I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.My Darling Duke by Stacy Reid
Series: Sinful Wallflowers #1
Published by Entangled: Amara on December 31, 2019
Genres: Historical Romance
Amazon ♥ Goodreads
Miss Katherine Danvers is a desperate wallflower. Her family is on the brink of financial ruin, and it is up her to save her mother and sisters from a life of indignities. So she transforms herself into the incomparable Kitty Danvers, the fiancée of the enigmatic and reclusive Alexander Masters, Duke of Thornton—once dubbed the mad, bad, and dangerous catch of the Season.
Ten years ago, society and the woman Alexander Masters loved called him a monster, after a tragic accident left him scarred and confined to a wheelchair. His heart exists in cold, lonely exile, until he learns he has a fiancée—a deceptive, clever, and utterly intriguing woman he's never met. Miss Danvers will now learn the consequences of engaging herself to the beast, for Alexander is determined to make her his. Soon, they are involved in a chase, a clash of wills, and though he once vowed to never love again, he burns for the enchanting Miss Danvers. And denying his heart may cost him an exquisite love that happens only once in a lifetime.
Katherine “Kitty” Danvers would do anything for her family and proves that by transforming herself into the fiancee of a very reclusive Duke who has not been seen by society in seven years. Kitty hopes to make good matches for her younger sisters before her family is in complete financial ruin. She knows she is a wallflower and at three and twenty, there is no hope of finding a suitable match for herself. But things slowly start to get out of hand and Kitty becomes the talk of the Ton and when word of her ruise reaches the beastly Duke of Thornton.
Alexander Masters, the Duke of Thornton, is living in his country estate in Scotland after the horrendous events ten years ago in London society. He has vowed to never return and save himself from further embarrassment. A tragic accident has left him horribly disfigured and wheelchair bound. Because of this, Alexander does not think he deserves or needs a wife. Who would want to be saddled with such a beast anyway when he can not offer anything in return besides his name and title. All of this changes when word reaches him of Kitty’s deceitfulness. The audacity of this woman has the Duke rather intrigued and he is determined to get to the bottom of her lies.
Has the beast finally met his match?
I have always loved a good wallflower romance story and find that I gravitate towards them quite often. I must have them all! My Darling Duke has everything that I always look for:
A wallflower. Check!
A scarred and beastly hero. Check!
A fake engagement. Check!
My Darling Duke is definitely not the norm as far as scarred and broken heroes go. I don’t think I have ever read a romance where the hero is in a wheelchair, at least not in a Historical Romance novel. So I found that aspect really intriguing and different for a change. There is also another affliction the Duke has that I have also never seen in a romance book, but I am definitely not going to spill the beans on that one! Has it been done in the past? Perhaps, but I have not come across one until now.
I really loved Alexander and found him to be the truly tortured hero deserving of love even if he thinks he doesn’t need or want it. Does he do and say stupid things? Heck yes! But, in the world of romance, doesn’t every tortured hero make you want to smack them? Deep down inside though, he is a true hero caring for his younger sister and showering her with love and affection, something he is definitely a bit rusty on when it comes to women who are not related to him.
Kitty Danvers is a wallflower and even though she knows she will never make a match for herself, she is determined to not let her younger sisters suffer the same fate. Nearly destitute, her family has suffered enough. Strong willed and feisty, Kitty makes a rash decision to pull her family up in status the only way she knew how. Kitty is an outstanding character and often breaks societal rules. She is emotional and always looks for the good in people. While deep down she hates what she is doing, she knows she is doing it for the right reasons. Kitty will do anything for her siblings even knowing she could be ruining her own life in the process. I found Kitty to be so genuine and caring, especially when it comes to her family as well as to the Duke himself. I also found Kitty to be a bit more progressive than the average Miss during that time period. Which doesn’t necessarily bother me, I just find it a bit outside the norm.
I do not normally tend to read reviews prior to reading a story as I want all my thoughts to be my own and when I finally did look at the reviews I realize I am probably in the minority here because while I enjoyed the book in places, the story as a whole was just okay to me. I found many parts to be overly repetitive and maybe a bit too progressive for my liking. I loved Alexander and Kitty as separate individuals, but I am not sure I really connected all that much to the romance between the two together. I also found Kitty to be more of the aggressor while the Duke just did not do enough grovelling to win the heroine back. Of course, this is just my opinion because I just love a grovelling hero.
Even though I am quite in the middle with this particular story, I do find that Stacy Reid adds elements to a story that I do not see very much in romance books and for that reason I will definitely want to check out the next installment to the series.