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Ratings and Book Reviews (17 21 star ratings
17 reviews
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4.4 out of 5
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    Opposites attract in a delightful way!

    I know what to expect before I even start when reading a historical romance such as Forever My Duke. And that is exactly why I read it. I’m not expecting an unreliable narrator, a thriller (although I do expect some suspense and action and danger) or a dark story with an ending that leaves me unsettled. What I do expect is action and humor and conflict and romance in a good solid story. With a happy ending, of course. And that is just what Forever My Duke delivers. When we first meet Hadrian and Natalie it’s hard to decide which one to dislike the most. Hadrian, the Duke of Clayton, is a haughty product of his upbringing. Tradition and rank and one’s place in society are everything. Natalie, on the other hand, could be the poster child for The Ugly American. She believes in equality, hard work and rewards based on merit, not inheritance. Her family history has convinced her that all those who are titled are lazy, arrogant, and undeserving of the riches they have. Both are pretty biased and prejudiced and unable to see much beyond what they grew up learning. But of course neither of them are as bad as they first seem, and circumstances throw them together in ways they don’t foresee, ways that are funny and sweet and sexy. Hadrian soon realizes that he very attracted to Natalie and doesn’t want the traditional wife that is expected of him. He is determined to woo and win her. Natalie is just as attracted to him but has so many reservations. She doesn’t even consider that he would want her as his wife and most certainly does not plan to become his mistress. And she can’t even imagine herself fitting in with his life, with the ton, especially since her whole life has been about rejecting it. What follows is a very, very enjoyable story about the journey they take to their happy ever after. I grew to love both Natalie and Hadrian and little Leo and to thoroughly enjoy the quite interesting cast of supporting characters. There were scoundrels and danger and a fair bit of mystery, and lots of love and lust and sweetness. Author Olivia Drake has provided a good solid story with a lot of detail and backstory that slowly unfolds to a satisfying conclusion. I received an advance copy of Forever My Duke from St. Martin’s Publishing Group via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. Honestly, I loved Forever My Duke and recommend it without hesitation.
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    Overlooked Love

    Loved the flow of this novel along with Olivia Drake's superb characters. Love a romance but this one had some new situations that made me read even faster. This is labeled #2 but I had no trouble enjoying or feeling I missed anything by not reading #1 first. Duke of Clayton is a somewhat stuffy aloft gentleman who has finally decided it it time to take a wife. He meets Natalie and her young charge Leo at a remote inn while the weather is in-climate. The story is great as are this couple and their pasts that seem to draw them closer. "A copy of this book was provided by St. Martin's Press with no requirements for a review. Comments here are my honest opinion."
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    How can anyone not love a duke?

    This is an easy set-up: an egalitarian American who was raised to disdain the English aristocracy finds herself inexorably drawn to one of the wealthiest dukes of the realm. Knowing they're going to find their HEA doesn't make the journey an easy one, however. The secondary characters are a bit standard, but this story is driven by the fascinating character studies of its two main characters, Natalie and Hadrian. Hadrian has had duty drilled into his psyche since early childhood, so much so that he doesn't hesitate to question whether it's the best course or not. Until he meets Natalie, an outspoken, provincial young woman who challenges everything he believes in. But he's not the only one being challenged. Turns out Natalie has a few things to learn about drawing easy conclusions as well. The writing is so on-point that I was simultaneously convinced that they absolutely belonged together and that there was no way it would ever work between them. As the story unfolds, questions arise and are answered in unexpected ways as both Hadrian and Natalie sort out what exactly is the most important driving force in their lives: duty? patriotism? family? love? I was instantly captivated by this beautiful romance and read it straight through in one sitting. It's a terrific regency that shows it's possible to root for both the English and the Americans, even right after a war. Aside from the class and culture differences, there's a side story involving the family of the child Natalie has brought to England, with a little bit of action and suspense toward the end. I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book.
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    Forever My Duke

    Natalie is American born, although she has British ties. She is against the idea that anyone is better then any one else. When she makes a death bed promise it brings her right back to old ties and into a stuffy Duke named Hadrian. That’s when all the fun and things get interesting. Leo is a sweetheart that gets into all sorts of mischief. Wonderful read and well written romance.
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    A refreshing and charming Regency romance!

    3 - 3.5 stars. This is my first book by Olivia Drake and I enjoyed it. The storyline starts out a bit slow and it took me quite a while to get invested, but it eventually picked up and I was intrigued by the relationship between Hadrian and Natalie. I've seen some people label this as a regency romance, and I guess I would agree. I am more used to the term, "historical romance" so that's what I'm sticking with. Hadrian comes across as pretty dry and gruff, so it was a little hard to believe he felt such a strong attraction to Natalie right from the start. Natalie was very refreshing and very progressive for the time period, I did like her. She didn't like the English at all or the social class system they have, her being American. I liked the concept of the story, the promise Natalie made to her dying friend. As was typical of the times, Hadrian was to be betrothed to someone when he happens to meet Natalie. He is attracted to her but she is beneath his station, him being a Duke and all. And Natalie was having none of this title or social standing. There are some steamy parts, that some people may not be too thrilled about, but I enjoyed them. I hope to have the chance to read more of Ms. Drake's books in the future. Many thanks to Netgalley and St. Martin's Press for this advanced review copy in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion.

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