Book Review: A Duke by Scot by Amy Jarecki

About the Book:

Title: A Duke by Scot

Author: Amy Jarecki

Series: The MacGalloways #1

Publication Date: Oct. 19, 2021

Publisher: Oliver Heber Books

Synopsis: It is one thing to defy convention…but quite another to completely thwart it in the pursuit of insatiable desire.

His Grace, Martin MacGalloway, has well-earned the reputation as the most celebrated rake on the entire isle of Britain. But upon his father’s sudden death, he heads for Scotland where he finds his inheritance in a shambles, his sisters without prospects, and his brothers relying on his patronship—and he’s not about to conquer his problems alone.

Penniless, Lady Julia St. Vincent has no choice but to dress as a man and accept a position as steward to the Duke of Dunscaby. But when she meets His Grace, she’s not expecting him to be dashing, charming, or utterly enchanting. And the more time she spends with the duke, the more difficult it is to ignore the flickers of passion smoldering in her heart.

Martin instantly develops a fondness for the wee man. While they work together to rebuild the Dunscaby dynasty, they travel to London where Martin takes it upon himself to introduce his sheltered steward to the world of manly pursuits. Julia falls from one mortifyingly compromising situation to another as she pines for a duke she can never have…until an old friend invites her to a masque. And there, it takes but one kiss for Martin to stop at nothing in his pursuit of the mysterious woman who has captured his very soul.

LINKS:     Goodreads    |      Amazon    |    

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My Review:

Lady Julia St. Vincent is desperate to pay off her ailing father’s debts. She knows the only way to earn enough money to do this is to pose as a man, so she pretends to be Jules Smallwood and takes a job as a steward to Martin MacGalloway, the Duke of Dunscaby. The more time Julia spends with Martin, the more she falls in love with him, but she knows she must not reveal her feelings or she will lose her job and the money she needs to help her father. When Martin attends a masquerade, an enchanting encounter with Julia piques his interest, and he determines to learn more about her. How can Julia keep up the ruse as Jules Smallwood, and how will Martin react when he learns of her secret?

Julia is intelligent and quickly proves her worth as Jules Smallwood, the young steward. Martin has a lot of respect for Jules and his capabilities, but he has no idea that Jules is really a woman. As a newly appointed Duke, Martin finds the adjustment from his old life to his new one difficult. However, he puts a lot of trust in the people who work for him, and he shows a willingness to learn from and receive assistance from others.

Martin takes Jules under his wing and includes Jules in activities that will toughen him up. Boxing, hunting, and other pursuits are comical as Julia tries to keep her identity a secret. These scenes are great – awkward and comical and so entertaining! Whether Jules or Julia, the chemistry between her and Martin is undeniable. These parts also contribute to the character development, and I feel like I learned a lot about both Martin and Julia in these scenes. They are both likable, good-natured, and loyal people who will do anything for family and those they care about.

Martin, of course, is clueless about Jules and his real identity, which makes for some entertaining scenes. Poor Martin! He’s so savvy in some regards, but in others, he can’t see what is right in front of him. When Martin meets Julia at the masquerade, for example, Martin is smitten. He has no idea that Julia is, in fact, Jules, and his determination to connect with Julia shows how strong his feelings are and how clueless he is. His pursuit of Julia is so romantic, and their chemistry is fantastic.

In addition to the challenges of keeping her identity a secret, Julia also must deal with the lecherous and malignant man who lent Julia’s father money. His unsavory desires and constant pressure to repay the debt create even more obstacles for Julia. This money-lender is such a despicable man, and his interactions with Julia become increasingly dangerous and frightening, which adds to the intrigue of the story.

Other characters, especially Martin’s family and other people in his life, are also quite compelling, and I’m eager to learn more about them in future books in the series. Martin’s sisters have big personalities, and I believe Charity is the focus of the next book, Her Unconventional Earl. I’m also curious to learn more about Martin’s brothers and have a feeling they will have more prominent roles in subsequent books.

Amy Jarecki never disappoints and is one of my auto-buy romance authors. The first book in The MacGalloways series, this is an entertaining story for readers who like historical romance with a slow-building, secret identity/woman-disguised-as-a-man love story. I’m so thankful to Oliver Heber Books, Amy Jarecki, and NetGalley for providing me a copy of the book. All views are my own.


Rating:

Favorite Parts:

  • The romance!
  • The secondary characters.

Recommendations:

This is a fun story for readers who enjoy historical romance!

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