Review: Tamed by a Duke (Willful Wallflowers #1) by Claudia Stone - .Red Wine & Books

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Review: Tamed by a Duke (Willful Wallflowers #1) by Claudia Stone

Print Length: 172 pages
Publisher: Claudia Stone (February 10, 2020)

From Goodreads.com:  When Brandon Drew issues an edict that his youngest daughter will not be allowed to make her come-out unless her elder sister secures the attentions of a duke, Miss Charlotte Drew is understandably horrified.

As a confirmed bluestocking and dedicated spinster, she has neither the charm or the ability to attract the attention of a duke- never mind the inclination. Luckily, help is at hand from Charlotte's friends and fellow wallflowers, and soon she is swanning around London on the arm of the Duke of Penrith. True, he is rude, proud, and terribly toplofty, but Charlotte assumes she can temporarily tolerate him for her the sake of her sister.

But as Penrith begins to pursue her with more ardour than Charlotte had anticipated, she begins to realise that there is so much more to the snobbish duke than she had first thought....

Hugh Landon Charles Abermale, Sixth Duke of Penrith, had no interest in courting anyone-let alone an opinionated Bluestocking. But when his cousin begs him to woo the shrewish Miss Drew, so that he might win her sister's hand, Hugh finds himself reluctantly agreeing to the hair-brained scheme.

Miss Drew is everything that Hugh abhors in a woman; she is loud, opinionated, and decidedly unladylike...but she is also the most beguiling creature he has ever met.

With time running out, Hugh seeks to discover the secrets of Charlotte's past, while desperately trying to win her hand.But what will his wallflower say, when she finds out that Hugh has been lying to her from the off?

Tamed by a Duke is a charming reworking of Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew, and is sure to delight readers of Sweet Regency Romances.

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My Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Full disclosure - I read the second book before the first. And while I did notice that some of the scenes from book two were copied word for word from book one, I promised myself that in my review, I would speak only about the first novel as I have already reviewed the second. 

So here goes.

Let's start by talking about the fact that the author chose to use the SAME name in her regency novel for the younger sister as the 1999 movie "10 Things I Hate About You" (also based on The Taming of the Shrew). This fact immediately made me roll my eyes. Maybe I'm not her usual reader in that I'm young enough to remember that movie, but even before then I have never seen Bianca as a regency name. 

Then there was fact that while I KNOW these phrases were common for the time period (or at least I have seen them in a lot of various novels),  as I was reading this one, I swore that if I saw "Lud" or "Gemini" used one more damn time I was going to contemplate throwing my kindle. There are other "time appropriate" ways of expressing yourself without having to use the same ones repeatedly. 

Aside from the aforementioned things, this was an otherwise sweet and clean novel (aside from a couple of very romantic kissing scenes). I liked the fact that both Charlotte and Hugh each grew in their own way (although dammit I really would have like to have seen the reconciliation between Hugh and Leo firsthand instead of just hearing they had made up later on). It's the details like this that are mentioned in stories that end up being more "passing comment" than anything else that irk me. Would it have hurt the overall story to have a dinner party featuring the brothers and Charlotte's family? Or have her come upon the brothers after their reconciliation? 

After some consideration, I have decided that I will give the third and final novel in this series a chance (mainly because Romeo & Juliet was my  favorite growing up). 

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                                                    Tamed By a Duke 
is available from Amazon.com
                                                      (for free if you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited)

 

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