Review: It's All About the Duke (The Rakes of St. James #3) by Amelia Grey

Print Length: 320 pages
Publisher: St.Martin's Press (May 29, 2018)

From Nearing thirty, the Duke of Rathburne is finally ready to make amends for the wager that caused him and his best friends such scandal―but taking on a ward who needs a husband is a feat he’s not sure he can manage. The last he saw of Miss Marlena Fast, she was a spirited little ruffian, not the sort of bride most bachelors on the marriage mart sought. But one glance at the lovely lady she has become is enough to convince him otherwise…

Orphaned young and shuffled from family to family, Marlena counts on her fierce independence and quick wits to keep herself content. Being the responsibility of a notoriously wicked duke who upended so many lives is an unexpected challenge when she realizes he arouses her decidedly feminine desires. Marlena must be careful. She has her own scandalous secret to protect. If he finds out, will it shatter her chances of a happily-ever-after with the notorious rake?


My Rating: 3 stars out of 5

This story was interesting. In both good and not so good ways. To begin with, I have not read the other books in this series, and yet I had no trouble understanding this one. If anything, this novel made me curious about the first two the point I have added them to my "to be read at some point" pile. 

I enjoyed the story to a point. The author had a way of both keeping my interest while slowly building up the relationship between ward and guardian (which in itself was a story I have not seen before). However, I didn't find their relationship as believable as I wanted. It seemed as though Marlena had harbored this dislike of the rakes (and Rath) for so long, and yet she seemed to be somewhat easily seduced by him. If she hated him for ruining her friends (as well as other young ladies) reputations because of a letter he had written three years ago, why did she not put up more of a fight? This could be because Rath appears as much a gentleman as he can considering - and he does actually try to do right by her. 

The fact that the author chose to give Marlena a conscience was a refreshing change as well, although it did become a bit tiresome. As did the constant reminder that she "had spark and spunk" because she spent her childhood running around the countryside with her five male cousins, and his constant "woe is me I will never live up to my father's expectations" attitude. When you overlook these, you still have to overlook Marlena's "chaperone" who I wanted to throttle throughout most of the story. 

I also wish we would have gotten more closure when it came to Mr.Portington, there was obviously more of a story there than we were shown. Sure his part in the story was tied up nicely, but what happened to the person responsible for their predicament in the first place?

When I look at this entire story as a whole however, I do feel like it will still appeal to not only fans of the first two novels, but those who enjoy a different sort of historical romance.

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.


                               It's All About The Duke is available from

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