Review: Who Wants to Marry a Duke (Duke Dynasty #3) by Sabrina Jeffries

Print Length: 352pages
Publisher: Zebra (August 25, 2020)

From  A past kiss with adorably bookish Miss Olivia Norley should be barely a memory for Marlowe Drake, the Duke of Thornstock. After all, there are countless debutantes for a handsome rakehell to charm beyond a young lady whose singular passion is chemistry—of the laboratory type. But Thorn has not forgotten—or forgiven—the shocking blackmail scheme sparked by that single kiss, or the damage caused to both their names. Now Thorn's half-brother, Grey, has hired the brilliant Miss Norley for her scientific expertise in solving a troubling family mystery. And the once-burned Thorn, suspicious of her true motives, vows to follow her every move...

For Olivia, determining whether arsenic poisoning killed Grey's father is the pioneering experiment that could make her career—and Thorn's constant presence is merely a distraction. But someone has explosive plans to derail her search. Soon the most unexpected discovery is the caring nature of the reputed scoundrel beside her—and the electricity it ignites between them...


My Rating: 3 stars out of 5

I don't know what it was about this novel, but I just couldn't get into the romantic aspect. When Thorn and Olivia meet for the first time in the prologue, there was an attraction there that was obvious - and then they get caught in what appears to be a very carefully laid trap (which I'm still not certain how that happened). However, when Thorn goes to propose the next day (after her mother blackmails him nonetheless) and Olivia refuses, he becomes angry with her. Why? Because she refused him when it was obvious he didn't want to propose in the first place? It made no sense. 

But then NINE WHOLE YEARS PASS without them seeing so much as a glimpse of one another. Until, his step-brother Grey enlists her help in discovering whether or not his father was poisoned the way he believes. Of course at first Thorn is irritated that she has re-appeared in his life and goes out of his way to not only be rude to her, but to try and disprove her abilities as a chemist. At least until they finish unpacking what will be her laboratory  in which case he "cannot help himself" and starts kissing and fondling her. Which of course, she allows because for all his declarations that she was a schemer, and hers that she is interested in no man, they just can't resist each other. 


I absolutely HATE when authors do this. Please give us something to believe in this connection. Later on they have a conversation about what happened nine years ago anyway, and you're telling me that absolutely could not have happened before he practically takes her virginity on a table? As the story progresses you to get to see bits and pieces of what could be a love story, however it still comes off as more lust and marrying in order to be able to have sex whenever they want than from any great affection for each other. I like to see more interactions in my stories. More of a heart-felt connection (for example Thorn claims to care for/love Oliva to the point he wants to marry her and he still doesn't confide in her his own secret? Which really isn't all that bad, although he sure makes it seems that way.

Overall, I was more interested in the mystery aspect of the story that I was the romance. It seems they are getting closer to uncovering the truth of the matter, but of course once again, while more pieces to the puzzle are uncovered (yes, it would appear that the Dowager Duchesses three husbands were all murdered), we still don't know who did it or why. 

Despite my feelings on this one, I will read more from this author, and I eagerly look forward to the next installment of this series as I simply HAVE to know who is behind everything! 

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.

                     Who Wants to Marry a Duke is available from

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