The Design Of Dukes Release Tour!

Andromeda is the most frustrating creature Granby has ever encountered. When their insults turn to flirtation and the heated discussions between them lead to passionate kisses, will Andromeda succumb to their mutual attraction? Fans of steamy historical and enemies to lovers romances will devour The Design of Dukes by Kathleen Ayers, the next book in her Beautiful Barringtons Series.

Hello Everyone! Welcome to the Release Tour of The Design Of Dukes by Kathleen Ayers! Here you will find blurbs, my review, a new excerpt, and how to follow Kathleen Ayers. Thanks for stopping by!

Lady Andromeda Barrington is the most unsuitable young lady in London.

At least in the Duke of Granby’s opinion.

Granby doesn’t care for bastard relatives or tainted pedigrees and Andromeda possesses both. Nor does he like opinionated young ladies who enjoy hurling insults in his direction.

Andromeda is, in short, the most annoying creature he’s ever met.

When she arrives, uninvited, to a house party given at his estate, Granby can’t decide whether to kiss Andromeda senseless or send her packing.

Andromeda is the victim of infatuation and bad luck.

The infatuation is that of her sister for the Earl of Blythe, but the misfortune belongs solely to Andromeda after she is forced to attend a house party hosted by the Duke of Granby. She and the duke are previously, unpleasantly, acquainted. The entire party is bound to be awkward, and their mutual dislike difficult to hide. Her only recourse is to avoid the giant block of ice masquerading as a duke. Thankfully, Granby’s estate is enormous.

But instead of mutual hostility upon arriving, Romy is greeted with unexpected attraction. Insults turn into flirtation. Heated discussions become lingering kisses.

Her heart is ruined. Granby may not even have one.

And the duke has already chosen another young lady to be his duchess.

The Design of Dukes is a steamy historical romance with a guaranteed happily ever after and next in the series The Beautiful Barringtons.

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My Review


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.

Read below for a new excerpt!


Copyright 2021 @author

 “Very well. I already know what you will ask for.”

“You do?” That surprised him. He was so close to her that if Andromeda took a deep breath, the tips of her breasts would brush his chest. 

A pained look came over her lovely features. “And I completely understand, Your Grace.”

“You do?” he murmured.

“You wish me and Theo to leave the house party. It is unfortunate you and I have formed such a dislike for each other.”

“Is that what you are calling it?” 

“I’ll make an excuse that I’m ill or I’m concerned for my mother so that we may return to London with all haste.” She turned away from him and bent at the waist, giving him another lovely view of her backside, glaringly apparent through the folds of petticoats she was encased in. Her hands flew over the papers spread out across the grass to

gather them up. 

Andromeda assumed, incorrectly, he wanted her to leave The Barrow. The very thought gave him a hollow sensation in the middle of his stomach. 

“No. I would never suggest such a thing.” His voice sounded chilly even to his own ears.

“You don’t need to, Your Grace. I take your meaning.”

Andromeda hadn’t the slightest idea how badly David wanted her. He looked over her shoulder as her hands began to stack the papers neatly together. Not drawings of the stream and woods as he’d thought. What most young ladies with a mediocre talent for sketching would draw. But gowns. Dresses. One with a motif of butterflies across the skirt. There was even a sketch of a riding habit.

I have an acquaintance who owns a dress shop.

Andromeda, already fascinating, became more so. 

“I don’t wish you to leave the house party,” he said to the trim line of her back. 

“My presence clearly annoys you, Your Grace.” 

Indeed, it did, in so many ways David had stopped counting. “A correct assessment.”

 “Then Theo and I will leave in the morning.” 

“No,” his said roughly. “You will not.”

Andromeda’s hands stilled on her drawings, stiffening with anger at his commanding tone. 

David stared at the line of buttons running down her spine. Could he bite them off with his teeth? The dress would fall away from her shoulders, exposing all her glorious skin. 

She turned back to face him, angrily tying a piece of leather around the portfolio to keep it closed. “What else could you possibly want, Your Grace? An apology for the insult about your coat? How petty, it was well over a year ago.”

His head fell forward, nose gliding up the slope of her neck, inhaling the soft lavender scent lingering on her skin. 

A soft gasp of surprise left her, but she didn’t move away. The portfolio fell from her hands. 

“I want this,” he whispered. David nuzzled the bit of skin just beneath her ear before catching her lips with his.

About Kathleen Ayers

Kathleen Ayers has been a hopeful romantic since the tender age of fourteen when she first purchased a copy of Sweet Savage Love at a garage sale while her mother was looking at antique animal planters. Since then she’s read hundreds of historical romances and fallen in love dozens of times. In particular, she adores handsome, slightly damaged men with a wicked sense of humor. On paper, of course. Kathleen lives in Houston and is married with one college-aged son and two very spoiled dogs.

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I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did! Kathleen Ayers has become one of my favorite authors. Thanks for taking the time to visit the Release Tour! Until next time, stay safe, be kind, and keep reading!

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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