The Design Of Dukes by Kathleen Ayers


I haven’t read an exciting enemy-to-lovers story for a long time.  The ability of this book to outshine others in this category is the reflection of a great story.  I am afraid I might, at times, be predictive in my reviews, always giving different treatment to character’s personalities, character development, and plot.  These three elements are so intrinsically intertwined in this novel that I must address them simultaneously.  So here goes, I am going to mix it up a bit…

Andromeda (Romy) and the Duke Of Granby (David) are on polar opposite sides of the personality spectrum.  Romy is bubbling with personality and is warm and giving.  She has a penchant for speaking her mind, and it usually lands her in trouble.  Her family, even though her father was a Duke, is mired in scandal.  I loved her free spirit and intelligence. She is always faithful to herself, which I admire.  Romy has an innocent outlook when it comes to her family’s pedigree.  She is fiercely protective.  Her development from seeing only what she wants to the cold, harsh reality wounds her and recreates her.  Her evolution from naïve society girl to world-wise woman is breathtaking.

David was forged from the hellfire of his father’s wrath.  The cold, calculating Duke created a heartless, emotionless automaton.  David has no joy in his life.  Growing up was all stringent demands and calculating expectations.  He tolerates no scandal or imperfection in his life.  The journey from where David was to where he needed to be for Romy was breathtaking.  His journey was engrossed with growing pains and self-realization.  

The plot takes two very distinctive individuals that develop into passionate, all-encompassing lovers.  The story is isolated; it takes place at a house party.  I find that house parties can be redundant. However, this story kept it fresh.  The plot never wanted for depth.  It clipped along at a rapid-fire pace.  I sat down to read this in the afternoon and finished at 4 am!

I have recently read several novels that pursued this complex theme of having the two main characters go through enormous growth and change.  Most books wait until two pages from the end and have the character do a 180 and go against the fiber of their being without any explanations but for a couple of paragraphs.  However, this book handled the character’s nuances in change of behavior flawlessly.  The last third of the book focused on compromise and self-reflection. The characters and their situation were organic.  In layman’s terms, the whole plot just felt right.  When the conclusion came I felt I had taken a difficult journey with the couple finding themselves.  It was lovely.

The attraction between Romy and David is combustible from their first meeting.  Their journey is full of turmoil, yet their passion and blooming infatuation with one another is unstoppable.  

I cannot adequately express how much I enjoyed this book!  I genuinely cared about these characters, cheering for their happily ever after.  The author brought a vivid, refreshing, torrid, and exciting love story to life.  New energy was breathed into this genre with this book.  I have fallen in love with this series, an amazing read!

I received this ARC from the author.  This is my honest, voluntary review.

As promised, here is my review of what I was currently reading! It did not disappoint! I have discovered I love this author! Her storytelling abilities are profound! She writes the whole package! Looking for something new? You have to try these books! Look for more on this author and book coming soon!

This is the second book of the Beautiful Barringtons series. There is a novella which technically makes this book third.

Published by jelee1976

I love to review historical romance books! I discuss book reviews, thoughts on authors and series, and just general stuff about me!

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