About the Book:
Title: Never Seduce a Duke
Author: Vivienne Lorret
Series: The Mating Habits of Scoundrels #5
Page Length: 384
Publication Date: Feb. 21, 2022
Publisher: Avon Books
Synopsis: After being jilted, Margaret Stredwick has sworn off men and marriage. What she needs is a holiday. But a detour along the way takes a surprising turn that leads Meg to him. And soon she starts to wonder if she should indulge in one grand flirtation before she’s firmly on the shelf.
The instant Lucien Ambrose, Duke of Merleton, finds a strange woman touring the halls of his ancient estate, he knows the minx is up to something. So, when a family heirloom is stolen, it’s clear who the culprit is. She may tempt him beyond reason, but he isn’t about to let her get away, even if he has to chase her across the continent.
Meg never imagined that anyone would mistake her for a notorious thief, known for seducing men to distraction. It’s the most thrilling thing ever! She eagerly plays along. . . until she finds herself falling in love with a man who has no idea who she really is. And by the time she returns to her ordinary life, she discovers that her grand flirtation won’t be a secret for long. Apparently, she brought home an unexpected souvenir…
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Never Seduce a Duke is the fifth book in The Mating Habits of Scoundrels series, and it’s an entertaining addition to the series. The meet-cute has total Pride and Prejudice vibes, as the pair meets when Meg is touring Lucien’s ancient and enormous home. I love how they meet, and it’s easy to see why Lucien would mistake Meg for the thief who stole his priceless and ancient recipe book, which has been passed down in his family since the times of King Arthur.
The first half of the story takes place mostly on the road, as Meg and her aunts are vacationing. It’s a fun road trip romance with Lucien chasing Meg across countries, determined to unmask the truth. Then, the setting becomes more stationary, as a bit of time has passed, and Meg and Lucien’s lives have changed. I have to say, I preferred the first half. I haven’t read many historical romances with a road trip, and it was a fun and unexpected backdrop for the story and for Meg and Lucien’s romance.
Meg and Lucien have a ton of chemistry, but so much stands in their way, including trust issues, miscommunication, mistaken identity, secrets, and more. Even though they don’t trust each other and there doesn’t seem to be a future for them, Meg and Lucien are drawn together over and over again. It’s interesting to see Lucien fight his feeling since he thinks Meg is a thief. But she proves difficult to resist. It’s also fun to see the inexperienced Meg try to flirt and entice Lucien, who is kind of clueless. Their interactions and conversations are comical and endearing and filled with angst and sexual tension.
Lucien’s cousin Pell is another fantastic character. He’s so funny and charming, and I love how he banters with Lucien. I’m hoping Pell will be a protagonist in one of the future books in the series because I would love to learn more about him, and I have a feeling his romance would be super swoon-worthy. And the aunts and their never-ending search for recipes are hysterical as always. They’re lovable and meddlesome and as clueless as they are discerning.
I also really like the inclusion of the Arthurian legend. However, I did think Lucien was too stubborn in his determination to find the book. His refusal to see that Meg isn’t the thief he thought she was got frustrating at times, as was his intense focus on retrieving the book, even when it was to the detriment of himself and others. It made sense, given his personality and analytical mind, but it still irked me. And the miscommunication and secret Meg kept from Lucien are not my favorite. Otherwise, it’s an enjoyable and sometimes steamy historical romance. Thanks to NetGalley and Avon Books for providing me with a copy of the book. All thoughts are my own.
- The romance!
- The characters.
In that brief moment, he’d been reduced to a six-foot pile of blood, bone, and tissue with the mental capacity of a hungry ape, face-to-face with a five-foot-four stack of irresistibly delicious bananas.
“So you think I’m just going to let you walk away? To let you slip out of my life for good? Not bloody likely.”
Her gaze flew to his. “What was that?”
“I think you heard me correctly. However, if you require clarity, very well.” He expelled a deep breath and said firmly, “I’m keeping you.”
Her head tilted to the side as she blinked. Then a smile bloomed on her face. “As your prisoner?”
“It seems only fair, considering that I am apparently yours.”
This is a great book for readers who like:
- historical romance
- great banter
- mistaken identity
- comical secondary characters