Review: Duke Seeks Bride (Love on Holiday, #3) by Christy Carlyle


Print Length: 368 pages
Publisher: Avon Books (August 22, 2023)

From Miss Aurelia Graves has never had a holiday. She is much too busy as the personal secretary to the Duchess of Waverly. But the Duke of Ballycannon Castle in Connemara, Ireland, has invited the duchess to visit—and as the duchess cannot travel, she has insisted Aurelia go in her stead.

Except when Lia arrives, everyone mistakes her for the duchess—and it’s clear the family who owns crumbling Ballycannon were hoping to match the widowed duchess with Alexander Fennessy, future Duke of Pierpont. But when Alex learns the truth of Lia’s identity, he has an…unusual request. He’ll happily show her hospitality if she’ll agree to let others think she’s the duchess for a fortnight, while also making it clear she has absolutely no interest in marrying him.

There’s just one problem: as time runs out on their arrangement and Alex increasingly fears he must in fact marry an heiress to save his family’s fortunes, he finds that his heart now belongs to Miss Lia Graves…and he can’t bring himself to let her go.


My Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Right off the bat, let me nitpick something, and this appears to only be an issue on Goodreads, so it doesn't affect my review, but it needs to be corrected. The main character's name is NOT Aurelia in the final cut; it is Evelyn, aka Evie. And the Castle is NOT Ballycannon; it is Ballymore. 

That being said, let me get into my review of the story itself. 

If you are looking for a low-angst romance with not much in the way of plot or villainous characters, then this will be the perfect read for you. And don't get me wrong, for what it was, I enjoyed it very much. 

The two main characters are adorable together, and I enjoyed every moment they spent getting to know one another. They complement each other very well, and it was undeniable that they had chemistry. There were even some secondary characters that I enjoyed, mainly Alex's sister Belinda and his brother Rupert. In fact, I kind of wish they would get stories of their own as I would like to see what happens to them. 

The problem with this story is.... well, to be perfectly honest, it was a little boring for me. There is absolutely nothing standing in the way of their happiness. The fact that Alex needs to marry for money? Seemingly not an issue, as he somehow has the funds to start his horse breeding business that will make the estate profitable even though there are areas of the house that are in such a bad state they can't be entered. His "villainous" uncle who stands to inherit if he doesn't marry? He's not a bad guy in the slightest; just misunderstood. Sharp-tongued aunt? Easily put in her place by Alex. Even the woman his aunt had hoped to match him with when it became clear that Lady Waverly wasn't attending didn't add much drama to the plot. A few waspish words, and then she, too, was forgotten. 

Now, I will completely say that this issue was one hundred percent on me, as I need my stories to have a touch of drama somewhere. In my opinion, that is what keeps them interesting, and sadly, this one just missed the mark for me. 

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel from the publisher. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.

                                              Duke Seeks Bride is available on

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