Review: No Other Duke But You (Playful Brides #11) by Valerie Bowman

Print Length: 320 pages
Publisher: St.Martin's Paperbacks (April 30, 2019)

From  Lady Delilah Montebank has her marital sights set on the Duke of Branville. There’s just one problem: he barely knows she exists. But no matter, she’s got a plan to win him over with her charm, her wit—and perhaps the love potion she has in her possession wouldn’t hurt her cause...

Lord Thomas Hobbs, Duke of Huntley, thinks his best friend Delilah’s quest to become a duchess is ridiculous. He’s always said he’d rather give up all the brandy in London than commit to one person for life. Besides, he knows that Delilah’s love potion can’t possibly win over Branville…since she accidentally gave it to him instead. But perhaps this is the excuse he needs to show her he’s always loved her...

Delilah can’t believe she gave the potion to the wrong duke. Then again, Delilah could do a lot worse than win the hand of her handsome best friend. Could it be that the right duke has been before her eyes all along?

My Rating: 2 stars out of 5

I have read other books in this series, and for the most part enjoyed them quite a bit. Usually, there is enough background so that even if this is the first novel you're picking up it is easy to understand. However, I didn't feel like this was the case with this one - in fact, even having read some of the other novels, I will still very confused as to who some of them were. 

The start of this story was perfect. Delilah and Thomas shared an easy sort of friendship that would have worked perfectly without all of the other trappings. I enjoyed their witty banter, even if there were times when Delilah acted so ditzy and yes brainless, that I wanted to smack her. Seriously, who just up and spits out the name of the most eligible Duke of the season as who she will marry without having even met the guy? 

Around the middle, things start to slip a bit. It seemed a little far-fetched that anyone, most especially a Duchess (even an unconventional one like Lucy) would not only enlist her titled friends to perform in a play, but sell tickets to other members of the ton (even if for charity), much less entice unmarried members of the opposite sex to kiss onstage. That would be ruinous for the young lady, something that either the author didn't think about, or just didn't care. It was about this time the dreaded love potion was introduced. 

A love potion. Ok, so I get that while they are performing a Mid-Summer Night's Dream, there would be some lark and they may have gotten a bit drawn in to the idea, but seriously? When you have numerous people out of bed in the middle of the night skulking around trying to use a love potion? It went from funny to straight obnoxious. And honestly? At this point Thomas and Delilah are just plain unlikable. 

Delilah because she intends to use the potion on a man she's barely spoken a dozen words to, one who has approached her about helping him make a match with another lady, but I suppose his happiness doesn't matter one bit to Delilah. Nope, so long as she gets his ring on her finger to spite her mother, she doesn't care whose lives are ruined. And Thomas. Instead of merely pulling her to the side and admitting that he's been in love with her for years and wants her to choose him, he goes behind her back and switches room all to pretend the love potion worked on him? Good Grief. If he had known Delilah as well as he claimed to, he should have known exactly how that one was going to go. 

Overall, I am sure that I will be in the minority in my thoughts on this novel. What I found annoying, others I am sure will find endearing. I would read more from this author.
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.

                            No Other Duke but You is available from

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