The Desire Of A Duchess is the seventh book in The Beautiful Barringtons series by Kathleen Ayers. Ellis Aperton, the Earl of Blythe, escapes London to the countryside to avoid his matchmaking mother. Blythe is weary of being seen as an empty-headed dandy good for only his looks and lack of intelligence. Beatrice Howard, the widowed Duchess of Castlemere, has gone from a horrid, despicable debutante to a reclusive, scarred widow living in a small town hiding from society. When Blythe and Beatrice collide once again, old sparks fly. However, former prejudices on both sides threaten a blooming romance.
I have wanted Blythe’s story since the garden party in The Design Of Dukes! I knew there was a romantic, intelligent soul to this man who relied on looks and charm. Blythe stole my heart with his quick humor and failed attempts at being an artist. My favorite aspect about Blythe was his unrecognizable carved animals! Blythe was endearing and empathetic. Beatrice has been a horrid person causing pain and suffering. After an accident irrevocably changes her, she seeks repentance in a unique, creative way. Beatrice was the ultimate redemption story; her journey riveted me!
Blythe and Beatrice have always held a spark hidden deep underneath the barbs and insults. The sensual tension throughout the book is undeniable and palpable. The couple is combustible! I loved the back-and-forth between love and hate. The more profound emotional connection that formed was breathtaking.
Redemption stories are one of my favorite tropes. This novel is expertly written to showcase the emotional depths of Blythe and Beatrice. The hauntingly beautiful, broken Beatrice was perfect for the romantic, disillusioned Blythe. This story moved and flowed perfectly. The characters were brilliant. I was one hundred percent invested in Blythe and Beatrice from their first encounter. This is one of my all-time favorite series. The Desire Of A Duchess is another brilliantly written romance with witty dialogue, captivating characters, and themes we can all relate to. Do not miss this series and this book in particular. Kathleen Ayers is not only a tremendous storyteller but is a defining voice in historical romance!
Publication Date: March 30, 2023