Title: Who Wants to Marry a Duke
Author: Sabrina Jeffries
Series: Duke Dynasty
Page Length: 352
Publication Date: Aug. 25, 2020
Synopsis: Stepsiblings in search of the truth about their mother’s succession of beloved husbands—and their own surprising identities as eligible young nobles—are the endearing stars of this dazzling series from New York Times bestselling author Sabrina Jeffries…
A past kiss with adorably bookish Miss Olivia Norley should be barely a memory for Marlowe Drake, the Duke of Thornstock. After all, there are countless debutantes for a handsome rakehell to charm beyond a young lady whose singular passion is chemistry—of the laboratory type. But Thorn has not forgotten—or forgiven—the shocking blackmail scheme sparked by that single kiss, or the damage caused to both their names. Now Thorn’s half-brother, Grey, has hired the brilliant Miss Norley for her scientific expertise in solving a troubling family mystery. And the once-burned Thorn, suspicious of her true motives, vows to follow her every move…
For Olivia, determining whether arsenic poisoning killed Grey’s father is the pioneering experiment that could make her career—and Thorn’s constant presence is merely a distraction. But someone has explosive plans to derail her search. Soon the most unexpected discovery is the caring nature of the reputed scoundrel beside her—and the electricity it ignites between them…
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Who Wants to Marry a Duke is the third book in the Duke Dynasty series and can easily be read as a stand-alone. When Thorn’s half-brother Fletcher hires Olivia, an accomplished chemist, to research his father’s mysterious death, Thorn is instantly suspicious of her motives. He hasn’t forgotten that night nine years ago when he and Olivia were caught kissing, and he was forced to propose. Since Olivia rejected him, Thorn still suspects that she and her scheming step-mother planned the incident and the subsequent blackmailing scheme. Thorn determines to watch Olivia and ensure that she doesn’t dupe Fletcher the way that she did him.
Olivia just wants to do her job and publish her findings. This opportunity could make her career as a chemist. Thorn is a distraction, and she refuses to fall for him again. However, as Olivia and Thorn grow closer, and things become more dangerous, neither can deny their attraction. Can they put the past behind them, or will their prejudices and Thorn’s cynical outlook on love prevail?
Olivia is an intelligent and opinionated woman who stays true to her values and beliefs. I love her strength during a time when it would be very easy for her to rely on a man and marriage to feel secure. She’s more interested in her career goals to worry about marriage and love and is comfortable remaining unmarried so long as she can study science. She and Thorn are similar in that their interests defy societal norms and neither quite fit in.
Thorn is a Duke who also has a secret profession, which I love! He is close to and protective of his mother and siblings, which isn’t surprising considering all of the misfortune they have suffered. I think his relationship with them says so much about Thorn as a kind, loyal, and dependable person. I also love the way in which he accepts and supports Olivia’s interests and career aspirations. He does not expect, nor does he want, her to fit into the cookie-cutter societal mold.
The romance between Olivia and Thorn is fabulously spicy. This is a couple that went through an ugly scandal together almost a decade ago and spent years trying to repair the damage. Unresolved conflicts and feelings abound as the couple reunites under very different circumstances. However, they are still so obviously attracted to one another, and their chemistry (pardon the pun) is amazing! I love their quick and often funny banter and their growth as a couple.
This is a great historical romance with an interesting, and continuing, mystery and a steamy love story. The excellent use of dialogue and the character-development are fabulous as are the messages about love, both familial and romantic, which are at the forefront of this novel.
Thanks to Netgalley and Kensington Books for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review. All thoughts are my own.
- The romance, of course! 😉 Olivia and Thorn are so different, yet they work.
- The murder mystery. This is an ongoing mystery that began in previous books. As they find clues and begin to solve the mystery, even more aspects to the story unravel.
- The excellent use of dialogue to progress the plot and develop characters.
Though this is the third book in the series, and can easily be read as a stand-alone, the other stories are great and provide some context that will further enhance your enjoyment of this story.
Readers who enjoy historical romance will enjoy this love story.