Series: The Cavensham Heiresses #4
Published by St. Martin's Press on November 27th 2018
Genres: Historical Romance
Source: St. Martin's Press
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Lady Daphne Hallworth is ready to celebrate the holidays with her family. But when they accidentally leave her home alone, Daphne uses the time to work on her dream—opening a home for unwed mothers. But her quest isn’t problem-free: She’s in a battle to win the property for the home against her brother’s best friend-turned-enemy, Paul Barstowe, Duke of Southart. And that’s not all: someone has stolen her personal diary, which holds secrets that could devastate her family. Daphne has always harbored private feelings for the man her family scorns…though perhaps striking a bargain with the handsome Duke will solve both their problems?
Paul, long considered good for nothing, aims to open a hospital to honor his brother and restore his reputation. So when a conflict over the land brings him straight into Daphne’s life, they make a deal: He will help her find her diary if Daphne can change her family’s opinion of him. But before he can win her family’s affection, he has to win hers first. Maybe love was the answer to their family feud all along?
THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE DUKE
by Janna MacGregor
I was really excited for this book and while THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE DUKE wasn’t a complete winner it had its charm. Let me start by telling you what I didn’t like:
- Wordy and long-winded: the story was stretched out, the writing a little too descriptive and flowery for my taste and repetitive because:
- The hero, Paul, kept having glum inner thoughts about how he didn’t deserve the heroine. He also blamed himself for things he couldn’t influence, playing the martyr.
- The heroine, Daphne, had some very dumb ideas born from defiance. Going into a very dangerous area of London alone with an “escort” because Paul told her it would be better for her to stay away…and it wasn’t only that one time. She kept doing it.
- Language: Now, I’m in no way a historical language pro but words like “Plus,…” instead of additionally and “full of yourself” don’t feel very historical – the language felt a little to modern. Granted, we don’t get any idea what era this is supposed to be set in so who knows…
- The hero’s nickname for the heroine: Moonbeam? Really? I cringed everything he said it.
Daphne had a backbone I admired. She defended her love for the hero and stood up to her (idiotic) brother (who was the hero of Book #1). She also didn’t accept that the hero kept belittling himself. She showed him his worth beyond his lineage and helped him carry the pain from his childhood with a cold father.
Paul was, despite his doomsday moods, incredibly sweet and very endearing. He was so blindsided by his love for Daphne and was ready to take on her brother, who used to be his best friend but despised him now (and I never really found out why exactly – a little more detail wouldn’t have been unappreciated). I adored him for supporting her in every aspect of her life, how he made her believe in herself and taught her to deal with grief.
While I had some issues with the characters and the writing I actually enjoyed this Christmas story a lot. Janna MacGregor shows promise and I’d be happy to try another book by her!