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  • Writer's pictureClaudine Gandolfi

Nothing Compares to the Duke - Christy Carlyle

Date Read: May 30, 2020

Review: I could not put this novel down. So here I am, exhausted, because I finished it in one read, overnight. So, that gets high marks from me just for that.

Opening prologue really reeled me in as I felt so badly for the young heroine, Arabella (Arry to the hero, Bella to everyone else). She has her heart broken by Rhys Forester on her birthday severing their young friendship.

Skip forward 5 years and they're thrown back together as he takes ownership of the family estate after his father's death. The family is more in debt than he realized was possible. He wants to find out why but the only person he knows who is good with puzzles and understands his shortcomings on reading is Arabella. He goes to apologize for the scene she walked in on 5 years ago. Can she forgive him, though?

The passion and longing between Rhys and Bella were fantastic. This is one of those -- they belong together, they both want each other and obviously love each other, now let’s see them figure it out -- romances. I was slightly disappointed with her replies to him toward the end - she's a little hard on him but it's good to make him work for it after what he did when she was 17. But Rhys is really such a reformed rake that only has eyes for her. Well done.

Series: The Dukes Den #3

Type: Victorian

Heat: 9/10

Tropes: Second Chance Romance, Fake Engagement, Strong Smart Heroine

Premise: Arabella Prescott is a strong female lead. Smart, discerning, compassionate, with the fire of curiosity in her. Her father's been offered a job in Greece, and her parents are moving. She's expected to marry or come with. She humors them for a dinner party where they've brought together 4 potential suitors - she's only interested in getting her book of puzzles published in London. She’s already had 4 seasons and has turned down multiple proposals. Seems no one can compare to Rhys.

Rhys, now the Duke of Claremont, has followed in his father’s footsteps – or sheets. He’s got a horrible and well-earned reputation as a rake. No honorable woman would be seen with him. Or would she? As he asks Bella for the favor helping him with the missing funds she asks for his assistance – a dinner date that is soon followed by a fake engagement to run off the potential suitors and make her parents happy. Bella won’t be alone when they head to Greece. With the rules (no kissing, no touching, etc.) set, they try their hardest but nothing can keep them from wanting each other.

The Good: All of it.

The Bad: None

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