Read The Duke Gets Even

Read The Duke Gets Even by Joanna Shupe

A rebellious heiress.

A duke in dire straits.

An anonymous midnight tryst.

To escape the shackles of marriage, Nellie Young purposely ruined her reputation a long time ago. Now she dedicates herself to hedonistic pleasures only, like kissing a handsome stranger in the ocean under the moonlight…

To save his estate, the proper Duke of Lockwood must marry the perfect bride–wealthy, with an unblemished reputation. While in New York he’s the perfect gentleman, and no one knows he’s suppressing his darkest desires. The last thing he needs is another scandal.

Except Nellie sees through Lockwood’s charade, straight to the real man underneath. This uptight duke is far more than he lets on, and she can’t resist him. Their secret affair turns scorching, far more than either expected. And when his beautiful rebel finds an unconventional cause, Lockwood has to decide if he’s willing to sacrifice everything to keep her.

I didn’t read the previous books in the series, and could follow along, but the other women figure strongly and I suspect both characters in this book have some good character build up in the previous books.

Giving the Duke a heart condition added an interesting element since so many romance endings are about settling into a long happy forever, while in this both know their time may be limited.

I liked Eleanor’s advocacy for women’s rights and wish it weren’t so timely 120 years later 😒

Some of the pacing towards the beginning felt a mite slow, though it helped that the book started with a racy swimming scene so you knew they had chemistry if they could get over themselves.

I expected a different ending but liked the actual ending better than my guess.

Fantasy Romance

Read The Wolf and the Wallflower

Read The Wolf and the Wallflower (Wolves of the Ton #1)

Lord Jasper Thorne is the most eligible bachelor of the season, but he chafes against the expectation to marry a suitable lady and forge a strong alliance for his pack. Acting polite and proper at balls makes him want to take his wolf form and flee into the woods. Then he meets shy wallflower Ambrose and suddenly social events are much more tolerable.

Ambrose Linfield is hopelessly smitten the moment he meets handsome, charming Jasper. They discuss books they aren’t supposed to be reading, chat with each other at balls when Jasper should be dancing with ladies, even shift together under the full moon.

When Ambrose takes a bold chance and Jasper discovers the truth of his own feelings, everything changes. Secret kisses and stolen moments consume them, but the end of the season draws closer. Soon Jasper will have to do his duty, unless both of them are willing to defy their parents, their packs, and all of society.

This was cute, I’d read another from the series. It was pretty light and relatively low angst till the ending, so perhaps could have been a bit shorter since a lot of the scenes were similar, at balls or at the club. I liked the wolf culture but wished it could have been delved into deeper, especially how wolves and humans fit together.