Review and excerpt posted on Kindles & Wine
This book was a lot of fun to read! One of the main reasons that I can call this book “fun” is because of our heroine, Emilie. She combines two characteristics that I like but don’t always go together: boldness and 1800s modesty. Now before you think that I need my feminist card revoked, hear me out! When I talk about 1800s modesty, I mean their prudishness about racy topics like sex. It’s so funny to have a character go from one scene where she’s being ravished—or, even better, DOING the ravishing—to the next scene where she’s embarrassed or outraged when someone mentions anything about sex. In How To Tame Your Duke, Emilie is more in the “doing the ravaging” camp and is embarrassed by talking about it after. There were a couple of funny scenes where Emilie is being teased by her uncle and by the hero, Ashland, and her reaction is perfect and hilarious!
Ashland is a great hero and a perfect match for Emilie. First, he has this crazy past where he was in the military as some kind of specialist. It reminded me of something like a Navy SEAL Team but with only one dude! He was renown for being able to sneak into places with a stealth that should be impossible for a human. We don’t ever really find out how he’s able to do that, but we do know that his military service led to his disfigurement; he’s missing an eye and a hand. I wasn’t able to glean any additional details about Ashland’s military service or about how he was injured, but it does seem to affect his self-esteem. He actually blindfolds Emilie the first few times they are together, because he’s so sure that she will reject him if she sees him. However, this wouldn’t be a very good romance if she DID reject him for that, so I’m sure you know how that ends up!
My only issue with this book is that I felt I was missing a little bit of information about quite a few things. It’s totally understandable if a book is in the middle of a series, but How To Tame Your Duke is the first book in Juliana Gray's ew Three Princesses series, and it seemed to me that details surrounding Ashland’s injuries, which had bearing on his personality, would have been important information to have. I really wanted to know how he was injured. I wanted to know how the “ton” reacted to those injuries when he first came home (you KNOW how nasty and gossipy they are). Did he blindfold every woman he’s slept with since then? I could go on, but you get the point.
Aside from the lack of details in some sections, I really enjoyed this book! Ashland and Emilie are so hot together! And they are together often (wink, wink). But they’re also really sweet to each other, even when Ashland is a little overbearing for Emilie’s taste. Of course, it is 1800s England and that’s pretty much to be expected. It’s still fun to see Emilie fight against those social norms with the man she loves and who she exasperates on a regular basis!
I really enjoyed How To Tame Your Duke! The hero and heroine are unconventional, which makes the story feel fresh. There is plenty of sexy time, and there’s also a little dash of mystery and intrigue. I’d recommend this to anyone that wants to read a romance novel that departs from the typical.
Review copy courtesy of the publisher via NetGalley.