Welcome to red wine and books! Where an avid lover of all genres shares with you her opinion on some of the best (and not so great) stories she reads.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Review: Denying the Duke by Callie Hutton


Print Length: 238 pages
Publisher: Entangled: Scandalous (July 10, 2017)

From Goodreads.com: Four years ago, Alex, a second son, had planned a life together with Lady Patience. However, when Patience was betrothed to his brother, the heir, Alex left his family’s estate and joined the military.

Alex returns to assume the title Duke of Bedford when his brother unexpectedly dies. He is unprepared for both his new responsibilities and the reunion with Patience. The horrors of war are a heavy burden, and when he learns that Patience never married his brother, he is stunned.

Patience withstood the bullying of her fiancé and her father for four long years. She refuses to marry Alex just because he’s the duke, especially if he no longer loves her. How would that be better than what she has already endured? Promises made in their youth are not enough to overcome the changes life has wrought for them but love can grow and transform, if only Patience could believe that.



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My Rating: 3 stars out of 5

This is an interesting story of finding love with the same person for the second time. There are elements to this story that made me fall in love with it, and elements of it that made me fall a little out of love with it. 

I loved the romance that blossomed between Alex and Patience when they were young and free to choose it. The sweet interactions, and promises of love and a life together made them endearing to the reader. And then real life happened and Patience was suddenly forced into a betrothal with Alex's elder brother. 

When Alex returns, having inherited a title that he felt ill-prepared to assume, he learns that Patience did not in fact marry his brother. However, she is still being kept under the thumb of her tyrannical father who thinks only of himself. Patience learns that there is little left of the old Alex, the horrors of war and the things he has done as a soldier weighing heavily upon his mind. 

Despite all of the things against them, they resume their tentative friendship, learning that there is still a spark of their old love between them. Just in time for Patience's father to announce he has now promised her hand in marriage to a "much older" man who by all accounts is painted as something of a jerk. Alex steps in and does the only thing he can think of - he announces that they are to be married, even though he asked her and she gave him a solid denial. 

It was after they were married that I feel this story started losing some of its initial spark that drew me in. 

While I can understand Patience's displeasure at having been forced into a marriage with Alex, I would have thought she would on some level, been grateful that he did step in and save her from the marriage her father had once again arranged without her consent. I agree that she had every right to demand to be courted before she allowed Alex into her bed, but I do not believe she had to be so childish about it. Allowing him certain liberties one minute, then denying him the next. It is along these lines that I also found a level of annoyance with Alex. I can understand him wanting to protect Patience and keep her safe, but on some level, he had to have the common sense to know that she would not approve of his methods and that sooner or later his resolution to keep her in the dark could eventually aid his enemy in getting to her. Which brings me to my last point, and the absolute temper tantrum Patience throws, going so far as to leave her husband and refuse to see him or give him a chance for simply doing what he had to do in order to save his own life.

Overall, I believe this story will still appeal to those who enjoy historical romances. I would read more from this author! 

DISCLAIMER: 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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                                   Denying the Duke is available from Amazon.com

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