Friday, June 8, 2012

Along Came a Duke

Along Came a Duke by Elizabeth Boyle
4/5 stars
Avon Books, 2012
362 pages
Historical Romance

Source: Received an ARC from Amazon Vine in exchange for an honest review.

Elizabeth Boyle books are pretty much must-reads for me so the title, cover, and plot didn't really matter to me. I saw her name and that was sufficient. However if it did matter, I think the duke part would be very enticing. I once read that romance books with duke in the title sold better and I believe that; I know I like books when the man is of high rank, not that a mere mister can't be a good hero, of course...

Anyway on to the book itself: I suffered some confusion in the beginning just with the pacing and tone. On the one hand, there is Miss Tabitha Timmons, a confirmed spinster living with her cold uncle and aunt who assumed responsibility for her when her father died in exchange for a better position as vicar. They took the opportunity to improve their social standing while also gaining a free maid of all work. Yet Tabitha's spirits are bright especially because she has her two best friends Daphne and Harry. They are all spinsters and happily so in the small town of Kempton that is filled with many legends about the famous spinsterdom. Many names are thrown around but not all are important.

Then we meet her love interest, the Duke of Preston, although Tabitha does not realize this for a while. Because she does not know of his exalted status, she is fine lashing him with her tongue, immediately intriguing him. He is an awful rake, having ruined several ladies this season while also betting exorbitantly. My confusion stemmed from the relationships in his life. He has an aunt and uncle (twins) who are only about six months older than him as well as a friend Roxley. I was confusing the friend and the uncle, who I believe will be receiving their own stories with Tabitha's friends to complete the series (hopefully Preston's aunt will also receive a mate as she is widowed in this book).

The basic plot is that Tabitha must wed the eminently respectable Mr. Barkworth in order to inherit a sizable fortune. Problem is that she's in love with Preston and well he realizes he's in love with her. Tabitha's greedy relations will go far to keep Tabitha's inheritance in their hands but they are no match for true love.

Once I had sorted out the relationships in this book, I was enchanted. My ARC has a blurb from Julia Quinn that is just so true, "Wit, passion, and adventure, Elizabeth Boyle has it all." I loved the humor so much-I feel so in sync with Boyle because she always brings it for me. In particular, I enjoyed Preston's mocking of Mr. Barkworth. However the main reason I fell for both of the main characters though wasn't because they said some great lines; it was the way both suffered from losing their family and wanting to build one together. Serious tragedy in their pasts helps them appreciate the importance of family and gave them a very real connection. I appreciate the balance of serious with humor.

Overall: Perfect for fans of Julia Quinn and lighter romance-this is a humorous sweet story with two people eager for a deep connection and who have to battle base knavery to achieve their happily ever after.


  1. oh i love the cover!! very beautiful! nice story, thanks for the review! i miss reading romance novels!


  2. Love Julia Quinn. Maybe I will have to check this out!

    Thanks for stopping by the blog. I'm a big fan of the Maisie Dobbs series too :)

  3. I'm in love with the girl's dress for this book -- it's just so gorgeous and old-fashioned, which I kind of have a soft spot for x) And I love you say this book has a balance of both witty humor and deep seriousness! I like my super-funny reads and I like my dark & serious reads, but sometimes I think that they work best when you have them both in one bound book! ;)

    Really awesome review, B! <3 I think I'm going to have to add this book so Elizabeth Boyle will become an automatic-add author for me too! :)

  4. I might have to try this one sometime especially since I love humorous romance novels and I'm a big fan of Julia Quinn. I heard Elizabeth Boyle speak at a library conference and I've been wanting to read her books. I think I have one of them on my Kindle but I can't remember which one.

  5. I was actually looking at my one and only Boyle book today and thought to myself that I should read more books by her.And this one does sound fun, and I also like when spinsters find love

  6. Everyone needs a lighter book often! Mine are the Agatha Christie and Jane Austen re-reads!

  7. Oh, this sounds great. I love that sort of story where the woman has to marry a guy she isn't into but then true love comes along and they are like powerless to it and have to marry each other instead of whatever the plans were. Also? I just love spinsters.


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