About the Book:
Title: Four Weddings and a Duke
Author: Michelle McLean
Page Length: 416
Publication Date: May 23, 2023
Synopsis: As the middle—and least marriageable—sister in a bevy of swans, Lavinia Wynnburn is quite content being the odd duck out. This way, she’s free to commit social faux pas without anyone much noticing. Until the Duke of Beaubrooke turns up the morning after a ball, asking for her hand in marriage.
Alexander Reddington doesn’t particularly care for social niceties, nor is he particularly good at them. But now that the spare has become the heir, he must marry…and soon. When he stumbles into the same corner as a socially awkward wallflower, he knows he’s found the perfect wife: one who won’t bother him to attend every simpering event of the season.
Only, Alexander’s shy and pretty new wife is finding her new position surprisingly exciting and keeps accepting every invitation that flutters past their door. And worse luck, he might even be falling for her. Now he must hide the truth about why he really proposed…before his unexpectedly happy marriage is dashed to pieces.
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.
Four Weddings and a Duke starts with a sweet meet-cute and unexpected proposal. Lavinia and Alex seem like a match made in heaven. They are both solitary and intellectual, and they connect instantly. Alex is so drawn to Lavinia, and they have great chemistry. It’s pretty clear that their arranged marriage has a lot of potential.
Unfortunately, I ended up not liking their romance. I think the biggest issue I had with it is the way Alex and Livinia fought. They say things to each other that are so hurtful and immature, and I felt like it was really toxic. Telling Lavinia he should have just married her sister was a low blow from Alex, and he said and did other things that were equally distasteful and mean. Not showing up for a party she held in his honor with no explanation? Making her feel like she’s not important? I felt like Alex totally took Lavinia for granted and didn’t even try to understand her, which also bothered me. The same goes for Lavinia.
Lavinia knew she was marrying a man who was more interested in his research than society, yet she keeps organizing and attending social events. Why? At the beginning of the story, she seemed to prefer solitude, much like Alex, which is part of the reason he chose her as his wife, so for her to change so drastically was surprising. I think that being a duchess gives Lavinia confidence, and she feels seen for the first time in her life, but it seemed like her entire personality changed after she got married, and it didn’t make sense to me.
I also hated that Alex continually put his work before everything else. As much as he cared for Lavinia, this truly felt like a marriage of convenience. I didn’t feel like the attraction grew into love, especially on Alex’s part, until the very end. Alex does something so lovely at the end that he almost redeemed himself in my eyes, but I think I needed more groveling from him because he was a pretty terrible husband for the majority of the story.
There were a few other elements of the plot and characters that didn’t make sense to me. Lavinia’s sister, for example, is so angry when she finds out she wasn’t chosen to be Alex’s wife, but then it is revealed she loves someone else. Huh? Then, why was she so rude to Lavinia? That was odd, and I never could really figure out her character.
I did like the writing style, pacing, and the dialogue. I also enjoyed the end, once Lavinia and Alex finally reach an understanding and express their feelings. I also like the banter between Alex and his frenemy, who is also Lavinia’s best friend. The final scenes with all three of them were hysterical. I think I liked Nigel more than Alex and kind of wish Lavinia ended up with him. lol
Big choices are easy, even the hard ones. They only come along a few times in your life. They are easy to spot and easy to focus on because they are so rare. It’s the little ones that people make every day; those are the choices that matter. Those are the choices that show you how a person really feels. Anyone can pretend for a day. It’s much harder to do so forever.
- arranged marriage
3 thoughts on “Book Review: Four Weddings and a Duke by Michelle McLean”
One thing I don’t like in a book is nasty, hurtful comments from people who are supposed to be friends or romantic couples. I don’t think I will pick this one up. Nice, honest review, Julie.
Thanks, Carla. I struggle with that too. There are ways to argue without hurling insults or being spiteful.