Series: Duke's Den
Published by Avon on November 27th 2018
Genres: Historical Romance
Source: Edelweiss, Avon
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Nicholas Lyon gambled his way into a fortune and ownership of the most opulent, notorious gentlemen’s club in England. But when Nick’s cruel brother dies, he inherits a title he never wanted. The sooner Nick is rid of the estate that has always haunted him, the sooner he can return to the life he’s built in London. But there’s one obstacle—the exquisite Thomasina Thorne.
When the new heir to the Tremayne dukedom suddenly appears in Mina Thorne’s life, she’s flustered. Not only is he breathtakingly handsome, but he’s also determined to take away her home and position as steward of the Enderley estate. If Mina learns what makes the enigmatic duke tick, perhaps she can change his mind—as long as she doesn’t get too close to him.
With each day Nick spends with Mina, his resolve weakens as their colliding wills lead to explosive desire. Could she be the one woman who can help him finally bury the ghosts of his past?
A DUKE CHANGES EVERYTHING
by Christy Carlyle
Ah discovering new authors to love. One of my favorite things. It’s a bit like sniffing the scent of new books.
I was bullied into reading this book by my book bestie and I regret nothing! This story isn’t the most original concept but it has a lot of unusual aspects to make the story compelling and captivating.
Nick never wanted to be a duke because that would mean having to go back to the home he hated. So when he learns that his ducal brother passed away he hates being forced into returning. His father’s horrific treatment of him didn’t leave just scars inside – he marked his son’s face because he thought Nick wasn’t the duke’s flesh and blood. Nick is convinced that people consider him a monster – one of the reasons trust doesn’t come easy to him. Nick’s arrival at Enderley has the household in a tizzy – will the new duke step up and do right by the estate, the town and the people under his care?
“My only loyalty, Miss Thorne, is to my business.”
“Is Enderley not your business now?”
“Enderley is my burden.”
You know these hardened, bitter, aloof heroes who have been broken in the past? That’s Nick in the beginning of A DUKE CHANGES EVERYTHING. The title is apt and when you read this book you will see in how many ways. He changes so many things about himself, about the place he hates so much, Mina’s life and the lives of those living in his ancestral home. Nick evolves from the bitter man who keeps people at arms length to a man who softens towards his female steward, to the man who doesn’t do altruistic things for Mina but because it feels good to be a good person.
Somehow, she’d unearthed goodness in him, a vein of decency he’d doubted he still possessed.
I loved that his development came steadily but not without sometimes sliding back. Mina confuses the hell out of him because he falls in love with her and doesn’t understand why. And when he realizes the twinge in his heart as love it’s touching and charming.
“I’m not afraid of seeing your scars.”
He settled her with infinite care on the edge of the enormous bed, not quite meeting her gaze. “I am.”
Mina has grown up on Nick’s estate as the steward’s daughter. When her father died she took over and although many people think that’s inappropriate for a woman to work as a steward (and to wear pants) she finds a lot of contentment in her work. I admired her instinct to push Nick at the right time and to back off when he needed room to work things out in his mind and heart. I loved her sweetness and strength, her self confidence and that she didn’t just want to settle but strived for more.
From the first moment their gazes clashed, Mina saw him and never looked away. As if she wasn’t put off by what she saw.
A DUKE CHANGES EVERYTHING has everything I expect from an outstanding historical romance.
- A swoon-worthy hero who is good at heart and falls so irrevocably in love with the heroine
- A lovable, admirable female main character who is worthy of him.
- A fresh, polished writing style that is descriptive without being too flowery
- Multi-dimensional side characters who you want to know more about.
As I said in the beginning, plot-wise it’s not the most innovative story but the execution is flawless. I’m looking forward to continuing this series and I’m wondering whose stories we’ll get beside the obvious best friends of the duke.
He hadn’t anticipated finding beauty in this blighted place.