Review – A Duke for Miss Townsbridge by Sophie Barnes

About the Book:

She threatens to conquer his heart…

When Matthew Donovan, Duke of Brunswick, proposes to Sarah Townsbridge, she’s shocked. After all, she’s never met him before. One thing is clear though—he obviously needs help. So after turning him down, she decides to get to know him better, and finds out she’s right. But fixing a broken man is not the same as adopting a puppy. Least of all when the man in question has no desire to be saved.

Matthew has his mind set on Sarah. Kind and energetic, she’ll make an excellent mother. Best of all, her reclusiveness is sure to make her accept the sort of marriage he has in mind—one where they live apart. The only problem is, to convince her, they must spend time together. And the more they do, the more he risks falling prey to the one emotion he knows he must avoid at all cost: love.

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My Review:

I received a complimentary copy of this book.

Sarah Townsbridge is enduring a humiliating party where her matchmaking mother has invited a slew of eligible gentlemen in the hope of enticing one or more of them to seriously court Sarah.  At the age of twenty two, and with six seasons already behind her, Sarah is considered to be getting close to spinster status.  Just as she begins conversing with some genuinely interesting gentlemen, her arrogant and aloof neighbor, Matthew, the Duke of Brunswick, crashes her party.  Matthew and Sarah have never been introduced, yet he approaches her directly, and surprisingly, proposes, without even a hello first.  Her instant refusal causes the gentlemen who had previously shown some interest to back off and take their leave.  (This scene is truly smileworthy to read.)

Matthew has been thinking of finding a suitable wife for some time.  Sarah, though he’s never met her, is at the top of his list.  When Matthew learns of the party with its many potential suitors, he decides to barge in before anyone else claims “his” future bride.  Surely an eligible duke will be immediately accepted.  Wrong!  Though Matthew appears arrogant, he has spent almost two decades cultivating his aloofness to protect his heart from ever being torn apart again.  When he was only a young boy of ten, he lost his whole family to a tragic accident.  This nearly broke Matthew, and to this day, he still suffers depression and nightmares.  He desires a family of his own, with many children, but he wants a wife who is agreeable to live separately from him, except when they create those future children.  He refuses to put himself in a position where he may fall in love, and he sees living apart as being the only way to avoid it.

When Sarah insists that they get to know each other before she will even consider marrying him, Matthew agrees to court her.  Sarah is tender hearted and somewhat quirky, and has rescued many injured animals over her lifetime.  While she recognizes that Matthew is a different kind of creature than she’s used to dealing with, she has no doubt that he is injured down to his soul.  Matthew is charmed by Sarah, and finds himself often smiling, something he thought he forgot how to do.  Sarah slowly falls in love, and agrees to marry Matthew.  A beautiful and passionate wedding night should have been the start of a healing and loving relationship, but Matthew, unable to cope with his burgeoning feelings, simply disappears, leaving no word for Sarah as to when, or, even if, he ever plans to return.

A DUKE FOR MISS TOWNSBRIDGE is the fourth book in the Townsbridge series, and just like the others, works completely as a standalone.  It’s by far my very favorite of the series.  I love the duke, who hides his pain and fear behind an arrogant and confident persona.  It’s truly lovely to see him fall under Sarah’s spell, laughing and enjoying himself when he forgets his past.  He has to confront his own demons, and take giant leaps outside of his comfort zone in order to forge a new life, and take chances on life’s uncertainties.  Sarah is just wonderful, full of tenderness, care, and understanding.  I love the actions she took in order to make a success of her marriage.  A DUKE FOR MISS TOWNSBRIDGE is charming, entertaining, full of emotion, and a pure delight to read.    ~Rose

 

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