The Duke’s Den, Book 3
From the publisher:
Christy Carlyle concludes her Duke’s Den series with this sparkling romance about two reluctant allies intent on following the rules and breaking every single one.
His Only Regret…
Rhys Forester, the new Duke of Claremont, lives his life by four words: Enjoy All, Regret Nothing. He’s devoted to the pleasure of his wild soirees, reckless behavior, and shocking the ton with his interests in trade. The debts that come with his title don’t fit the carefree lifestyle he’s created and when he’s forced to return to his family’s estate, he’s also forced to confront his one and only regret: the beautiful girl he left behind.
May Be Falling in Love…
Arabella Prescott has been the belle of more balls than she cares to remember. After three seasons and five rejected proposals, she’s done with the marriage mart. Bella’s hopes to live a comfortable life, alone, come crashing down when her parents demand she marry. But her salvation may come in the form of the man she hates the most.
Bella has never forgiven Rhys for what he did to her, but desperate times call for fake engagements. With a few dozen rules, their scheme begins, but it’s not long before the former enemies find themselves breaking every single rule, including the most important of them all: don’t fall in love…
It’s really hard to accept a proposal, no matter how well-intentioned, when your heart belongs to another. And that is the dilemma Arabella faces. While Rhys is a few years older than Arabella, they grew up together, next door neighbors, so to speak. They were best friends throughout their childhood until Arabella catches him with a woman. Her heart is broken, and she thoroughly hates him.
Rhys has been partying hard for several years, but also making good money by investing in businesses he finds interesting. When his father dies, he is forced to go back to the estate. It seems that his father hasn’t been quite as successful at earning. But Rhys has what appears to be some form of dyslexia; he has trouble reading and looking at the rows of numbers in the family ledgers. When they were younger, Arabella always helped him with this sort of thing, so he asks for her help, but she doesn’t want anything to do with the man who broke her heart.
That changes when she realizes the house party her parents have planned is really a last ditch effort to find her a husband. She doesn’t want to marry anyone, all she wants to do is get her book of puzzles published. Her parents have this amazing opportunity to live in Greece for a few years, but they won’t leave unless she is married. Distraught, Arabella decides to make a deal with Rhys: she will help him with the ledgers, but he has to pretend to want to marry her. If they are engaged, her parents will be satisfied, and they can break up eventually.
Enemies to love and the fake engagement are wildly popular themes in romances, for a good reason. It works. Doubling up on these just adds to the tension. The Victorian era is interesting, the witty dialogue is fun, and yes, they have sex. These characters are well developed and I couldn’t help but root for them to find their happy ending. Christy Carlyle gives us another good read.
6/2020 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™
NOTHING COMPARES TO THE DUKE by Christy Carlyle. Avon (May 26, 2020). ISBN 978-0062854018. 368 pages.
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