How to Marry a Duke by Vicky Dreiling
Tristan James Gatewick, the Duke of Shelbourne, is the most sought after bachelor in all of England. It's an enviable position for any man of marriageable age - after all, it's time for him to settle down and have the heir and the spare his family so desperately needs. 

The problem: he can't bring himself to marry any of the ninnies he's met courtesy of the ton. Only one woman interests him, a honey-haired beauty with a sharp tongue. She's unlike any of the vain, spoiled, clumsy chits he's met up to now. The only problem? He's hired her to find him a wife. 

Tessa Mansfield can't believe her luck. Ever since she was deemed a spinster a few seasons ago, she's been a professional matchmaker, finding ugly ducklings and penniless chits all over London matches in the highest echelons of society. But she's just landed the Duke of Shelbourne as a client and her entire career rests on finding him a suitable match. So she concocts an elaborate way to ensure a happy match: the Duke will court 25 women simultaneously, eliminating them as he sees fit until he finds the perfect one. Unfortunately she never expected to desire him herself and fantasize about his touch...


This is Vicky Dreiling's debut novel and overall it was a fairly enjoyable read. However it really didn't present anything new or different from other romance books and I'm not sure I'll actually remember much about it in a couple of weeks.

Tessa was an enjoyable character - independent and strong without being a cliché. Unfortunately all the other female characters were insipid dimwits that I couldn't take to at all. I also liked Tristan - your typical rakish duke brought down by love but if I'm honest the pair had little chemistry and not enough heat or emotion to give you that 'butterflies in your stomach' feeling that you want when reading romance.

The story was a little disjointed and didn't always flow. Towards the middle I wondered whether anything exciting was actually going to happen and by contrast the ending was so drawn out that I could have screamed! I felt that all the characters were ridiculously proper on occasion - probably correct to the time period but a little dull none the less. And the hugely devastating secret of Tessa's turned out to be fairly tepid compared to other books I've read which was a little anticlimactic.

I actually enjoyed reading this book and it was never a chore to pick it up. It wasn't overly exciting but if you've got it on your bookshelf then it's still worth a read. 3 stars.



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