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New Release Review! BEGUILING THE DUKE by Darcy Burke (Lords in Love #1)

Beguiling the Duke cover

Suffering a carriage mishap on the road to meet his future wife, the Duke of Lawford discovers the local town’s lodgings overflowing and must accept the hospitality of a country squire. The coach repair moves incredibly slowly, and it becomes clear that his host is attempting to manipulate a match between his daughter and Lawford.

Each year, Sadie Campion looks forward to the May Day Matchmaking Festival, but this year will be different as she plans to find a husband—and not one chosen by her father and brothers. Especially not a stiff, arrogant peer from London.

To stop Sadie’s meddling family, Law offers to pretend to court her. Grateful for the reprieve and also for the popularity the duke’s faux interest gives her, Sadie becomes the belle of the festival. But when the make-believe becomes all too real, Law wonders if she isn’t the match he was destined to make…

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Law and Sadie’s romance is the first offering in the dual author (Darcy Burke and Erica Ridley) Lords in Love series. It introduces the town of Marrywell and its annual May Day Matchmaking festival, both of which will feature in (at least some of the) future books.

I enjoyed watching Law and Sadie’s dynamic shift as the book continued–from their meeting, when he assumed she was the housekeeper (instead of just doing all the work of one and then some) and then asked the men of her family all of the same questions that she’d already answered (who would have thought that they’d give the same answers?) to the end, when they not only arrived at their much-earned HEA but he’d managed to help convince nearly everyone around them to stop taking her for granted.

Overall he was fairly unassuming for a duke, but he could still pull out the haughty aristocrat when needed 😉

The festival sounds like a lot of fun–though also a lot of pressure, as Sadie’s first experience demonstrated–and I look forward to seeing it and the town in future books. I really enjoyed the authors’ last joint series effort (Wicked Dukes Club) and am looking forward to seeing what else this one has in store for us!

Rating: 4 stars / B+

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

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