Redonk Nutshell: Brutally honest heroine finds herself drawn to a straight laced duke

This is the 3rd in Eloisa James’s fairy tale inspired regency romance series. The fairy tale? The princess and the pea.

Olivia Lytton has been engaged to her fiancee from the cradle. Duke of Canterwick is mentally disabled. He’s slow. He’s sweet as pie, but the poor kid is clueless to what’s expected of him and what people say about him. Olivia and he are good friends, but beyond that there isn’t much more to say. In fact, the duke is more attached to his former stray dog than his fiancee. But Olivia honors the engagement, knowing that it wil do good for her younger sister in making a decent match.  The ideal candidate?  Tarquin, the Duke of Sconce. When Tarquin invites the women to a house party, he finds himself drawn not to Olivia’s sister, but Olivia herself.  Which is craziness, because Olivia is Trouble. She has a wicked and honest sense of humor, and doesn’t hesitate to call things like they are. Tarquin is a quiet and brooding man, conditioned to closet away any form of emotion.  These two together are like flame to gasoline, and neither can keep the fire from burning out of control.

This was a very enjoyable read.  I found myself laughing out loud several times at Olivia’s brutal sense of humor.  Sarcastic she is, but she is also extremely loyal.  To both her sister and her affianced duke.  She defends him to no end when the guests of the house party talk about him and his deficiencies.

The Duke is Mine had me up until the final few chapters, where events lead us to the shores of France. It seemed sort of, well, forced.  And the mattresses connection to the fairy tale didn’t really click for me. It was a reach, though it worked.

Overall, I very much enjoyed this book.  A feisty heroine pulls the best characteristics out of a sheltered hero.  It’s quite lovely.

The Duke is Mine by Eloisa James

Rating: B

Romance: 4/5            Raunch: 3.5/5

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