ALL’S FAIR IN LOVE
Battlefields and barrooms hold much more interest for Edward Westover, Duke of Swarthmore, than a little girl’s fondness for dolls and lace. When he takes possession of his enemy’s estate, everything that villain held dear—including his daughter—belongs to Edward. Hire a governess, arrange a dowry, give a few reassurances, and be off on his way—that’s Edward’s plan. But he’s in for the shock of his life. For his new ward is a beautiful, impetuous, and utterly irresistible woman…
Kate Benton is stunned. Who is this arrogant, infuriating man who’s invited himself into her home and taken over her life? Her vow: to do everything in her power to convince him to leave her—and Brambly House—alone. Yet as chilly days melt into sultry nights, Kate sees glimpses of kindness underneath Edward’s cool façade . . . and a passionate nature that takes her breath away. There’s so much she doesn’t know about this man. But does she dare trust this devilish duke with her heart?
I really liked meeting Kate and Edward. The start of their relationship was highly unconventional and unique and because of that the book was hard to put down. How can the actions of revenge turn into the catalyst for romance and a happy ever after? Dukes are Forever answers that by telling a tale that ends with a wonderful resolution. This is pure romance.
This is the first book in what appears to be a trilogy. It’s about three men who served in war together and their friendship was born and solidified on the battlefield. Their war is over and they are back in polite society where Edward, the hero in this book, and Grey and Thomas need to find their place in the ton.
Edward is now the Duke of Strathmore but he’s not happy about it. His life isn’t turning out to be the way he wanted so this story is about finding the one thing he was missing in his life and he hopes to embrace it. Not in his wildest dreams could he imagine how it would come about. The conflict comes from bringing a doll to his new ward only to find out that his ward is a lot older than he was led to believe. Kate is her name and healing is her calling. She’s feisty, opinionated, and independent and as far from a typical society miss as one can get. It’s Kate’s unusualness that sparks life into Edward’s cold heart and makes him engage in life again. The sparks fly, passions are stirred and there are plenty of reasons for a reader to not want to put the book down. The storytelling is strong and the dialogue is brisk and peppery, but it’s funny at times too.
What isn’t funny is the darkness that focuses on Kate. What she doesn’t know is that the person she should be able to trust most in her life ends up being quite the opposite. I had no idea it would go so far so I felt really bad for the heroine. For so long she had hope, she strived to be what expected of her and demanded little, all in the vain hope that someday things would be better. Edward is the only light in her life and a reader will be able to see that all too clearly.
When Kate and Edward to explore the physical side of their growing love and attachment, it’s sensual, sexy and sometimes fun. The scenes were written effectively and I enjoyed their banter and how well they played off of each other. It took Edward a while to come to terms with his feelings but once he does, like his military career, he’s focused on an objective, and in Dukes are Forever Kate is the prize.
I also liked the secondary characters, Edward’s brothers in arms, Thomas and Grey. Since they are going to have their own stories eventually, the author did a wonderful job of fleshing them out, making them interesting and creating an effective hook for readers to want more. I know I certainly do. I really enjoyed Ms. Harrington’s Dukes are Forever. This was a great romance and I can’t wait for Grey’s story!