Thursday, June 27, 2019
Say No to the Duke by Eloisa James + Giveaway
Lady Betsy Wilde worries that her mother's lascivious reputation has rubbed off on her after the duchess left her family for a blond Prussian man when Betsy was a child. So, for her first season she has put on a sweet, demure face and garnered a large number of proposals. She's rejected them all and lives with the fear that her mother's behavior may be hereditary. Best to find a boring husband, she thinks, rather than to awaken her sexuality.
Jeremy Roden served in His Majesty's Army during the American rebellion and lived through a tragic battle. While recovering from a gunshot wound and an episode of PTSD, he's been living in Lindow Castle, the Wilde family estate. Lady Betsy is accustomed to seeing him slouched in a chair, drinking whiskey, or laid out on the floor unconscious in the billiards room. He's certainly no prospect for marriage but at least he's interesting.
When Thaddeus, Viscount Greywick and a future duke, proposes to Betsy in the billiard's room, Jeremy encourages her to marry him. They're friends from school and Jeremy knows the future duke is trustworthy, plus you can't do better for titles than a duke. But, Lady Betsy yearns to go on an adventure in breeches, sneaking in where women are not allowed, just once before marriage. Jeremy offers a wager. If she wins a billiard's game, he'll take her where she wants to go. If not, she is his for the night.
But, when Jeremy begins to fall for the real Betsy — not the society facade but the billiards-playing, beer-loving, slightly wicked and adventurous Betsy — he's unsure what to do. He is a wounded soul and likely has been cut off from the title of marquess after a row with his father. Can Jeremy overcome his unexpected yearning or will he gain the confidence to ask for Betsy's hand in marriage? When Betsy finds herself becoming attracted to Jeremy, will she go the safe route and marry a kind but stuffy future duke or give in to attraction and marry the exciting man she's falling for?
Highly recommended - I liked the characters and their backstories in this book but didn't find it quite as far-fetched as I often do with romance. Jeremy and Betsy are constantly worrying about whether or not they're breaching convention and risking their reputations, whenever they're thrown together and end up alone. Oh, and come to think of it, I liked all the other characters — or had fun disliking them — as well. Lord Greywick is believably stiff, his mother zany. Betsy's aunt is both charming and delightfully surprising. Say No to the Duke is the 4th in a series (it stands alone fine) and I don't know if my local library carries romance but I'm tempted to hunt down the first 3 books.
I don't normally do giveaways because I don't have a thematic blog and my following has dropped off significantly in recent years (my own fault) but this review book came with an extra for giveaway purposes. Bottom line: your chances are excellent if you follow the rules. Skip a rule and find yourself disqualified, sorry. No exceptions.
1. You must be a U.S. resident.
2. Tell me your all-time favorite romance novel, if you have a favorite. If not, what's the best book you've read, this year?
3. Include your email address for contact purposes.
That's all! Not a difficult contest. Drawing will close next Friday, the 5th of July. I will not announce the name of the winner; the winner will be contacted privately by email, so be sure you write that email address. It's OK to leave blanks to avoid whatever technical nastiness can happen from leaving your email the normal way.
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