My Darling Duke by Stacy Reid

Miss Katherine Danvers has always been a wallflower. But now, with her family on the brink of financial ruin, she finds herself a desperate wallflower. To save her family, she'll do anything. Luckily, she has the perfect plan...

She’ll impress the ton by simply announcing she is engaged to the reclusive and mysterious Duke of Thornton, Alexander Masters, and secure strong matches for her sisters. No one has heard from the duke in years. Surely he’ll never find out before her sisters’ weddings, and she can go back to her own quiet life.

Soon, though, everything is out of control. At first, it’s just a few new ball gowns on the duke’s accounts. Then, it’s interviews with reporters eager for gossip. Before she knows it, Katherine has transformed herself into Kitty Danvers, charming and clever belle of the ton—with everyone eager to meet her thankfully absent fiancĂ©.

But when the enigmatic Alexander Masters suddenly arrives in the city, dashing and oh so angry, he demands retribution. Except not in the way Katherine expected…

Title: My Darling Duke
Author: Stacy Reid
Series: Sinful Wallflowers Book 1
Pages: 352
Genre(s): Historical, Regency, England
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I love a good historical romp and the premise of this sounded delightful and quirky. A plucky, down-on-her-luck wallflower devises a plan to save her family from ruin by faking an engagement to an illustrious (and absent) duke.

I devoured the first part of the book, swept away in the humour, writing and scene setting. And then I felt the book start to slow, and so too did my reading. When the pace picked up, I was once again eager to keep reading and keep reading often. And that was the same throughout the book. A lot happened. Some bits felt glossed over and slightly underdeveloped while others were interesting and perhaps overly detailed - but didn’t lend much to the ongoing story. At times it felt like the writing had been twisted into sentences that were far more complicated than they needed to be, but overall it was very engaging and readable.

As I (sadly) always do in a historical novel set in Britain, I started to count the Americanisms (gotten being a particular irritation of mine in supposed British books) but honestly, these were few and far between. Some did find their way through, coupled with a few historical inaccuracies and the unforgivable sin of having Scots (or at least folk in Scotland) drinking Irish whiskey instead of Scottish whisky.

Most importantly, I loved our main characters. Kitty was likably feisty while still retaining her sensible character, while Alexander was the overly grumpy hero who secretly yearns for love and affection. Alexander’s affliction was another unusual addition to the novel, and while it gave him motivation to keep Kitty at arm’s length, it did keep the sex scenes to a minimum in the book. Despite that, the emotion between the pair was very real and very well executed. I felt it, especially towards the ending. Sigh.

This is the first book in a new series, The Sinful Wallflowers, and many of the characters from upcoming books were introduced during this one (I’m assuming, anyway). There were too many for me to latch on to, which is a shame as I’m susceptible to being persuaded to buy future books based on their appearances in the first in a series. And I do think the idea of a bunch of wallflowers deciding to be sinful is a good one.

Stacy Reid is a new author to me and one I’d very much like to read again. While this book didn’t light up my world, it did entertain me for a while, and there were many aspects of the story that very much appealed.


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* I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. *


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