Monday, June 4, 2012

Unwrapping: Review of ALONG CAME A DUKE by Elizabeth Boyle

Don't you just love this cover? It's gorgeous and what's inside is even better. I was thrilled when Avon sent me a copy of ALONG CAME A DUKE by Elizabeth Boyle - one of the wonderful perks of being an Avon Addict.


"A young lady with a fortune is subject to all sorts of untoward attentions by the worst sort of vagrants." ~Aunt Allegra

A lesson, Tabitha Timmons, a penniless spinster, has never needed to heed. That is, until she is left a vast fortune payable only upon her marriage to the very respectable Mr. Barkworth—a match that offers little chance of discovering exactly what her aunt means by "untoward attentions."

But the same can't be said when the Duke of Preston happens along Tabitha's path. He spies a rebellious streak in her that matches his own, and he makes it his mission to save her from such a passionless match, interfering in her life at every turn. All too soon, Preston--whose very name spells ruin--has Tabitha caught between the good fortune that guarantees her security, and his kiss, which promises an entirely different kind of happily ever after.

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How I see Mr. Muggins
after one of his feather mishaps.
Tabitha Timmons has grown up much as Cinderella did in the fairy tale. She was put in the care of her uncle and aunt when her father died. She spends her days working as their servant and her nights in an attic room. Her only break from her scullery maid duties is when she spends time with her best friends, Harriet and Daphne. Her truest best friend, companion, and confident is a scruffy Irish Terrier named Mr. Muggins who has an obsession with feathers and is notorious for chasing down any poor unfortunate soul wearing a hat containing one.

Christopher Seldon, the Duke of Preston - Preston to his friends and family - has a reputation for ruining the young ladies of the ton and his aunt and uncle are determined to put an end to it. They've told him it's time to find a wife and if he should cause one more scandal, they will leave his home forever. The idea of being left totally alone isn't one Preston cherishes but then the idea of marriage isn't one he's very keen on either - with exception to a brash young woman from Kempton who after a midnight meal and a single kiss, he can't seem to vanquish from his mind.

When Preston discovers that his Tabby - as he likes to think of Tabitha - is being forced into a marriage with a man he finds less than deserving of her, he sets out to find out why she, who once proclaimed she'd never marry, is now so willing. Having shared a kiss that plagues her thoughts constantly, Tabitha seeks out Preston at every opportunity until finally, Preston is determined to save her from her plight.

This story was entertaining, delightfully funny and reminds me of the old saying, "a man chases a woman until she finally catches him."

ALONG CAME A DUKE by Elizabeth Boyle is a historical romance with page-turning banter and romantic liaisons that leave the reader wanting more with each unexpected encounter. Preston is an incorrigible flirt and he's met his match in the irrepressible and witty Tabitha who quickly learns she can give as much as she gets. The characters are distinctly three dimensional including the supporting cast of friends and family. Preston's best friend, Roxley quickly won my heart and I'm hoping we see him again in a possible compromising position with Tabitha's adorable friend, Harriet 'Harry' Hathaway. Harry gets one of the best lines when she says, "I do believe your aunt just told the Duke of Preston to shove off."

I do have to say that the first two chapters dragged a bit and had me wondering if I was going to enjoy going forward but in chapter three, the fun begins. It's the second time that Preston and Tabitha are thrown together and the banter between them is exquisitely amusing and continues that way on to the end. I guess I can forgive those first two chapters for the rest of the story even though overall, the story was predictable. Do we always have to be kept guessing? I think not. Sometimes we just want a romantic story and we get one in ALONG CAME A DUKE.

I recommend ALONG CAME A DUKE by Elizabeth Boyle to anyone who enjoys historical romance, delightful and flirtatious dialogue, a man who needs reforming and a strong woman to do the job. It's a wonderful read that will keep you hooked, keep you coming back for more, enjoying every moment and wishing it wouldn't end. Fortunately, this is the beginning of a series so we'll be visiting these wonderful characters again - soon, I hope.

Happy Reading Everyone!

ALONG CAME A DUKE by Elizabeth Boyle, Avon Romance, available now in print and ebook format.



Beebs said...

Hi amy

I love that dress, it's gorgeous. Elizabeth Boyle is on my TBR list but I haven't got to her yet, so maybe I'll start with this new series. Great review!

Amy Valentini said...

Hi Beebs,
Yes, that dress is sooo gorgeous!

I love Elizabeth's books, they are always very romantic. This is a good series to start with - a good introduction to her work. The next story will be Preston's Uncle Henry who needs a wife - according to his sister, anyway. His story gets a push in this one so these will be best if read in order. Enjoy!! : )

Dalila G. said...

I have always enjoyed reading E.B.'s books.

I started reading her series THE DANVERS FAMILY some years ago and have been hooked ever since.

By locating her books from the library or stores I was able to almost read everything she's written.

I plan on picking up ALONG CAME A DUKE, the first book of RHYMES WITH LOVE series.
I'm so looking forward to reading this one too.

Thank you Amy for another wonderful and honest review!
Have an awesome day!

Amy Valentini said...

I try, Dalila, I try! If I truly don't like a book, you won't see me review it because I just can't be mean - honest, yes, mean, no. : )
I think this is going to be a fun series.