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Friday, July 29, 2016

REVIEW: "A Duke to Remember" by Kelly Bowen


A Duke to Remember (Season for Scandal, #2)
(Season for Scandal #2)

Historical Romance -- Regency England
Forever -- July 26, 2016
eARC, 368 pages
Read in July 2016
Netgalley

Goodreads -- Author Website

RATING: 4 STARS

SUMMARY
Elise deVries is not what she seems. By night, the actress captivates London theatergoers with her chameleon-like ability to slip inside her characters. By day, she uses her mastery of disguise to work undercover for Chegarre & Associates, an elite agency known for its discreet handling of indelicate scandals. But when Elise is tasked with locating the missing Duke of Ashland, she finds herself center stage in a real-life drama.

Noah Ellery left the glamour of the London aristocracy to pursue a simpler life in the country. He's managed to avoid any complications or entanglements—that is, until he lays eyes on Elise and realizes there's more to this beautiful woman than meets the eye. But when Elise reveals her real identity—and her true feelings for him—the runaway duke must confront the past he left behind . . . to keep the woman he loves forever. 


THEMES & TROPES
Tortured Hero, Actress Heroine, Character in Disguise, Class Differences, Inheritance

MY THOUGHTS 
I received an eARC of this book from Forever Publishing via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Kelly Bowen showed that she really knew how to write smart, capable heroines in the first book in this series Duke of My Heart with Ivory Moore, owner of Chegarre & Associates.  Now Bowen has turned to another associate, Elise deVries who uses her skills as a professional actress to become one of the company's premier spies/undercover agents.  Elise's mission is to find the longtime missing Duke of Ashland at the bequest of his sister who is desperate to save her mother from an insane asylum.  What Elise doesn't expect is to find the duke living as a simple farmer.  She also doesn't expect to fall in love with him.

Elise was definitely a character that I was intrigued by in the first book.  I was super excited to see her take center stage and I think she was as wonderfully developed as I hoped.  I loved her resourcefulness and her independence.  I also appreciated her sense of humor which helped alleviate the tension in some of the situations she found herself in.  Noah was a great character on his own though it was clear that this was Elise's story.  He had a difficult childhood and has understandable reasons for rejecting his family and the title.  But, despite his treatment, he was able to climb from the streets and make something of himself.

Elise and Noah fell in love with one another in a short amount of time, but I never felt like it was a case of insta-love.  I think this is because they were such richly drawn characters and it was obvious that they had an immediate connection.  There was a bit of a fallout when Elise's true purpose was revealed, but I thought they both handled the situation in a decent and understandable fashion.  Elise and Noah are an example of romantic it can be when a couple actually sits down and talks to one another.  I really believed in their happy ending.

I also love the entire premise of this series!  Seemingly inspired by Olivia Pope, Chegarre & Associates specializes in minimizing the damage of major scandals...at least to those who can afford their services.  There are a multitude of fascinating characters who work for and around the company and I hope to see many of them get their own stories soon.  I am especially interested to see what Kelly Bowen does with the mysterious King whose background becomes a little less murky in this book.

The only thing that kept this book from being an all-time favorite was the ending.  I felt like it was rushed especially the final confrontation with Noah's scheming cousin.  I wish that the payoff had been better.  That being said, I still enjoyed reading A Duke to Remember and am really looking forward to the next book in the series.  If you are a reader who loves strong, admirable heroines in historical settings, I can't recommend this book or its prequel, Duke of My Heart, enough.  Elise and Ivory are fantastic and I'm sure the heroine of Between the Devil and the Duke will be as well.

READING CHALLENGES
2016 Pick Your Genre Reading Challenge

BOOKS IN THE SERIES


Duke of My Heart (Season for Scandal, #1) A Duke to Remember (Season for Scandal, #2) Between the Devil and the Duke (Season for Scandal, #3)

2 comments:

  1. Great review here!!! I have been super curious about this one, and I have fallen behind on this author. I love the premise here though...with this company aiding in scandals, definitely sounds fun. Great review.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I still haven't read any of Kelly Bowen's books. I keep meaning too. I own a few on my Kindle. But I just haven't gotten to them. I'm so glad you loved this, even if the ending was a bit rushed.

    ReplyDelete

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