The Reluctant Duke by Georgiana Louis

DUKE
The Reluctant Duke by Georgiana Louis
Publisher: Red Rose Publishing
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (197 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by Camellia

Colin Lyre, recently inherited 10th Duke of Lincoln, has been told his whole life that he is superfluous to his family.

When he must deal with the responsibility and stress that comes with his new title, he flounders rather badly. He is determined do his ‘duty’’ and marry an ‘appropriate Duchess.’

Life throws Colin’s plans wayward when he rescues the beautiful Annabelle from a ball. She makes him realize how much better his life could be, but he doesn’t know if he truly deserves such happiness.

Annabelle wants nothing to do with the responsibility of marrying a title. She simply wants to make a suitable match with a gentleman who can support her family.

Colin is Annabelle’s perfect prince until she realizes what life as his life would be like. However, making the rational decision to stay away from one another is much harder than either of them expects.

Colin Lyre, always told he was “superfluous”, begins to slowly overcome his feelings of inadequacy when Annabelle Collins makes him feel like the “most important person in the world”. It is a painful process that costs him dearly emotionally.

He is overwhelmed with his responsibilities and duties as the new Tenth Duke of Lincoln. He seems rather spineless and inept as he lets this mother and his dead brother’s wife manipulate him.

He had fit perfectly into the role of the second son of a duke—the spare. However, coping with his new role is too much and he lets it preclude protecting his wife from the vicious machinations of his mother and sister-in-law. He even seems to side with them against his heartbroken wife who is “his angel”. When she distances herself from him, he turns to drink and gambling.

Colin is a flawed hero that needs more to redeem him than most. He kept me turning pages hoping he’d get a grip and use the power he has as a duke.

Annabelle, a nineteen-year-old beauty, is without money or position. She has one Season to find a wealthy husband—no title needed. She hope for a gentle man under forty that will be wealthy enough and willing enough to help her siblings get established in life. She falls hard for Colin but knows she is not duchess material. She is a genuine, straightforward, warm, happy, talented beauty without guile—not traits that endear her to the Ton.

The Reluctant Duke entertains well. Another thorough edit would have made it even better. A few things here and there take the reader out of the story. The interesting secondary characters pretty much carry the action of the novel other than the love scenes. The hero all but retreats from the field of action; while the heroine hides and bides her time. However, each of them gains insight and courage from some of the secondary characters like the indomitable Victoria and the other three ‘spares’.

The love scenes, well-drawn and explicit, give the reader a picture of how dear and necessary Colin and Annabelle are to each other. I felt like I was just being told about many of the other scenes and actions, but through it all there is no doubt about the soul-mate connection the hero and heroine have. I did so want a scene where Colin puts his mother in her rightful place to smooth the way for Annabelle. I did get the feeling that Annabelle gained strength and a sense of her own worth and power. She will probably smooth her own way to being a notable duchess.

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