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Friday, September 4, 2015

Review: What to Do with a Duke (Spinster House #1) by Sally MacKenzie




Print Length: 352 pages
Publisher: Zebra (August 25, 2015)

From Goodreads.com: 

Welcome to the charming, fatefully named village of Loves Bridge, where a woman destined for spinsterhood can live a life of her own choosing—or fall unexpectedly, madly in love…

Miss Isabelle Catherine Hutting would rather be lounging in the library than circling the ballroom in search of a husband any day. So when Cat hears that the town’s infamous Spinster House is open for a new resident, she jumps at the chance to put all this marriage business behind her. But first she must make arrangements with her prospective landlord, Marcus, the Duke of Hart—the most handsome man she’s ever seen, and the only man who’s ever impressed her in the least…

With her wit, independent spirit, and not least of all her beauty, Marcus can’t help but be stirred by Cat. It’s terribly unfortunate he’s not looking to marry, given the centuries-old curse that left his family with the Spinster House to begin with. No duke shall live to see his heir’s birth. But is there a chance the curse could be broken—in true fairy-tale fashion—by an act of true love? The race to Happily Ever After is about to begin…

                              
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My Rating: 4 stars out of 5

My main problem with this story is the ending. To be perfectly honest, if not for the way things suddenly came to an abrupt halt with the closing sentence to read the next book for the continuation, I probably would have given this book a 5 star rating. 

Don't get me wrong, there is a small sense of closure to this story, but I would much prefer to read about their true ending. Will there be a happily ever after? Or is the curse real? Especially considering the fact that book two is about a different set of characters (even though we did meet them in this story), it was completely off-putting for me as a reader.

Despite that and one mention of something way too modern to have taken place during this time period, I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. The twist of a "curse" added a sense of originality that gave this novel its own flavor and appeal and made it vastly different from novels of the same era that I have read as of late. 

The characters were well developed, and completely different from one another. I especially enjoyed meeting Cat's family and the stark difference they were not only to each other, but to Marcus as well. From the main characters, to the supporting characters, all the way down to those who were only "in the background" so to speak, it was clear that the author had spent careful time on each of them making them unique to the story. In fact, this author even went so far as to give a unique and (dare I say witty) personality to the Spinster House's resident feline. In fact, I'm fairly certain Polly was my favorite character in this story! 

The witty banter and inner dialogue of the two main characters not only kept the story moving, but was also wonderfully entertaining as well. I would definitely read more from this author!

DISCLAIMER #1: This novel does include scenes of a sexual nature that occur before marriage (although behind close doors). I mention this only because I know it is a complete turn off for some readers, and feel that they should be informed, 

DISCLAIMER #2: I received a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own. 


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What to Do with a Duke (Spinster House #1) is available from Amazon.com

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