ARC Review: When You Wish Upon a Duke by Charis Michaels

About the Book:

Title: When You Wish Upon a Duke

Author: Charis Michaels

Series: Awakened by a Kiss #2

Page Length: 384

Publication Date: Aug. 24, 2020

Publisher: Avon

Synopsis: All it takes…

After a childhood spent cavorting around Europe with a dangerous crowd, Miss Isobel Tinker has parlayed her experience and language skills into a safe, reliable life. Working as a clerk in Mayfair’s Everland Travel Shop, she dreams of someday owning her own travel agency and has vowed never to leave the familiar shores of England ever again. When a handsome duke arrives at her doorstep, she realizes her staid existence is about to take flight.

…is faith and hope

Jason “North” Beckett, the Duke of Northumberland, desperately needs a travel guide. He’s inherited a dukedom but has a final mission for the Foreign Office—rescuing his wayward cousin from Nordic pirates. Isobel Tinker is the ideal translator, discreet and unknown, but she’s also uncooperative, stubborn, and disarmingly beautiful.

And a little bit of trust

In exchange for her help, North promises Miss Tinker her own travel agency upon return and strict professionalism at sea. Isobel cautiously agrees but soon realizes “strict” and “professional” are not how she would describe her feelings for the irresistible duke. As their adventure sweeps them to the shores of Iceland and beyond, can temptation and growing trust give way to the magic of wild, passionate love?

LINKS:     Goodreads    |      Amazon    |     Book Depository

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, including Amazon, and I may earn a small commission, at no cost to you, if you purchase through my links.


My Review:

When You Wish Upon a Duke follows Isobel Tinker, who runs Everland Travel Agency and North, a man in search of someone to help him rescue his cousin. Because of her background, Isobel knows a lot about many different countries, including Iceland. North has one final mission in Iceland, and he seeks Isobel’s help in helping him have a successful one. Isobel is quite happy with her life as a travel agent and has no intention of going back to Iceland. But when North dangles an offer that will secure her future, Isobel can’t resist. However, can Isobel and North resist the growing attraction between them? Will they succeed on this potentially dangerous mission?

Jason “North” Beckett, the Duke of Northumberland, is handsome, charming, and intelligent. A newly retired spy, North resents the dukedom, which has been thrust upon him. North longs for adventure and detests stagnation, so having the opportunity to lead one final mission is like a dream come true for him. North is still grieving the loss of his father and brothers, and he is unhappy about his future. He’s also struggling between familial duty and personal desires. Plus, he didn’t expect to develop feelings for Isobel, which adds to his inner turmoil, especially since she is so resistant.

Don’t look to me to trivialize your struggle. In my experience, we are all too quick to dismiss or diminish the pain of others.

Isobel is wonderful! She is strong and outspoken, a woman who is comfortable taking charge. I think that is part of the reason North falls for her. Behind her reserved and respectable mask, she is adventurous and unafraid. The more that is revealed about Isobel and her younger years, the more you realize why she chose such a sensible and controlled life for herself. I love that she faces life head-on and doesn’t back down. She is brave and strong and fierce, and she lives her life on her terms, whether it is the wilder, unconventional side or the serious and work-oriented side. Even though she presents herself as a self-assured and independent woman, Isobel still struggles with trauma from her past and feelings of worth. As she journeys with North, she faces these inner demons.

Isobel and North have fantastic chemistry from their very first meeting. The way they tease and flirt is funny and charming, and it’s clear that they are a well-matched pair. I like that they challenge each other and share similar feelings about what they long for in life. I also love their ease with each other. They let their walls down and confide in each other, which is rare for both of them. Of course, responsibilities, being of different social classes, feelings of unworthiness, and more stand in their way, but I enjoyed watching them face and deal with their obstacles.

There was something about her that reminded him of a demonstration he’d seen in a chemist’s lab at Oxford: a luminous burst of electrical current flickering inside a tiny glass orb. She strummed. Her bearing suggested coiled energy. He was afraid to look away for fear of missing the explosion.

I also love how patient North is with Isobel and how much he respects her. You can tell that he really understands her and wants what is best for her. He teases and cajoles her, but ultimately North shows an incredible amount of understanding, patience, and love for Isobel. He doesn’t try to control her or squelch her identity as others do. Instead, he embraces and admires her uniqueness, strength, and fearlessness even when he wants to protect and shelter her. They have an amazing love story, and I wholly rooted for their happy ending.

The Icelandic setting enhances the love story between Isobel and North. The Northern Lights, the beautiful scenery, the hot springs, and more create such a magical atmosphere, which is a perfect backdrop for the budding romance between Isobel and North. The high seas adventure, piracy, kidnapped innocents, daring rescues, and more add action and suspense to the story, especially when in Iceland.

Isobel Tinker kissed him like a drowning woman in search of breath, and he returned the kiss as if he wanted to save her life.

Other characters like Isobel’s work friend and both North and Isobel’s mothers are also well-developed and interesting. Many strong and intelligent women in the story contrast with the expectations of society. I love how these women lift each other up, respect, and support each other even though they are so very different. The dialogue and witty banter, as well as the letters included throughout the novel, contribute to the wonderful character development.

When You Wish Upon a Duke is a fun, witty, and swoon-worthy historical romance that I thoroughly enjoyed. The characters are dynamically developed, the story is well-paced and interesting, and the romance is swoon-tastic!!! I also love that it is a nod to Tinkerbell and the story of Peter Pan. Characters, personalities, business names, different elements of the plot, and more are reminiscent of the beloved Peter Pan story.

Though it’s the second book in the series, it can easily be read as a standalone. That being said, the first book is great too, and another that I highly recommend. Thanks so much to NetGalley, Charis Michaels, and Avon for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.


Rating:

Favorite Parts:

THE ROMANCE!!!!

The action and adventure.

Favorite Lines:

There were kisses, he thought vaguely, and then there was this.

There are places that we thrive and places that we merely survive, and perhaps they are both important.

Don’t look to me to trivialize your struggle. In my experience, we are all too quick to dismiss or diminish the pain of others.

There was something about her that reminded him of a demonstration he’d seen in a chemist’s lab at Oxford: a luminous burst of electrical current flickering inside a tiny glass orb. She strummed. Her bearing suggested coiled energy. He was afraid to look away for fear of missing the explosion.

Isobel Tinker kissed him like a drowning woman in search of breath, and he returned the kiss as if he wanted to save her life.

Recommendations:

Want to learn more about the series? Check out my review of the first book!

5 thoughts on “ARC Review: When You Wish Upon a Duke by Charis Michaels

  1. This sounds so good! I don’t think I’ve read about or heard of a historical heroine who is a tour guide before this and I’m intrigued! I guess this just has to go on my TBR wishlist now 😅 Great review!

    Liked by 1 person

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