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The Duke of Her Desire

by Sophie Barnes

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253692,518 (3.75)None
He was only supposed to keep an eye on his friend's sister . . . now he's about to lose his heart . . . When Thomas Heathmore, Duke of Coventry, agrees to steer his friend's inexperienced younger sister through society, he doesn't expect the lady in question to be so infernally stubborn. Amelia Matthews seems to have little interest in balls or suitors at all. Instead, she intends to open a school, and against his better instincts, Thomas offers to help. Yet somewhere along the line, Amelia ceases to be a simple responsibility . . . and becomes an undeniable temptation. Since her brother inherited a dukedom, Amelia's prospects have transformed. But though she's long been secretly infatuated with Thomas, she refuses to heed the arrogant aristocrat's advice. If only it were as easy to ignore his heated touch. And as Amelia soon learns, the ton is a minefield, where one moment's indiscretion can unleash a scandal--or entice her to surrender everything to the duke of her desire . . .… (more)

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I liked this book. I really enjoyed the first book in this series, A Most Unlikely Duke, so I was really excited to read more of the series. I didn't love it and I don't think I will remember much about it long term but it was a nice enough story. I thought that this was a pleasant read and am glad that I read it.

Thomas, the Duke of Coventry, agrees to watch over his friend's sisters while he is away. Amelia and Juliette are still trying to fit into society after living in poverty most of their lives. Amelia has other dreams and hopes to open a school for children where she used to live. Of course, she starts this process while her brother is away and Coventry jumps into to help. She is still keeping social commitments and considering potential husbands at the same time.

This was a really tame historical romance. I actually don't remember ever reading one quite this innocent. I don't need a lot of heat in this kind of story to find it enjoyable but I found it rather surprising. I really didn't feel a whole lot of chemistry between this pair and I do wonder if part of that could be because most of the book was rather chaste until the story got closer to the end. I don't think that you need sex in a story to have chemistry but it just seems that something was missing between this pair.

I did find both Amelia and Thomas to be interesting characters. Thomas has quite the story which I was very eager to learn more about as the story progressed. Amelia's quest to run a school was ambitious and really showed what kind of person she was. I was probably most entertained by everything that went wrong with the preparations for the school. I liked that they both seemed really committed to the cause.

This was a book that I liked in the end. It was a nice enough read and a nice way to spend a bit of time. It wasn't my favorite in the series but it was an acceptable installment. I am actually not sure if I will be picking up the next book in the series or not at this point but I would like to read more from Sophie Barnes in the future.

I received an advance reader edition of this book from Avon Books via Edelweiss. ( )
  Carolesrandomlife | Feb 22, 2018 |
I really liked the first book in the series, A Most Unlikely Duke and was looking forward to the sisters'--Amelia and Juliette's--stories. The Duke of Her Desire, Amelia's book, was readable, but it just didn't quite have the zing that Raphe's story did.

I liked the older brother's best friend element of the story, and Amelia's feeling like a fish out of water made her easy to identify with. It felt believable that Amelia would fall for Thomas first, and that he'd take a little bit more effort to bring around. Their chemistry was decent, but not off-the-charts amazing. I did like that once again Ms. Barnes had the two wait to finally sleep together--a refreshing change!

The suspense part of the plot, tied to the charitable endeavor Amelia is working on, felt a bit tacked on at times--and wasn't really resolved entirely satisfactorily in the end. I suspect that individual might play a part in Juliette's book, maybe? Overall, I liked this book, but didn't love it--you can still sign me up for book three, though ( The Illegitimate Duke ) because I do want to see what's in store for the youngest sibling.

Rating: 3 1/2 stars / C+

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book. ( )
  beckymmoe | Jan 3, 2018 |
Series: Diamonds In The Rough #2
Publication Date: 12/26/17

I loved this book. It is one of my favorite books (and series) for 2017! The writing is excellent – as always – the story is well plotted and the characters are well developed. We met most of the characters in the first book, A Most Unlikely Duke. While you get some of the family background from this book, it is well covered in the first book. So, I’ll give you a little detail here. The definitely unlikely duke, Raphe Matthews, was born into the gentry - his mother was the daughter of a viscount -- but through an awful set of circumstances, he, at the age of 8 ends up living in St. Giles with his three younger sisters in his care. For fifteen years he manages to care for all of them by working on the docks and prizefighting. Sadly, he does lose one sister, and that eats at him. Can you imagine any 8-year old today managing to do what this child did? Never happen - but they seemed to mature earlier back then.

After a month or so of marriage, Raphe is taking his bride on a wedding trip. That leaves his sisters with an eccentric aunt, Lady Everley, as a chaperone. Raphe also asks his best friend, Thomas Heathmore, Duke of Coventry to help steer his two younger sisters through the beginning of the season. While he is hesitant, Thomas agrees. Little does poor Thomas know what he is getting himself into.

Amelia has lived almost her entire life in St. Giles. She’s learned to be resourceful, smart and determined because she had the care of her younger sisters. She cleaned, scavenged for food, prepared meals and otherwise did all the things that needed to be done to see to her family’s welfare. She has had a really hard time adjusting to her new life in Mayfair since her older brother inherited a Dukedom a couple of months ago. She’s been diligent about her dancing, deportment and other lessons, but she just doesn’t feel as if she belongs. She’s at a loss and needs something to do with herself – and she knows what that is and what she needs to do. Hang on to your hats – you are in for a ride! Almost as soon as her brother is gone she begins to put her plan into motion – much to her own peril as well as Thomas’s. She just needs to manage to avoid Thomas as much as she can – because she is so very, very attracted to him.

Thomas has changed over the last five years. The once happy and cheerful man has become a recluse who seldom smiles and cuts himself off from society. He is a very loving man and has taken on many responsibilities that he feels keeps him from being able to marry himself – not to mention his big secret. However, he finds himself more and more drawn to Amelia’s sunny and determined personality. He fights that attraction with everything that is in him – but he has no success. As they are thrown together more and more his attraction grows.

I love how accepting Thomas is of Amelia’s project and how he tries to help her. I also love the other suitor’s Amelia has. They genuinely care for her and are lovely and understanding when she doesn’t return their regard. They even pitch in and help with her project as well.

It is a true delight to watch Amelia and Thomas dance around their love for each other. You begin to wonder if Thomas will finally come to his senses, but a firm sock in the face can do wonders for making one see the light. Of course, you also have a bad guy in the story who, I’ll almost bet, will be back in the next book. Can’t wait to see that one.

Please check out my reviews at:
Blog: https://flippinpages.blog/
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/flippinpages...
Twitter: https://twitter.com/FlippinPagesRev

"I requested and received this e-book at no cost to me and volunteered to read it; my review is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher." ( )
  BarbaraRogers | Dec 11, 2017 |
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