Book Review: Delighting the Duke by Alexa Aston

About the Book:

Title: Delighting the Duke

Author: Alexa Aston

Series: Dukes Done Wrong #4

Publication Date: Oct. 27, 2021

Publisher: Dragonblade Publishing

Synopsis: Accused of something they never did. Five boys banished from their homes in disgrace, to the place where they find the brothers of their heart—and build new family ties that will last a lifetime.

An army major whose soul is stained by war. A lonely bluestocking who failed miserably during her first Season. Two strangers who bond over an injured kitten . . .

Aaron Hartfield is forced to leave the army and return to England to claim a title he never wanted when his brother is killed in a scandalous duel. Hart’s friends convince him to attend the Season in order to find himself a duchess and provide an heir—but he has no interest in making a love match.

After a disastrous come-out, bluestocking Olivia Knight retreats to her uncle’s vicarage in the country for five years. With his death, she returns to London and finds her father and loathsome cousin planning to choose a husband for her. Olivia is interested in a man’s character, while her relatives want her to secure a wealthy peer with a lofty title.

When Hart meets Olivia, he realizes no one else will do as his duchess, but he keeps silent, wanting her to grow in confidence and receive the attention she deserves before he offers for her.

Will Hart wait too late and lose his chance with the blossoming Olivia—or will he speak up and find a lasting love with the ugly duckling who has turned into a beautiful swan?

LINKS:   Goodreads   |    Amazon

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My Review:

Delighting the Duke is the fourth book in Alexa Aston’s Dukes Done Wrong series, and it is just as interesting and romantic as the first three books. The story follows Hart, an army major who learns that he must return to England and become a duke after the death of his father and brother. Upon his return, he meets Olivia, who also recently returned to town after living with her loving aunt and uncle for years. Pressured by her obnoxious father and cousin to wed, Olivia cares less about a title and more about a man’s character. After a chance encounter with Olivia, Hart knows she is the one for him. However, Hart sees that Olivia lacks confidence and wants her to see her own worth before he proposes. Will Hart miss his chance at love?

Hart and Olivia have a wonderful romance and feel a connection from their first encounter.  As they get to know each other, their connection and feelings for each other grow. Olivia and Hart are both interesting and compelling characters that have gone through so much, and I love how their relationship progresses. They have a swoon-worthy love story that is challenged by internal obstacles, malicious family, and societal pressures.

Olivia had to learn to believe in herself and see her worth. Between her browbeating father, who verbally abuses her, her shady cousin, and feeling rejected by society when she was younger, it is difficult for Olivia to believe in herself. I think Olivia and Hart are alike in that way – neither really sees how wonderful they truly are. Olivia becomes more confident throughout the story, and I like that she learned to be more outspoken and stand up for herself.

And I love Hart! A fantastic leading man, he is honorable, principled, and gorgeous, and he values his integrity. He is a better man than most of the people he meets in the ton, as are the rest of his friends. And I adore the way he patiently boosts Olivia’s self-esteem and makes her see how special she is. He stands up for her, defends her, and fights for her, and he treats her like an equal. This makes for many swoon-worthy moments!

According to the ton, Olivia used to be an ugly duckling and is now a swan. There are some interesting messages here about societal acceptance and prejudices, fat-shaming, and how the ton seems to value their perceptions of outer beauty over inner beauty and worth. The way they treat people who don’t fit into their cookie-cutter societal molds of what a woman should look and act like is deplorable.  This is true to a lesser degree with the men, and though hart worries about his family’s tarnished reputation, he is protected by his title.  

I love that the couples from the first three books had such large roles in this story. They are all such fantastic characters, and I love reading how their lives have changed. New additions to the families bring such a sense of happiness and hope and show Olivia and Hart what they could have too. The Turner Terrors are the most wonderful found family, and the wives of the terrors have become a strong and influential group of women. The women use this influence to help other women, which they do with Olivia. They so easily befriend and welcome Olivia into their tight-knit group even before they know of her connection to hart.  I think it says a lot about these women when they help others and reject the dictates of upper-crust society. They are strong, independent, intelligent, and much loved for their kindness and generosity, especially by their amazing husbands.   

This is such a great addition to the Dukes Done Wrong series, and I loved learning more about Hart and Olivia. A few new characters are also introduced, and I have a feeling we’ll see more of them as the series ends. The next and final book focuses on Finch, the most elusive of the Terrors, and I can’t wait to finally learn his story! Special thanks to NetGalley, Dragonblade Publishing, and the author for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.


Favorite Parts:

  • The romance!
  • The Turner Terrors.

Favorite Line:

You will go on. ‘Tis what we all do after great loss. And you will be stronger for it.


Want to learn more about the series? Check out my reviews of the first three books!

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