Saturday, May 17, 2014

The Unexpected Duchess by Valerie Bowman

The Unexpected Duchess (Playful Brides, #1)Lucy and her friend Cass are on the verge of being labeled old maids. They are dangerously too close to being put on the shelf. But Cass has a suitor. A very... determined... suitor. A newly minted Duke, a war hero, has set his eyes on her. Derek Hunt, the Duke of Claringdon, has promised his (dying) best friend that he will come back and marry Cass. Ever since he was young, Derek has been taught that the only way to live life is to make a decision and then follow through. So he's going to marry Cass. And, hello, he's a duke so her parents aren't letting him get away.

However, Cass and her friend Jane both think that Derek would be much happier with Lucy and they're going to be working to see if they can't help the two warriors find their HEA.
Okay, issues. Lucy is supposed to have this sharp tongue. We're told that over and over. But it's not really demonstrated in her conversation. And the ploys, would a twenty-three-year-old former deb really stand behind her friend and try to imitate her voice. And I think the author was trying to draw a parallel between Lucy and Derek and Beatrice and Benedick. But the slap-slap-kiss relationship would better describe Lucy's brother and her friend, Jane (can't wait for that story). Great use of Shakespearean themes (butler named Shakespierre?) though; I do see Lucy and Derek as Kate and Petruchio. But in an ending where Petruchio realizes that he doesn't especially want to change the woman with whom he first fell in love.

Followed by Playful Brides #3 (I DNF'd the second book) The Unlikely Lady

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