The Duke Who Loved Me is a flirtatious, funny journey of an enemies-to-lovers romance. This is the perfect blend of unrequited love and outrageous situations. Passionate glances, just enough laughs, and a happily-ever-after are the cornerstone of this joyful, energetic read.
James Cantrell, the new Duke of Tereford, and Cecelia Vainsmede have butted heads ever since they were teenagers. Cecelia acted as liaison between James and her father; she knows more about Jame’s estates and financials than he does. Being new to the title, James is overwhelmed; he wants to keep to his shallow, selfish lifestyle. Cecelia has been in love with James for years. James hatches a plan to enter into a marriage of convenience with Cecelia so she can manage and he can do as he pleases. Outraged and heartbroken, Cecelia adamantly refuses the proposal. James, who has never taken no for an answer, charges ahead with his plan; only a German prince stands in his way. James must realize what Cecelia means to him before she is lost forever.
James is a shallow, selfish man who has always gotten what he wants. At first, I found James off-putting. However, throughout the story, James’ metamorphosis from a wastrel to a man of honor is breathtaking. James is redeemable and worth the work. I felt Cecelia’s disappointment and frustration. Cecelia is resourceful and reliable, and she is tired of only being seen as such. She is a strong, relatable character. The friction of the couple from the situation of enemies to lovers is palpable. Their connection is strong and deceivingly passionate. The love they find is slow-building yet satisfying.
The plot was quick-witted and captured my attention. Each character, including the secondary ones, was written with love and care. The tension between the couple was spot-on. Numerous comical situations added lovely levity to the plot. Jame’s journey is fraught with self-discovery and impossibly quirky situations. This story is blended with the perfect amount of comedy and love. The Duke Who Loved Me is the first book in The Duke’s Estates series. The novel was a robust and stand-out read. My only critique was the brevity of the conclusion. Much wasn’t reconciled until a final couple of paragraphs; I like a more lengthy, decisive conclusion. That being said, I enjoyed reading this eye-catching book. This was an intricate, entertaining love story that made me smile.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advance copy of this book through Netgalley and the publisher. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Publication Date: August 31, 2021