Book Review: A Good Duke is Hard to Find by Christina Britton

About the Book:

Title: A Good Duke is Hard to Find

Author: Christina Britton

Series: Isle of Synne #1

Page Length: 351

Publication Date: June 30, 2020

Publisher: Forever Publishing

Synopsis: After her third fiancé leaves her at the altar, Lenora Hartley is beginning to think she’s cursed. One thing’s for certain: she needs to escape London and her father’s tyrannical attempts to find her yet another suitor. The Isle of Synne, an isolated and idyllic retreat off Britain’s northern coast, is blessedly far from society’s gossip, but it also carries haunting reminders of her first fiancé. Letting go of the past to find happiness seems impossible—until Lenora is thrown in the path of a gruff, mysterious blue-eyed man who makes her pulse race.

Next in line for a dukedom he doesn’t want to inherit, Peter Ashford is only on the isle to exact revenge on the man who is responsible for his mother’s death. Once he’s completed the task, he’ll return to America where his life can finally be his own. Yet when he meets the beautiful and kind Miss Hartley, he can’t help but be drawn to her. Can Peter put aside his plans for vengeance for the woman who has come to mean everything to him? 

LINKS:     Goodreads    |      Amazon    |  

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My Review:

After her third broken engagement, Lenora Hartley leaves London for the Isle of Synne for a one-month reprieve in the hopes of avoiding the scandal and rumors. Knowing that upon her return Lenora will be wed to someone of her father’s choosing, Lenora is glad to get away. So, she flees to the Isle of Synne, a place she spent her summers when she was a child. Here Lenora must face the secrets of her past and figure out what she wants for her future.

Peter Ashford has returned to the Isle of Synne after thirteen years in America to exact revenge on the man who didn’t help his mother when she was dying. Peter is next in line to a dukedom that he doesn’t want, and he is fueled by his hatred and need for revenge. However, when he meets Lenora, Peter’s singular focus begins to change. Lenore touches him in a way no one has before. Will Peter put his plan for revenge aside and convince Lenora that they have a future together?

Lenora is a wonderful character. She is so kind and appreciative, and she has an easy way about her that endears her to others. She is so helpful and appreciative, and I enjoyed the complexities of her character. Burdened by guilt, shame, disappointing her father, and more, Lenora has closed herself off emotionally. She no longer paints, though it was her passion because it brings up too many feelings. She and Peter are similar in that they both struggle with their feelings, especially feelings of loss, guilt, and grief. However, they deal with their feelings and experiences in different ways.

Peter is a bit more difficult to like. He is angry and jaded, a cynical man seeking vengeance for something that happened to him and his mother over a decade ago. So intent is he on revenge that he is often cutting and rude to the people who stand in his way. Like Lenora, he has closed himself off from others. However, his single-mindedness pushes people away. He’s so unlikeable in so many ways, especially when he speaks in anger, but there’s also a vulnerable side to him that makes him unbelievably appealing. He also shows a lot of growth throughout the story, and he learned to let go of a lot of his hatred. Now, I might be a sucker for a brooding hero, but when Peter realizes and expresses his feelings for Lenora, I totally swooned!

The romance between Lenora and Peter is slow-building and explosive. They both want to be loved so badly, yet they have closed their hearts to love. However, they can’t deny their feelings for each other. One of my favorite scenes in the story is when Lenora teaches Peter how to dance. It is such a magical and swoon-worthy moment in their love story, and it showed how frightened, exhilarated, consumed, and confused each felt about their ever-growing feelings. Their chemistry is filled with sexual tension and angst, and it’s fantastic.

The side characters really shine in this story as well. Lady Tesh is an intelligent, kind, and astute woman, and her dog Freya is adorable. Lenora’s best friend Margery and Peter’s best friend Quincy are both interesting, dynamic characters, and they have larger roles in future books in the series, which is fabulous. Quincy is the focus of book two and Margery book three, and their love stories are both beautiful and poignant. What I love is that these characters are all supportive, loyal, friends who are there for each other no matter what.

This is a great start to a wonderful series, and it will definitely appeal to readers of swoon-worthy historical and regency romance. The beautiful and immersive setting, the messages of redemption, opening yourself up to love, and forgiveness, are compelling, and the love story is fantastic. Thanks so much to Christina Britton, NetGalley, and Forever for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.


Rating:

Favorite Parts:

  • The romance!
  • The setting.

Favorite Lines:

She smiled, and it was as if the sun had emerged from behind a cloud, bringing bright color to the world.

Isn’t the possibility of her rejection worth the chance of loving her for the rest of your days?

Recommendations:

This is a great book for romance and historical romance lovers.

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