Review – A Duke by Any Other Name by Eva Devon

Her dance card is nearly full.

The only sister of the Duke of Hunt, Lady Gemma, is finally ready to settle down. After all, she’s spent too many of her days frolicking all over town. As an Eversleigh, she’s ready for an excellent match.  Desiring a serious, reserved, and strong husband who can handle her antics, Gemma handpicks Captain Duke. Surely, she’s selected the perfect man, but perfection may not be as it seems.

This pirate is treading on dangerous water.

Alexander Duke knows the violence of the seas, the brutality of humanity, and the dangers of fighting for a cause.  He has no patience for a silly and persistent woman, who exudes more bubbles than a bottle of champagne. But when Lady Gemma turns on the charm, no man can resist her wiles, not even a rugged and courageous pirate. However, protecting his heart is Captain Duke’s number one priority.  When a scandalous event shocks his hardened soul, he’s forced to take action, turning his back on his lifelong oath. Suddenly, he’s asking for her hand and putting both of their hearts on the line.  Can two stubborn people relinquish control to know true love or will they rock the boat too violently to find their happy ever after?

Click on title below for direct Amazon buy link:                                                    A Duke By Any Other Name (Dukes’ Club Book 7)


MY REVIEW:                                   

I received a complimentary copy of this book for my review.

Lady Gemma Eversleigh has decided she’s found the man for her.  Unfortunately, thus far he hasn’t succumbed to her charms.  Gemma doesn’t understand why American sea captain Alexander Duke isn’t captivated by her beauty, charm, intelligence, wealth, or noble connections.  When Gemma decides to press the issue, and confront Alex at a dance, he’s very abrupt, almost giving her the cut direct.  To her query, he plainly states that he’s not interested.

Alex has been aware of Gemma’s interest in him, and though she’s lovely, he has no interest in pursuing any relationship.  He’s suffering from recent heartbreak and deceit at another woman’s hands, and his wounds are still raw.  When Gemma becomes bolder, Alex sees no recourse but to be rude to her, ensuring that she’ll leave him alone.

Yet, it seems that Gemma feels that she’s entitled to pursue Alex.  She has a very free spirited mother who encourages her in her reckless behavior.  First, she arranges to ensconce herself in his coach, and when Alex enters, she has the driver take off so they’re alone.  Eventually Alex throws himself from the moving vehicle to escape her.  Her next attempt is to follow him aboard his ship uninvited, and this time a somewhat intoxicated Alex allows himself to give in to his passion.  Now Alex feels compelled to marry Gemma, but she takes offense at his perfunctory comment about marriage and leaves.

I like Alex, and I understood his reasons for being somewhat surly.  He’s an honorable man, who doesn’t like deceit, who has just been betrayed by someone he loved.  Gemma, to me, was spoiled and felt that if she wanted Alex, she should have him.  He clearly showed his disinterest and said no, yet she pursued, almost seeming stalkerish.  I could feel this couple’s passion, but not a genuine love.

This is the first book I’ve read by Eva Devon, and the style is very different from those she has written as Máire Claremont.  There are many humorous moments in A DUKE BY ANY OTHER NAME, and the story was intended to be light and sexy.  If you read with the understanding that Gemma is simply a strong and determined woman, then you will enjoy this somewhat madcap adventure.  While this book can easily be read as a standalone, I think I would have enjoyed it more if I had read Jack’s story (Gemma’s brother) first and had some more insight into the scandalous Eversleigh family and their equally notorious friends.

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