This review may contain spoilers, so fair warning, upon reading the review.
About The Book
A Rogue of Her Own by Grace Barrowes meets Eloisa James in this new historical romance from Stacy Reid.
Miss Katherine Danvers is a desperate wallflower. Her family is on the brink of financial ruin, and it is up her to save her mother and sisters from a life of indignities. So she transforms herself into the incomparable Kitty Danvers, the fiancée of the enigmatic and reclusive Alexander Masters, Duke of Thornton—once dubbed the mad, bad, and dangerous catch of the Season.
Ten years ago, society and the woman Alexander Masters loved called him a monster, after a tragic accident left him scarred and confined to a wheelchair. His heart exists in cold, lonely exile, until he learns he has a fiancée—a deceptive, clever, and utterly intriguing woman he’s never met. Miss Danvers will now learn the consequences of engaging herself to the beast, for Alexander is determined to make her his. Soon, they are involved in a chase, a clash of wills, and though he once vowed to never love again, he burns for the enchanting Miss Danvers. And denying his heart may cost him an exquisite love that happens only once in a lifetime.
“I believe people look away because it is uncomfortable to gaze upon another’s pain when it is bare for the world to see. How do they relate? Or offer words of compassion when they truly cannot understand your pain?”
The moment I started this audiobook I was actually hooked right away into the story, and I am not sure if it was the writing itself or the talent of the narrator, but I was really pulled into the story and now I am kinda wishing that I had read this one physically and not in the audio format because I might have enjoyed it more. But maybe not, you never do know. I was really drawn into this story here and see what it brought to the forefront and there were so many factors that brought this book into such an array of enjoyment and even though there were elements to the story that I didn’t like, I also loved this sweet romance in ways that I can see why this author has become so well-loved so quickly. I think if you enjoy fewer descriptions in historicals and less authentic historical feels then this one will definitely work in many ways for you. And even though I quite liked this story I didn’t quite love it like I was expecting to.
“The beauty of silence is that it simply is. In the stillness and tranquility, I find peace. Instead of being afraid of the void, I embrace it.”
Miss Katherine Danvers, while part of a titled family, are a less financially fortunate one. She has been out in the Ton for a few years and hasn’t had many opportunities for much. But then she finds a way to make an opportunity for both herself and her family. She decides to pose as a distant Duke’s fiancee. He is far from London, and what are the odds that he will ever discover what she has truly done. But her fake engagement has take the Ton by storm and surprise when the Duke himself who has kept himself closed off from society enters the doors of a social gathering and all of the ton are there, and now they both are making the pretense of being madly in love. They make a pact with each other that they will provide some opportunity for them both. Alexander Master, ten years ago, suffered a horrible accident from a fire and lost much of the use of his legs, and is scarred in certain areas and he once scared many members of society and has spent years in seclusion. But there is something about Katherine that has made his body and mind come alive with every touch. He knows the time they have together is short, but he is willing to take the risk and enjoy the moment with her. Katherine realizes that winning the heart of the Duke won’t be so easy. He might view this as temporary, but she is determined to win the man’s heart and fight for the love they share.
What I Loved
My Darling Duke was such a sweet romance and it also contained one of my favorite elements in a romance. As much as I love seeing a hero fight for the heroine, my true catnip is actually the heroine fighting for the hero and the heroine in this book was so badass in that she was willing to fight for the Duke’s heart and hand. She falls for him pretty quickly, and even though she knows it won’t be easy to tear down the barriers that he has built for himself, she is also a fighter. While she is financially in need, she also recognizes how good she and Alex are together. I truly adored seeing these sensual moments that build between these two. Seeing their intimacy and bond deepens with each encounter. I also couldn’t seem to get enough of seeing the romance that came to the forefront and oh the SWOONY MOMENTS that just tugged at my heartstrings. Stacy Reid definitely knows how to write those feels that just endear you so quickly. This story had me smiling all over the place for all these endearing moments that won me so quickly.
“I would lay the world at your feet if I could, Katherine.”
“I do not need the whole world. Just a little bit of you, Alexander”
What I Stuggled With
Now for the tough part, on the reasons why the rating was lower than I expected it to be. I will be honest, when I first started this book I actually thought it might get to a five-star, that is how good it worked for me at first. But unfortunately, it didn’t quite work out that way. I think part of the reason is how fast I was listening to the audiobook, just this experience shows me I need to keep it at a moderate pace and that having it too fast just ruins the experience of having a story narrated for me. I also wished there was more historical authenticity with this one. And what I mean by that is if not for the phrases Ton and Duke, I could have thought this was a contemporary. There wasn’t much in the descriptions to convey that it was set in the 1800s, I definitely crave that more in a historical romance and this is something that can take away my enjoyment from reading a historical romance (that is kinda the point haha ) I want it to feel like I am taken back through time, and I just didn’t feel that in this one.
I absolutely adored this narrator, it was so well done. I can’t wait to listen to more of this narrators work because I felt like she did such a wonderful job in her narrating abilities. She has such a likable voice, and she handles the male voices very well in my opinion, which can be hard for some female narrators. I really loved her tones of the emotions that she conveyed in the narration and it was just a enjoyable experience listening to her bring this story to life.
My Darling Duke was such a story that will charm you with every sensual interaction. Its a story that conveys the tenderness of an intimate relationship and portrays the value of intimacy being more than just sexual need, that the emotional connection can only make those sexual moments sweeter. This book put this author on the map for me and I am excited to explore more of her work. Be ready for a historical romance to curl your toes and keep you wanting for more.
Title: My Darling Duke
Author: Stacy Reid
Genre: Historical Romance
Source: Hoopla Digital
Length: 11 Hours
About The Narrator
Actor and voice-over artist Mary Sarah is known for her subtle, emotionally potent performances. Classically trained at the Riverside Shakespeare Academy and the Film Actors Studio in New York City, Mary spends most of her time in the dark ages, narrating books filled with adventure, mystery, and romance. A 2016 nominee for the Voice Arts Award from the Society of Voice Arts and Sciences (SOVAS) for her work in Tamara Leigh’s The Longing, Mary thrives on character-driven work and powerful heroines. Finding multiple homes in the classics, historical fiction, fantasy, children’s literature, poetry, and cultural voices, Mary relishes in the power of storytelling to awaken our hearts. As a film actor, she received critical acclaim for her role in the docudrama Death Valley: A Love Story, was a member of the award-winning ensemble for Call It in the Air (Best Feature Film/Pocono Film Festival), and garnered a Best Supporting Actor nod for her work as Sarah Helvey in The Honour.
Storytelling Quality: 3.5
Story Itself: 3.5
Character Development: 4
Writing Style: 4.25
World Building 3.5
Feels + The Romantic Heart 3.5
Cover Art 4
Rating of the Book
Simmering—soft warm touches and light intimacy
Warm- a medium level of sexual tension, a balance of sexual and emotional intimacy, lighter on the details in the sexual moments.
Steamin’ up the room -the sexual content is more explicit in the language and tone, heavier amount of sexual scenes.
Blazing fire to the building-The prime focus is the sex scenes, scorching hot, and could burn one. Less focus on the emotional intimacy to the relationship.
My Darling Duke-Pub 2019 -(377 Pages)
Her Wicked Marquess-Pub 2020-(383 Pages)
A Scoundrel of Her Own-Pub 2021-(400 Pages)
About The Author
I am an unapologetic romance lover. I read it. I write it. Enough said. Well..I also have a warrior way “Never give up on my dreams.” I spend a copious amount of time drooling over Rick Grimes from Walking Dead, watching Japanese anime and playing video games with my love, Dusean.