Review – Say Yes to the Duke by Eloisa James

About the Book:

A shy wallflower meets her dream man—or does she?—in the next book in New York Times bestselling author Eloisa James’ Wildes of Lindow series.

Miss Viola Astley is so painfully shy that she’s horrified by the mere idea of dancing with a stranger; her upcoming London debut feels like a nightmare.

So she’s overjoyed to meet handsome, quiet vicar with no interest in polite society — but just when she catches his attention, her reputation is compromised by a duke.

Devin Lucas Augustus Elstan, Duke of Wynter, will stop at nothing to marry Viola, including marrying a woman whom he believes to be in love with another man.

A vicar, no less.

Devin knows he’s no saint, but he’s used to conquest, and he’s determined to win Viola’s heart.

Viola has already said Yes to his proposal, but now he wants her unruly heart…and he won’t accept No for an answer.

Click on title below for direct Amazon buy link:                                                  Say Yes to the Duke: The Wildes of Lindow Castle

My Review:

I received a complimentary copy of this book.

Viola Astley dreads the season, and all social situations in general, as she has a very nervous stomach which has a tendency to erupt at inopportune times.  As a stepdaughter to Duke Lindow, she is loved and cherished, but never truly felt she was a genuine Wilde. So, Viola is surprised when she feels totally at ease with the handsome new vicar, Mr. Marlowe.  Thinking that she would make a wonderful vicar’s wife, Viola quickly learns that Mr. Marlowe is engaged.  Rather than becoming discouraged, Viola decides that engaged is not married, and strives to become closer to Mr. Marlowe, hoping he’ll end his betrothal and transfer his attentions to her.

Devin Elstan, the Duke of Wynter, has decided that it’s time to marry, and he has chosen Viola’s sister, as he wants a connection with the Wilde family.  As he’s discussing his choice with his cousin, he makes the comment that he wouldn’t choose Viola, as she’s not a “true” Wilde by blood, as well as being unqualified to be his duchess.  Devin is unaware that Viola is in the room, overhearing this whole conversation.  While his hurtful remarks only reinforce Viola’s own insecurities, they also seem to have freed her from her shyness and nervousness.  While she would normally quake and stammer in Wynter’s presence, she now is not afraid to stand up to him and speak her mind.

When Viola reveals herself, Devin is surprised at how the woman he thought of as a timid mouse boldly confronts him.  He’s instantly captivated, and before long decides that his cold blooded choice of a bride was wrong, and he needs to have Viola.  He quickly learns that she fancies herself in love with the vicar, and makes no bones about her own unsuitability to be a duchess.  Devin sets out to change Viola’s mind.

Devin originally comes off as cold and arrogant, but his personality is the result of his being raised in a loveless home with a tempestuous father.  He has striven to be a better man, always being in control of his temper.  Though he doesn’t believe himself capable of love, he exhibits his caring by his relationship with his cousins and uncle.  As he continues his pursuit of Viola, he discovers that (gasp!) he is actually feeling “something,” which surely couldn’t be love, could it?

Viola initially doesn’t recognize that Devin is seriously interested in her, so she is at ease around him.  Soon she comes to appreciate him, and finds that he occupies her thoughts, while the mild feelings she had for the vicar seem to fade away. Devin boldly states his intention to court her, and eventually their shared kisses that they thought were secret, are brought to light.  Devin is more than happy to enter a quick marriage to avoid scandal, and Viola agrees.

Viola and Devin have a fun and scorching relationship, and only have one small hurdle to overcome in their marriage, which appears to be well on the way to a lovely happy ever after.  I love both these characters, and how they helped and changed each other for the better.  Devin was not so overbearing, but loving and warm, while Viola lost her shyness and became a siren in Devin’s arms.  SAY YES TO THE DUKE is full of romance, witty conversation, charm, steam, and some laugh out loud scenes.  I also couldn’t help rooting that the poor vicar would lose his shrew of a fiancée, and find his own happiness.  The secondary cast of characters, including a lovable pet crow named Barty, added plenty to the allover loveliness of this enjoyable book.  If you’re looking for angst, complicated situations, or over the top drama, select something else to read.  However, be sure to save SAY YES TO THE DUKE for another time, one where you crave a read that’s light, entertaining, and will leave your heart smiling in pure delight.    ~Rose

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