Review: A Duke for the Road (The Duke's Secret #1) by Eva Devon - .Red Wine & Books

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Review: A Duke for the Road (The Duke's Secret #1) by Eva Devon

    

Print Length: 199 pages
Publisher: Bard Productions Inc (May 9, 2018)

From Goodreads.com: A Duke With A Secret:

Robert Deverall, Duke of Blackstone, is cursed. Or so he thinks. Inheriting a dukedom bankrupted by his dissolute grandfather, father, and elder brother has made him determined that the male line will end with him. He refuses to allow any one else to suffer at the hands of a Deverall man. When he meets his childhood friend, Lady Harriet Cornwall, he is determined to stay away from her, despite the fact she makes his heart sing and his body ignite. When the two are caught in a compromising position, he has no choice but to marry the wild, independent Harry. But will his determination never to have children, and his fears about his family line, destroy their chance at love?

A Lady Determined to Unmask the Duke:
Lady Harriet Cornwall is determined to marry and quickly. After all, she loathes the uninspiring parties a proper unmarried lady can attend. No, she longs to be just like her mother, a beacon of culture, literature, and fun. And like her mother, she longs for a large family. When she meets Rob again, she can hardly believe the transformation from mischievous boy to sardonic and mysterious man. In the breath of a single dance, her heart is lost. From their very first kiss, she knows he is the one for her. But he has a dark secret. Will he push her away as he has done to everyone else? Or will she be able to coax her dark duke back into the light to find love?

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My Rating: 2 stars out of 5

Unfortunately, I just didn't connect with this story in any meaningful way. Which was a shame because with just a little push here and there, this story would have been at least a 4 star if not higher. 

The back and forth between Harriet and Rob was enjoyable. The idea of these two coming together in wedded matrimony was good. Even the idea of five different Dukes not only having a secret hideaway, but also secret personas as well was intriguing. However, the execution was lacking. And also, for the love of everything, I wish the author would stop calling her 'Harry'.  It was confusing and in my opinion, wholly unnecessary. 

To start, I wish there had been more about Rob and Harriet's childhood exploits together. As it is, we are given bits and pieces and told that because of it they shared a strong bond, but I never really felt that bond myself. Yes, they challenged one another, and yes, they lusted after each other (and really that tiny little thing was all it took to push them over the edge?) But love? I just wasn't buying it. Not even when certain aspects from Rob's past came into play. In fact, those moments that I'm sure meant to convey drama and angst? Didn't. How could they when Harriet proved herself more than capable of existing without Rob? 

This bond is also used as the reason why Harriet is able to immediately identify Rob as the Gentleman Highwayman even though no one else had been able to. Honestly? If it was that easy to recognize him, someone else should have either in person or through a story in the scandal sheets. 

Sadly, there were also just a lot of little things that were either mentioned once and forgotten (the letter clutched in the hand of a man for example), or that didn't add to the plot other than to up the word count. Even the drama of the story was severely underplayed - with the main conflict between the two characters seemingly overcome in an instant.

Because this was my first time reading this author, I will give her at least one more shot to win me over. I can tell she is capable of more than she offered here.

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                                                    A Duke for the Road is available from Amazon.com
                                   (for free if your subscribe to Kindle Unlimited)

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