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Jilting the Duke (The Muses' Salon Series)…
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Jilting the Duke (The Muses' Salon Series)

by Rachael Miles

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My favorite thing about regency romance books is the witty banter. I love the sharp back and forth, and most importantly, I love to laugh. And right now, I need a laugh. I need encouragement for starting over. Just before reading this book, my husband ambushed me by telling me he wanted a divorce. To say I wasn’t expecting it would be a gigantic understatement.

Humor is my go-to method of lifting myself out of a bad mood. So, when I saw I had a regency romance next on my TBR, i was excited. I thought this was just the remedy to distract my mind. But, Jilting the Duke is not a fun and flirty romance full of witty banter. It is about a grieving widow, Sophia Gardiner, who harbors deep secrets and hurts. She is reconnected with her first love Aidan Somerville, who is still nursing a broken heart after she left him. Throw into the mix some espionage and danger, and you get Jilting the Duke.

At first, I was disappointed because this was not the book I had hoped to read. However, as I kept reading, I realized this was the book I needed to read. Over the course of the book, Sophia overcomes her hurts and disappointments and rediscovers herself. The same can be said for Aidan. Also, they solve the mystery. And thankfully, I didn’t entirely figure out the mystery before the end. I hate when I figure things out early. No fun.

This is the first book in Rachael Miles new series The Muses Salon. I felt a connection with Sophia (probably because of my current situation, but so what?), and that alone makes me interested to read book 2. I also enjoyed Sophia’s artistic pursuits, and it inspired me to get back into my own artistic endeavors. That is a good feeling. The mystery added another layer to the book, which I also enjoyed. There are not a lot of sex scenes in the book, but what is there is well-written and not at all cheesy.

I give this book a solid B or 3 starts. If you are looking for the sharp humor and spunky heroine of other regency romances, this book is probably not for you. However, this book does have a satisfying mystery and quieter romance that will satisfy many readers.

But, will my mom like it? Definitely. This is the kind of thoughtful book she would enjoy.

Favorite quotes (again, heavily affected by my current mood and circumstances):

“The transformation from manuscript to printed books offered Sophia the hope that somehow meaning could still come from the disorder of her life. Perhaps she could yet become what she was meant to be.”

“Perhaps a visit to the nursery later to see how Lily was enjoying her studies would alleviate some of the plaintive loneliness that surprised Sophia at some point each day.” ( )
  asoutherngirlreads | Jun 27, 2016 |
Lost love, dangerous spies, betrayal and loyalty.

Returning to England after her husband's death Sophia Gardiner found her first love, Aidan Somerville, the Duke of Forster cool, remote and ready to judge.
Before their first meeting all Adian could think of was Sophia's betrayal and a just retribution for her actions. After Aiden had seen her all he could think of was her.
Yet his duty to country and loyalty to his friend Tom counted for something. It was up to him to determine what had happened. Yet he'd not taken notice of Sophia and her wants.
Sophia, a brilliant botanists and garden designer, painter and once the love of Aiden's life now faces danger, and her true love, with courage and trepidation, not in equal measures.
I enjoyed this immensely, the character and the plot captivated me. If this is the first in the series, then I have high hopes for the subsequent volumes.
The tension and mystery is highlighted as the story unfolds, gradually revealing more of the subplots as we move into the heart of the matter
The difficulty for Sophia is that she is caught in a no win situation. She has a responsibility to past promises that include responsibilities for the future. All conflict and lead to troubled situations, particularly between herself and Aidan.

A NetGalley ARC ( )
  eyes.2c | Jan 26, 2016 |
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When Aidan Somerville, Duke of Forster, is named the guardian to his deceased best friend's young son, he is forced to work with the boy's mother, Sophia Gardiner, to whom he was engaged before he went off to war.

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