Review: Forever My Duke (Unlikely Duchesses, #2) by Olivia Drake

Print Length: 384 pages
Publisher: St. Martin's Press (December 31, 2019)

From  Hadrian Ames, the Duke of Clayton, needs a bride. He even has the perfect one picked out. That is, until he meets the lovely, free-spirited Natalie Fanshawe. She’s the opposite of what a man of his high rank should desire in a wife—an outspoken American who has never even set foot in a London ballroom.

But Natalie doesn’t have time to be swept off her feet by a handsome duke who must be a spoiled scoundrel like every other British lord. And she couldn’t care less about Hadrian’s title. After all, it’s not as if he actually worked to attain his wealth and status. He surely can’t understand what it’s like to be a busy woman, planning to open a school while trying to reunite a six-year-old orphan with his English relatives. Nevertheless, Hadrian launches his campaign to win her heart. Can the utterly delightful American beauty ever find a way to love him…despite his being a duke?


My Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

While this is billed as Unlikely Duchesses #2, you do not need to have read the first book in order for this one to make sense. In fact, although I admit it has been a while since I read book one, I don't remember any of these characters having made an appearance. 

This novel was.... interesting. And while I never fully became invested in these characters, the story was just interesting enough to keep me reading.

To begin with, I found it hard to believe that a self-proclaimed stuffy, stick in the mud Duke would be so willing to risk everything for someone just because he "wants her". Time and again he tells Natalie not to worry because people will do as he says, or he will make them accept her, or some variation of the two. It just seemed... off to me.  And while I did enjoy Natalie's rather apt view on the aristocracy, to see her succumb to him so completely, giving up her own dreams (yes, I know it was mentioned that he would support her endeavors in England, she is never shown to have done so) seemed very out of character to me. 

It's a sad day indeed when after reading I book I can honestly say that Leo (the young boy that brings them together), Lizzie (Hadrian's sister) and Ellen (Hadrian's chosen potential wife and second cousin) are more interesting than the love story. 

There were times when I wanted to throttle them both. Hadrian for not reeling in his family, knowing how uncomfortable it would make Natalie, and her for meddling in Leo's life once her obligation was fulfilled. Sure, I get that she loved him and wanted what was best for him, but for every time she said he needed to "fit in", she was trying to prevent it from happening. Also, the fact that we never really find out what happens to Leo is irksome. 

Overall though, I know this story will do well. The author has a fluid writing style (even if they are given to repeating themselves often), and there is just enough going on in the background to keep the reader interested. 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.

                               Forever My Duke is available from

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