Review: The Duke’s All That (Synneful Spinsters, #3) by Christina Britton


Print Length: 336 pages
Publisher: Forever, Grand Central Publishing (February 6, 2024)

From A heartbreaking betrayal. A secret life. A love that deserves a second chance.

Iain MacInnes, Duke of Balgair, has spent the last thirteen years believing his wife is dead—until he receives word that she is very much alive and living under an assumed name on the remote Isle of Synne. He sets off with only one goal in mind: bring his wife back to Scotland where he can divorce her and expose her for the liar she is.

After a devastating deception by the man who was supposed to love her, Seraphina did what was necessary to keep herself and her sisters safe. And though she’s still haunted by the events that tore her world apart all those years ago, she’s made a happy life on Synne, surrounded by loyal friends and building a secret career as a popular author. Now that Iain has found her, however, all that is at risk.

Despite their long separation, the attraction between Iain and Seraphina still burns strong. But with so much hurt and betrayal between them, can they possibly find their way back to each other?


My Rating: 2 stars out of 5

I REALLY wanted to like this book. And I did, in some aspects. For one thing the idea of two characters who absolutely despise each other being in forced company as they seek a divorce was new and interesting. I also absolutely fell in love with Phineas aka Seraphina's pet parrot or, as Iain called him, "that damned pigeon". He stole the show nearly every time he was on the page. I also enjoyed the slow burn that was them falling back in love with one another. 

What I didn't enjoy however was the stubbornness between these two (especially Seraphina, but I'll get to that more in a minute) and the overlooked potential to have this story really dig its heels in. Let's begin shall we? 

It takes until almost the 50% mark for these two to finally open up to one another and talk about what happened in the past that turned them against one another. When this happened, I wanted her father to appear. I wanted him to meet them in the village. Or to meet Seraphina and threaten her with some other outlandish thing. But that never happened. In fact, it wasn't until Seraphina was on her way BACK from Scotland that she decided to stop and visit dear old dad for reasons that still aren't clear. I mean okay - she wanted to confront him about the fact she and her sisters were still alive and she wanted to rub his nose in the fact her husband was now a Duke, but that she had divorced him, but in my opinion, there would have been a whole new level had her father locked her in her room. Iain "storming the castle" as it were to rescue his former wife? GOLDEN. But sadly, I don't even think she tells him (or her sisters) about that visit. 

What also killed this for me was the characters, Seraphina in particular. She seemed fixated on two things. 

1. We're not the same people we were back then. 
2. If society knew what I had done..... it would reflect badly/cause a scandal/etc.

No, they were not the same people that they were thirteen years ago, but there was nothing stopping them from starting over as the people they were at that moment. Also, Seraphina's whole reasoning for following through with the divorce was asinine. Who cares what she did in the past? Iain certainly didn't, but she never trusted him with the truth until after she took up more pages on why she had to leave him and how miserable she was without him. 

From everything I saw as a reader Iain had a remote castle in Scotland as his "family seat" so who cares what people think of him in England? Iain had his beginning's as a GROOM in the stables at  Seraphina's family home (where her father was an Earl). So you mean to tell me the ton would just welcome him with open arms despite that kind of humble start? But instead of taking any of that (or her supposed feelings, or you know, Iain begging for her to stay with him), Seraphina refused to stay married to him. Demanding instead to see it through, then walk away. Only to be constantly fixated on much she loved and missed him. So much so that she not only made a return trip to Scotland to tell him, but she ends up re-marrying him. 

Honestly, as far as I'm concerned there was too much angst in areas that didn't need it, and not enough in the areas that did, and that sadly, took away from my enjoyment of this one.

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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