The Duke Gets Even is the fourth book in The Fifth Avenue Rebels series by Joanna Shupe. I am an avid fan of Joanna Shupe and love her writing style, unforgettable characters, and heart-pounding passion. That being said, this was not my favorite book of hers. I always have an instant connection with her characters. I love their faults and idiosyncrasies that she writes so effortlessly.
I tried adamantly to connect with Nellie personally, but I could not. She sabotaged herself so many times. She was downright mean to Lockwood at times. I felt it confusing that she embraced woman’s rights – for them to embrace what makes them happy, yet ruthlessly shuts down her feelings for Lockwood due to thoughts of scandal – something she has actively promoted for years. Nellie explained her reason for ruining her reputation so she wouldn’t be forced to marry. Yet she had a father who’d never forced her to marry anyone. Unfortunately, Nellie was a conundrum I couldn’t reconcile.
On the other hand, I genuinely liked Lockwood. Poor Lockwood has been the dumped fiancé and second choice too many times. I was happy he found his match in Nellie, yet I found him more forgiving than I would have been. Lockwood is burdened with responsibilities and a feeling of urgency to secure his line. My heart melted for the scenes where he is brutally open and honest with Nellie when she wouldn’t do the same.
The writing was, as usual, superb, yet the plot circled the couple’s differences a bit too much. The couple had off-the-charts chemistry and the passionate scenes were incredible. Usually, I find the amount of angst in these books exhilarating, yet there were times I wanted less drama and more romance. Although not my favorite book, I’d still recommend this book due to Lockwood finding his well-deserved happily ever after. I am still an enthusiastic fan of the author and her books. Personally this was not my favorite.
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: January 24, 2023