Review: A Duke for Diana (Designing Debutantes #1) by Sabrina Jeffries


Print Length: 352 pages
Publisher:  Zebra (May 24, 2022)

From Self-made civil engineer Geoffrey Brookhouse has unexpectedly inherited the dukedom of Grenwood. But he has a secret that could ruin his family. Hoping to save his timid sister from that fate, he seeks to marry her off to a respectable, protective gentleman. With the London Season imminent, Geoffrey hires Elegant Occasions to orchestrate her debut. Yet Lady Diana Harper, spirited fashion expert, proves more than he bargained for. Suddenly, Geoffrey’s sister is emerging from her shell, and he is beleaguered with social invitations and gossip! Worse, Diana is attempting to transform him into a presentable duke—when all he really wants is to win her heart...

Diana doesn’t know what to make of the handsome, disheveled duke. The man bristles at the very idea that his fashion faux pas might spoil his sister’s chances. Yet Geoffrey’s stubbornness simply inspires Diana to ruffle his feathers—by setting him on a course of self-improvement. Although there’s something endearing, even irresistible about his flaws, can a man who hates the ton tolerate a woman who makes her living catering to them? Little does either know that they have more in common than they suspect—and that two can create a society all their own...


My Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5

This book had its moments. Mostly where it came to the secondary characters. Sure, there was some witty banter back and forth between Geoffrey and Diana, but I just didn't buy into their romance. For the most part, I would say it felt like they argued more than they got along. In fact, Diana was a harpy throughout most of this, finding reasons to either outright argue with Geoffrey or at least be mad at him, even when they were getting along only minutes earlier. 

Sure, they have sex, but even that didn't strike me as passionate. Merely a clinical test for Diana (especially the way they went about it). Thankfully, that didn't produce a child thereby forcing their hand as I thought it would, but the rest of the book wasn't an improvement. Sadly, even when it came time for them to declare themselves, I saw nothing to make me think they actually loved each other. No, it felt more like they just wanted easy access to one another while still remaining "respectable. 

Which leads me to the question of just how these ladies built their business. Sure, we see them discussing a ball they had attended and being asked by a new member of the ton (an American at that) to plan her ball. And sure it seems like from there things expanded, but things like this just didn't happen during that time period. Aside from an American hiring them, I don't feel as though anyone else would considering their disgraced status. And sadly, we never get shown their success, only told about it once the "company" (again something that would not exist during the time period) had been established. 

Honestly? I would have been more impressed if this had been Lady Rosabel's story. Especially considering how things played out, it would have been fun to see her with her variety of suitors before she chose one. As it stands now, for all the growth we saw in her character she didn't change in the one area that mattered (which is both a good and bad thing).

All things considered, if the next book comes across my feed and looks promising, I would probably take a chance on it. But I won't actively seek it out.

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel from the publisher. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.

                                            A Duke for Diana is available from

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