Print Length: 160 pages
Publisher: Gemma Blackwood (April, 2017)

From Goodreads.com: Death has made Harry Marsden the most fortunate man in England. Six years ago he thought himself doomed to misery, ordered into a marriage for money by his profligate father. The space of the past year has found him first fatherless, then a wealthy widower, and finally the unexpected heir to the Dukedom of Westbourne.

If only good fortune were contagious! Nothing could be more devastating than the news that his old friend, Catherine Sharp, is about to agree to an unwanted betrothal. A penniless gentleman’s daughter, Catherine aims to give up her own freedom to secure better prospects for her sister.

Harry must engineer the scandal of the season to overturn her engagement. Surely a Duke will serve better than any other for Catherine’s marriage of convenience?

A scandal is one matter. The heart is quite another. In order to wed her, Harry must convince his childhood sweetheart that their marriage will not be a match of convenience, but love.

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My Rating: 1 star out of 5

Let me begin this one by saying that this was the DEBUT novel of this author. So I understand that they would have been finding their feet a bit in terms of writing. And had this been the first story of theirs I had read, I may have been a bit more generous in my rating. 

However, I have read several other stories from this author, and while I have enjoyed some more than others, they all seem to have the same flaws. 

And this one was no different. 

The interactions between Harry and Catherine were sweet, and their prior childhood friendship was easy to see. I just wish we had seen more of them. Instead, it would seem that just as soon as he ruins her reputation, the rest of the novel is a series of events, each more unlikely than the last contrived just to keep our couple apart. One of the largest of these being the fact that Catherine received a letter from someone she knew had reacted badly to seeing her with Harry, and yet still chose to believe them over simply asking Harry for the truth herself. It was like all of their years of friendship and the love she told herself she had for him meant nothing after all. 

And while I found their friendship easy to believe in, it was much harder for me to believe their declarations of love all these years later. They had not seen, nor spoken to each other in over six years, so obviously they were very different people than they had been, but yet we are meant to believe that none of that matters. Harry has always loved her (even though he refuses to tell her) and suddenly Catherine realizes that she is also in love with him (but claims she can't tell him). On the whole, it was just repetitive until the point it became tedious. 

I may eventually pick up the second book in the series, as they are short reads that are good for passing a quiet afternoon, and I am slightly curious about Kirby and Alice, however, it will likely be a while before I do so.

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                                 The Duke Suggests a Scandal is available from Amazon.com
                                            (for free if you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited)