Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for an historical romance out to day from Bianca Blythe. HOW TO CAPTURE A DUKE is likely to appeal to fans of Tessa Dare, with a heroine who takes her fate in her own two hands…and makes a mess of it. Oh! And, finds true love along the way…
About the book:
One reclusive bluestocking…
Fiona Amberly is more intrigued by the Roman ruins near her manor house than she is by balls. When her dying Grandmother worries about Fiona’s future, Fiona stammers that she’s secretly engaged. Soon she finds herself promising that she will introduce her husband-to-be by Christmas.
One dutiful duke…
Percival Carmichael, new Duke of Alfriston, is in a hurry. He’s off to propose to London’s most eligible debutante. After nearly dying at Waterloo, he’s vowed to spend the rest of his life living up to the ton’s expectations.
One fallen tree…
When Fiona tries to warn a passing coach about a tree in the road, the driver mistakes her for a highwaywoman. Evidently he’s not used to seeing women attired in clothes only suitable for archaeology waving knives. After the driver flees, Fiona decides she may as well borrow the handsome passenger…
4.5 Stars for this fun, historical romance adventure. A perfect read for fans of Tessa Dare.
Fiona Amberly is a wallflower, a bluestocking, a woman past her prime and unwed at the ripe age of 22. She fled London two weeks after her debut several years before as she’s socially-awkward and graced with horrendous freckled skin and blood red hair. She’s unfashionable and unworried about it. Mostly. She lives with her grandmother in a castle in Yorkshire, and professes to have a fiance, “Captain Knightley” who is off fighting for England against Bonaparte. But the war has ended and all of Fiona’s family are expecting her fiance to collect his bride to be. Especially her ill Gram–who only wants to see Fiona properly settled. Meanwhile, Fiona’s content to dig Roman artifacts from the grounds of the castle and properly document her archaeological finds.
Percival is en route to London with a bag full of jewels, including an engagement ring for a woman he’s never met. He is newly settled into his title as Duke of Alfriston, which he landed because his cousin–the Duke–was killed in action at Waterloo while saving Percival. So, the title fits about as well as Percival’s wooden leg. Having no desire to be paraded out to the ton in search of a wife who would accept his deformity, Percival allows the dowager duchess, his aunt, to arrange a marriage with his dead cousin’s intended. And maybe, one day, they will grow to develop some affection toward each other.
While trying to stop a coach from running into a felled tree, Fiona is mistaken for a highwaywoman. She sees Percival is an attractive man, and well-cultured. And, if she can bring this gentleman to her home to meet her gram, once, perhaps everyone will believe that this stranger is Captain Knightley, and leave her alone in her personal life. Impetuously, she calls herself the Scarlet Demon, kidnaps the Duke, and the game is on.
This is a very cute, and a bit steamy, historical romance that starts out with hi jinks and hijacking and ends in passion. Percival is flummoxed regarding the mad woman who is taking him far from his intended target. In truth, he is uncomfortable around people, now, sensitive to his injury, and his ill-begotten title. He enjoyed being a rake, and now he has to be a nobleman, and live a life that is determined by his aunt, in the shadow of his cousin. Being around Fiona soon turns Percival’s beliefs on their ear. He sees her as a shy woman, but well educated and passionate about her desires in archaeology. True, she’s not “accomplished” by the usual measures, but Fiona’s very attractive to Percival–she’s a big gal, with soft features and red hair he’d love to lose himself in.
Fiona has no illusions regarding Percival’s interest. He makes it plain that he’s betrothed, and she doesn’t want to interfere in that. She doesn’t fend off any of his advances, however, and that’s okay for her. She never expected to marry, so having a bit of carnal pleasure with Percival is an illicit experience, one she will likely never have again. Did I mention Fiona’s impetuous?
The end of the book is far different to how I envisioned it, and I liked that! When I picked up the book I expected it would be very like Tessa Dare’s When a Scot Ties the Knot and there are some similarities, but the differences are vast. I loved how there was enough separation for lust to settle into something more warm, like affection. The dramatic ending was rather lovely, and I enjoyed getting swept away.
Interested? You can find HOW TO CAPTURE A DUKE on Goodreads and multiple Amazon outlets (US, UK, CA and DE). I received a review copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest review.
About the Author:
Thanks for popping in, and keep reading my friends!