Review: It Had to Be a Duke (The Liar's Club, #1) by Vivienne Lorret


Print Length: 372 pages
Publisher: Avon & Harper Voyager (November 28, 2023)

From Verity Hartley always tells the truth. Well, mostly. However, when her snooty neighbor returns to their small hamlet to brag about having a grand Season, a plethora of ballgowns, and so many suitors that she cannot possibly decide which one to marry, Verity tells a lie. She claims to be betrothed. To a duke. Who happens to be her family’s sworn enemy. But what are the odds that he would ever learn of this one, little, harmless falsehood?

Magnus Warring, the Duke of Longhurst, is on the precipice of marrying an heiress to save his estate from financial ruin. At least, he was. Until he hears an unbelievable rumor that he is already betrothed. To the daughter of a liar, cheat, and swindler! Needing to protect his reputation, he hunts down the culprit. And when he finds the untamed beguiler, she has the audacity to ask him to lie for her. To pretend to be her fiancé!

One week, that’s all Verity needs. Then Magnus could return to his life. But nothing is ever that simple. Sometimes it doesn’t take that long to fall in love, even with the enemy.


My Rating: 2 stars out of 5

I really wanted to like this one. The chemistry between Magnus and Verity (especially when they were arguing with one another) was absolutely undeniable. More than once, I found myself chuckling out loud at some of the moments they had together (the cat in the tree for example).  

Sadly, more often then not, I found Magnus to be too cruel to her both in word and action. Which was understandable at first, her being the daughter of the man he believed ruined his father's life and then making the false claim that they were engaged which put an immediate halt to him marrying the heiress that he needed. However, the more time they spent in each other's company (especially after he kissed her), I would have expected him to warm to her at least a little, but that didn't seem to be the case at all. 

In fact, eventually even the back and forth between the two of them became tedious. He lusts after her, he kisses her, and then he casts her aside going back to his original plan of marrying Miss Snow, the heiress. When it is suggested that Verity begin chaperoning the pair on their outings, I thought there may have been some internal musings from her corner as she too had feelings for the Duke, but apparently her friendship with Miss Snow kept her from even that. 

To be fair, the aforementioned friendship did seem genuine, with the pair having met before they realized who the other was, and that friendship was one of the more enjoyable aspects of the story (in fact I would like to see Miss Snow get her own happily ever after at some point). 

But then the ending. Not only was it confusing (the way what happened to Verity's brother was glossed over, and then that newspaper article), but the abrupt way that it ended, I felt like I had missed something. I feel it would have been better had there been even a short epilogue showing the pair in the not-so-distance future (even on a honeymoon) just so we got something that didn't seem so rushed and convoluted.  

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.



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