roberts - but she dreams of fairy tales endings.
Isabella decides to sneak away to the Kingsborough Ball, a huge event hosted by the Duke of Kingsborough and his mother. There, she meets the Duke, Anthony, and many other splendid company. But it is the Duke with whom she falls head over heels in love, and it is she with whom Anthony fall heads over heels in love. But Anthony never finds out her name, and when the night is over, he fears he will never see her again.
I absolutely LOVE the way this book is set up. The ball happens, they meet, they part ways, he begins the search for her, they meet again, he has to win her AND her parents over... this is such a fun book. Every time Anthony and Isabella meet, I knew that something very funny or very steamy would happen. Throw in stuffy Mr. Roberts here and there, and it couldn't get better!
I like how Isabella was stubborn with Anthony - she didn't just run straight into his arms every time she saw him. She kept her distance for propriety's sake, but she still allowed interaction between them. Their relationship grew slowly but steadily, and I'm happy with how the author handled the progression of their relationship.
The romance, as I mentioned, was steamy and sweet. Anthony fell completely in love with Isabella when he saw her at his ball, and stopped at nothing to just see her again. I love HIS stubbornness towards her, his determination to see her.
The ending of this story is beautiful. I remember thinking, FINALLY! And then wanting to cheer. While the plot of this book wasn't overly complex or intricate, I enjoyed the small twists and turns and the truth of Isabella's lineage.
What I Did Not Like:
Okay, Isabella's parents got on my nerves. I understand why Isabella's mother is so touchy about a duke courting her daughter (especially when all is revealed at the end!), but seriously!? They got on my nerves at every turn of the page.
I also which there could have been a little more depth to this book. There is this one plot twist that I totally saw from the very beginning and figured out by one fourth of the book. Otherwise, this book is very straightforward - not a bad thing! I just read wayyyy too many Young Adult books.
Would I Recommend It:
Yes! This is one of my favorite historical romance novels. I hope you give it a try!
4 stars. A cute, adorable, sweet, yet steamy romance novel that does not disappoint!
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