About the Book:
Title: A Duke Worth Fighting For
Author: Christina Britton
Series: Isle of Synne #3
Page Length: 400
Publication Date: Aug. 24, 2021
Synopsis: To protect the dukedom from an incompetent and greedy cousin, Daniel Hayle, Duke of Carlisle, has promised to find a bride in London this season. But the idea of facing ballrooms and card parties is as intimidating as any battlefield in France, including the fight at Waterloo that left him terribly scarred. Perhaps a month on the Isle of Synne can provide him with the practice necessary to find a wife who can tolerate him enough to give him an heir.
Margery Kitteridge has been mourning her husband for four years, and while she’s not ready to consider marriage again, she does miss intimacy with a partner. When Daniel asks for help navigating Synne’s social scene, and they accidentally kiss, she realizes he’s the perfect person with whom to have an affair. As they begin to confide in one another, Daniel discovers that he’s unexpectedly connected to Margery’s late husband, and she will have to decide if she can let her old love go for the promise of a new one.
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A story about love, family, forgiveness, and healing, A Duke Worth Fighting For is one of my favorite historical reads of the year. It is a wonderful historical romance that follows Margery, a widow who has vowed never to remarry, and Daniel, a duke who needs a wife. Margery is being blackmailed by someone who is threatening to spread rumors about her late husband. Desperate to protect her husband’s reputation, Margery agrees to help Daniel, the Duke of Carlisle, find a wife in exchange for pay. Socially awkward Daniel has no idea how to find a wife, so when Margery offers to help, he jumps at the chance.
I love Margery and Daniel’s individual stories, as well as their love story. They are both such fantastic, well-developed characters. Devoted to preserving the memory of her husband and their bond, Margery does not want to remarry. She mourns her husband and has no intention of moving on with anyone else. So, she is shocked when she starts to notice Daniel. Her character grows so much throughout the story, and she really faces her troubles, past and present, head-on. Like Margery, Daniel is also haunted by the past, and he struggles with what happened while he was at war and when he returned. I love Daniel! He is so socially awkward and clumsy, and his social anxiety is so relatable! Well-layered and complicated, both Marjory and Daniel struggle with their internal conflicts, but as they grow closer, they both seem to heal.
The love story between Daniel and Margery is absolutely wonderful. They are so well paired, and they understand each other well. I like how patient and understanding they are of one another, and their chemistry is amazing! And the way she defends him and keeps coming to his rescue is the best! I love that their partnership turns into a friendship which then grows into something more. I also love how Margery seems to take the more dominant role in their relationship. She is more comfortable in social situations and often guides him. She is the one to defend his honor when he ignores insults, and she even initiates many of their more personal endeavors. Oftentimes in romance, the man has more experience, takes the protective lead, and initiates things, but in this story, it is almost a reversal. That’s not to say Daniel is submissive or passive, rather that Margery is strong and passionate and unwilling to allow others to mistreat those she loves. I think this couple teaches each other a lot and helps each other grow, heal, and find hope again. And the angst-filled way that they feel about each other is positively swoon-tastic!!
What else was she to him but the sun, lighting everything that had, up until them, been dreary and dark and hopeless?
The side characters are also fantastic, and if you read the first two books, you’ll be pleased to know that a bunch of the characters return in this story. I always love learning what happened to other couples after they find their happily-ever-afters, and this story shows us. People from Margery’s past also have important roles in the story, and learning more about them was really interesting, heart-warming, and a little heart-breaking.
I adored this smart, sweet, and sexy romance! It is an engrossing story that seamlessly explores topics like loss, grief, abandonment, and PTSD. Plus, the characters and romance are exceptional!! It is touching and moving with so much emotion and heart, and I found myself needing tissues on more than one occasion while reading. Thanks so much to NetGalley, Christina Britton, and Forever Publishing for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.
- THE ROMANCE!!
- The secondary characters.
- THE ROMANCE! lol
She smiled. But it was no simple smile. No, this one held all the mysteries of the universe in it.
He was consumed, reduced to smoldering cinders under her.
I recommend this to anyone who enjoys historical romance. This is one of my favorite historical romance reads of 2021.