⭐️⭐️1/2 rounded to ⭐️⭐️⭐️
Not Even For A Duke tells the story of a victim of domestic abuse and the man that loves her unconditionally and wants to help her heal. The novel, at its heart, is about unrequited love and second chances. Aurora is a widow whose late husband was a monster who physically abused her. Garrett is a childhood friend who has always loved Aurora. Aurora rebuffs Garrett at every turn. Aurora must come to terms with her past before she can ever move forward.
I tried everything to warm to this book, but I could not. I understood that Aurora had horrendous trauma in her past. I didn’t particularly appreciate how Aurora treated Garrett, and I could not understand her reasoning. There were times she used him, knowing how he felt about her. Aurora suppressed her feelings out of fear. However, she took advantage of Garrett over and over. Garrett was the bright star in the story. His character was well-developed, and he was loving, patient, and understanding to a fault. His unrequited love for Aurora was palpable, and it broke my heart how he was treated. The connection between the couple was one-sided to me, favoring Garrett. The relationship took one step forward and two steps back throughout the entirety of the book.
The story was well-written; it was a slow burn but flowed well. The plot was thin in places. The happily ever after developed abruptly. The conclusion in the final chapters was entertaining, and I could feel the love Garrett felt was finally reciprocated. I rounded this rating to three stars based on the beautiful complexity of Garrett and how the conclusion ended fantastically for Garrett and Aurora.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advance copy of this book through Netgalley and the publisher. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Release Date: September 14, 2021