Review: No Dukes Need Apply (The Impossible Balfours #4) by Gemma Blackwood


Print Length: 211 pages
Publisher: Gemma Blackwood (July 6, 2020)

From Lady Selina Balfour would make the perfect duchess. But the Duke of Caversham is far from her idea of the perfect husband.

Malcolm Locke is everything Selina hates about powerful men – reckless, arrogant, and all too aware of his own chiseled jaw. Which makes it all the more important that Selina’s candidate beats his in the upcoming election. Someone needs to teach the duke to behave.

The first lesson? Kissing a woman until her knees go weak isn’t enough to make her give up her ideals.

Everyone knows that Malcolm is in dire need of a respectable duchess, an heir, and an end to his rivalry with Selina. But why is he so determined to pursue the one woman who’ll never have him?

Selina’s not sure she wants to know the answer. Her wounded heart is more than she can risk. But she’ll happily take on the duke in the political arena, if a war is what he wants.

There’s only one possible outcome. Defeat for one. Victory for the other.

Unless there’s a sweet surrender in store for them both…


My Rating: 3 stars out of 5

I liked this one more than the others in this series, even if (pardon the pun) it did take me most of the book to warm up to Selina aka Lady Icicle. At times, I even felt bad for Malcom wondering why he would continue to approach her when she was decidedly rude to any member of the male species not related to her. 

Don't get me wrong, it was quite enjoyable watching him seem to slowly win her over. However, it was also equally annoying watching her turn on him when he told her he would handle things. Instead of trusting his word that he would, she cut him off from her life - again - and all but accused him of lying to her. Once again, she reverted back to Lady Icicle - acting as though everything they had shared meant nothing to her.  Even when he came to her, hat in hand to try and explain, she brushed him off. Not very endearing if you ask me. 

Despite that, one of the things that made this book stand out from the others for me is the sub-plot of a political race taking place in which both the main characters are backing different candidates.  Admittedly, I wouldn't have thought women would be allowed to be involved in politics to the extent Selina was, but it gave the reader a chance to see a side of her that we hadn't gotten to see in the prior books. 

It would seem there is to be a fifth book, based around the only remaining unwed sister (Isobel), and I can't wait to see what the future holds for her (although I have plans to check out more from this author's other works as well). 

                                                      No Duke's Need Apply is available from
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