A DUKE BY DEFAULT by Alyssa Cole

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Reluctant Royals, Book 2

I think this was a first for me – a royal, contemporary romance! You just don’t see a lot of Dukes wandering around so this was a real treat.

Portia Hobbs is having some trouble at home. She’s a wealthy NY socialite but can’t seem to keep a job or even find something that interests her. It helps to have rich parents but even they are running out of patience. Then she impulsively applies for an apprenticeship to a swordmaker in Scotland and lands the gig.

Tavish McKenzie is struggling to keep his business afloat and his cousin comes up with the idea for an apprentice. He isn’t thrilled and makes that very clear but Portia is undeterred. She loves the idea of swordmaking and Tavish’s good looks and Scottish burr are really making her crazy, but he’s standoffish and gives her scut work to do. But she is nothing if not persistent, and eventually figures out a way to make a place for herself in updating their website.

In the process, she stumbles across some information that is life changing. It seems the struggling swordmaker is, in fact, a Duke. That leads to all sorts of complications and trouble, and a lot of laughs, too. Finally, the Duke realizes he needs Portia for more than her mad web skills and she needs him, too.

This was a really fun read with great characters, some nice heat, and a terrific storyline. It also touches on some important issues like racism – Portia is a woman of color.

I loved it!

Note: Alyssa Cole is an award winning author. AN EXTRAORDINARY UNION was chosen as the RT Reviewers’ Choice Award’s Best Book of 2017 and the American Library Association’s RUSA Best Romance for 2018. She was also a RITA award finalist in 2017.

8/18 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™

A DUKE BY DEFAULT by Alyssa Cole. Avon (July 31, 2018).  ISBN 978-0062685568. 384p.


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