Spotlight Review: THE DUKE GETS EVEN by Joanna Shupe

The Fifth Avenue Rebels, Book 4

From the publisher:

By beloved USA Today bestselling author Joanna Shupe, the fourth installment in the Fifth Avenue Rebels series about a secret affair between a free-spirited heiress and an uptight duke which turns more passionate than either could have imagined. 

A rebellious heiress.

A duke in dire straits.

An anonymous midnight tryst.

To escape the shackles of marriage, Nellie Young purposely ruined her reputation a long time ago. Now she dedicates herself to hedonistic pleasures only, like kissing a handsome stranger in the ocean under the moonlight…

To save his estate, the proper Duke of Lockwood must marry the perfect bride—wealthy, with an unblemished reputation. While in New York he’s the perfect gentleman, and no one knows he’s suppressing his darkest desires. The last thing he needs is another scandal.

Except Nellie sees through Lockwood’s charade, straight to the real man underneath. This uptight duke is far more than he lets on, and she can’t resist him. Their secret affair turns scorching, far more than either expected. And when his beautiful rebel finds an unconventional cause, Lockwood has to decide if he’s willing to sacrifice everything to keep her.

https://amzn.to/3Z2zFEd

I read the first book in this series, The Heiress Hunt, and really enjoyed it. I’m sorry I missed the next two but will go back and read them for sure. This is the fourth and probably the last book in this series.

Nellie Young is the daughter of a railroad magnate who lost her mother way too soon. This is set during the Gilded Age, the boom years of the 1880s in New York City. If you’ve enjoyed the HBO show, The Gilded Age, you will feel right at home here. And here’s a terrific teaser: Teddy Roosevelt makes an appearance.

The Duke of Lockwood is desperate to marry an heiress. His father lost all their money, and all he has left is his home in London and his country home. And a mother who is waiting none too patiently for him to do his duty and marry rich. Unfortunately, the Duke has met and proposed to a few young heiresses in NY, but all those engagements were broken. There are lots more debutants for him to choose from so he isn’t too worried.

Lockwood had a serious illness as a child which left his heart weakened. The doctors prescribe daily exercise, and he chooses to swim. While in New York, he swims in the ocean, usually late at night. The book opens with such a swim, but in this case as he is headed back to shore, he spies a beautiful young woman – could she be a mermaid? As he gets closer she wraps herself around him and he realizes that she is both naked and not a mermaid. Nellie is completely enchanting, at least until she realizes that he is not the man she thought she would be meeting during her midnight swim.

Lockwood is immediately smitten, but Nellie knows who he is and that she is not the demure, scandal-free girl for him. She has been flouting the rules of society since her debut and is quite up front about it. Nonetheless, they keep running into each other and soon enough realize they have this incredible chemistry, so hot it consumes them both.

Nellie is bound and determined to help women learn about their bodies, reproduction, and birth control despite the fact that it is illegal for women to learn such things. It was an interesting parallel to what has been going on in this country since Roe was overturned.

There are many obstacles to overcome before Nellie and the Duke find their happy ending, and fun for us, they maneuver down a scorching hot road to get there. If you enjoy steamy historical romances, you won’t want to miss this one. I loved it.

1/2023 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch

THE DUKE GETS EVEN by Joanna Shupe. Avon (January 24, 2023). ISBN:‎  978-0063045071. 384p.

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