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How to Dance with a Duke (Ugly Ducklings, #1)
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How to Dance with a Duke

(Ugly Ducklings #1)

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  2,051 ratings  ·  241 reviews
What’s a wallflower to do when she’s suddenly in need of a husband? Use all the pluck and moxie she can muster to get what she wants…

Miss Cecily Hurston would much rather explore the antiquities of Egypt than the uncharted territory of marriage. But the rules of her father’s exclusive academic society forbid her entrance unless she weds one of its members. To clear her
Mass Market Paperback, 333 pages
Published January 31st 2012 by St. Martin's Paperbacks
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Average rating 3.64  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,051 ratings  ·  241 reviews

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Christina ~ Brunette Reader
If I'm not mistaken, this should be Manda Collins's debut novel and while the book shows some flaws, I see some great potential here as the writing is elegant, the dialogues are witty with sometimes hints of sheer humour and the plot feels interesting and refreshing.

The love story between Lucas, the Duke of Winterson, and Miss Cecily Hurston, a "bluestocking-turned-fashion-plate", is really sweet.
In this case, is the heroine, still suffering from having been jilted three years before, who is m
Feb 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
This was a lovely surprise. I've had this book on my to-read pile for a while and decided to read it on vacation, and I was not disappointed. It has everything I want in a romance. It was sweet, funny, the writing was really good, and the couple and their respective best friends were delightful. The only reason I am giving this 4 stars instead of 5 is that the investigation into the disappearance of the hero's brother overtook the romance toward the end, and became more important than the romanc ...more
Feb 13, 2012 rated it did not like it
This book started out very cute, if also very paint-by-numbers. And then went on to descend so deeply into random cliche that didn't make any sense to the storyline that I would have thrown it across the room if it hadn't been an e-book.

There was no consistent characterization for any character. They just acted however the author needed them to for the moment, with no thought given to whether or not it made any sense. (view spoiler) ...more
Debby "Piene Raven"
The first in the Ugly Ducklings series by Manda Colliins a first time author for this reader. I thought the story was lovely and I enjoyed it very much. A young bluestocking who believes she is undesirable winds up marrying a Duke and in the process both the H/h find love that leads them to a HEA.

This was an audiobook listen that was narrated by Anne Flosnik, a fangirl of this favorite narrator. She did an excellent job as usual and I didn't expect nothing less. The narration made wh
Jun 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
What a delightful, entertaining debut! I was first drawn to the lovely cover and then when I read the blurb I was intrigued as it sounded a bit different than all the regencies out there so I was more than happy to dive in.

Miss Cecily Hurston is determined to clear her ailing fathers name of murder by gaining access to the elusive Egyptian Club, obtaining his journals and decoding them (as she is a mastermind at codes). Only one small problem....she is female and the club is only for
Dec 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this book so much that I (1) went out and bought a copy and (2) pre-ordered book two in the series. Cecily is a strong, intelligent woman who is frustrated by her lack of equality in the eyes of men. She is just as capable as they are – and they close the door in her face. And that’s how we meet the Duke. The Duke thinks she’s in love with his name, and runs away with his tail between his legs. But when he discovers who she is and thinks he can manipulate her, he finds that he is alrea ...more
Amanda The Book Slayer
Dec 15, 2011 rated it did not like it
Originally posted at Sisters Unedited

Rated: 1.5 Stars

Before I get started you must know that this review will have rant-like tendencies. Yes, I know authors abhor such things and some reviewers detest it as well. But I can't help but want to shout that This book was awful. There is nothing that makes me more mad than buying a book that looked so promising just to have said image completely shattered. You have been warned that this review is not going to be pretty.

Now let's start from the beginning. I actually really enjoyed the
Aly is so frigging bored
Jul 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical
Rating: 3.5*
The main characters are Miss Cecily Hurston and His Grace, Lucas Dalton, Duke of Winterson. She is looking for her father’s diaries hoping that with information found there she will clear his name. Lucas is looking for his missing brother, lost in the last expedition of Lord Hurston in Egypt.

I liked all characters and I want to find more about her friends and cousins Madelin and Juliet and about Lord Deveril. I loved that Cecily was thinking on her own and didn’t ac
Suzanne (Under the Covers Book blog)
3.5 Stars

Miss Cecily Hurston is on the hunt for a thief and a missing, possibly murdered, man to try and clear her scholarly father's name. Her father has been struck down by a stroke and is unable to communicate and his journals missing, the only place that may hold some clues is the Egyptian Club of which her father is a founder. Unfortunately a woman must be married to a member to enter, deciding that it is the only way Cecily is determined to be a marry by becoming a social success after
Suzie Quint
Jan 13, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: fans of historical romance and Eygptology
3.5 stars

This was a good story with likable characters but some minor flaws.

Once again, we have a romance author who doesn't know where they hymen is located. This is a pet peeve of mine and it seems to exist across the spectrum of writers, and I'm getting more and more annoyed with it. When the heroine is later shot in the shoulder (which is a much more serious wound than Hollywood leads one to believe), the next morning, the heroine doesn't even feel a twinge, but what really had
Isa Lavinia
Jan 26, 2016 rated it did not like it

DNF @ 52%

I was so excited about this book! A bluestocking egyptologist lady (for the sake of the enjoyment of this historical romance I set aside my disgust for the imperialistic mindset of the British Empire's subjects over the rest of the world), an injured war hero Duke, a mystery, a curse, missing people, murder!

Sadly the hero and heroine had zero chemistry
They only paid the minimum thought to propriety and the societal expectations of the time, what with kissing in public parks, slipping away together in the middle
Nov 08, 2012 rated it really liked it
"Though", he reflected gravely, "you know what they say. The bigger the nose...'"

This debut is absolutely delightful. Manda Collins reminds me a lot of Julia Quinn and if you like her books this is a must. And in hindsight I should have read this before How to Romance a Rake. I giggled, sighed and was utterly charmed! I really liked the mystery even though my first guess was right. However, I couldn't be completely sure. And it was a nice device for throwing the hero and heroine together. I really li
Lisa Kay
Lovely book by a "new-to-me-author." I'll definitely continue the series and hope the rest are a charming as the first.
Feb 08, 2018 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars.

There were elements of this that were strong. I actually quite like a lot of the characters, and I feel like some of the dialogue is particularly good. I even liked parts of the relationship arc. However, in the end, the sum of the parts didn't come together. The sort of mystery(ish) plot worked well enough, but the character arcs weren't so much arcs as zigzags. The personal conflict between Cecily and Lucas felt contrived. Cecily's backstory wasn't fleshed out well enough
Kat ~ Forever Book Lover ♥
Jan 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: historical, arc

You can find the entire review at Forever Book Lover.

The story line intrigued me, it had a unique blend of historical fiction, romance and mystery. Manda Collins, is an amazing story teller, “How to Dance with a Duke” pulled me in from the very beginning and I was hooked all the way to the last page.

Her writing in some ways reminded me of Julia Quinn, more for her quick oneliners. I found myself chuckling out loud. I enjoyed the way her writing amused me all the way through, and t
May 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
Good book. I really liked Lucas. In spite of his first appearance, when he was truly rude to Cecily, he is a really nice guy who is currently under a lot of stress. Once he has calmed down, he realizes he owes her an apology, and soon discovers he is very attracted to her. He and Cecily decide to work together to find out what happened to Lucas's brother, and as a result spend a lot of time together. Due some unforeseen circumstances they end up married, and continue their investigations. I real ...more
Jun 05, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: historical
This was so close...soooooooo close to being a four star book for me.

I loved the H/h, the side characters, the mystery (even though, I figured out the guilty party pretty quickly), and the author's writing flowed very nicely.

So why did I rate it a three? Because a trope I loathe was employed. The dreaded, "I was burned by love once before, so now I will guard my heart fiercely and I will never, ever love again, because heartbreak sucks, and even though this man that I'm m
Jess the Romanceaholic
This is a Quickie Review. For the full review, please visit The Romanceaholic.

Expected Release Date: January 31, 2012
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Imprint: St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Author’s Website:
My Source for This Book: Netgalley
Part of a Series: Yes, Book 1, Ugly Ducklings Series
Series Best Read In Order: N/A
Steam Level: Steamy

This book reminded me a lot of some of the earlier novels by one of my favorite authors, Amanda Quick, as well as possibly
This was an ok read. I enjoyed the pace of the story once I got past the first few chapters. The heroine bothered me quite a bit with her "act first, think never" attitude. I understand wanting to have your opinion valued. I even understand wanting to be in control if your own life. I do not, however, understand stupid actions that place you in danger at every turn.

When she wasn't insisting that she should could take care of herself, she was pushing the hero away to save herself hear
Joy (Cheery♡Reads)
Oh, my. I'm feeling all dreamy and swoony. How to Dance with a Duke was absolutely wonderful. I enjoyed every moment of it and couldn't help giggling like a silly school girl throughout the book. It was so funny and romantic.

I truly adored Cecily, Juliet and Maddie aka The Ugly Ducklings. They were absolutely delightful to read about. Not forgetting Lucas too. Swoon. I enjoyed the secondary characters as well including the obnoxious Amelia and Felicia.

How to Dance with a Duke was an amazing historical
Feb 05, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012-reads
It is just a fact that historical romances tend to be a dime a dozen. After a while they all just tend to blend together. That makes it quite a task for a writer to write a novel in this genre that can stand above the crowd and touch a reader in a lasting way. There was potential in this story by Manda Collins. The plot of this novel is definitely different than the typical marriage hunt stories that dominate this type of book. Oh, there is definitely some marriage hunting going on in this story ...more
I was torn between giving this book 3 or 4 stars. There was so much that made it a 4 star read. The author is a good writer and story teller, and kept my interest throughout. I enjoyed the mystery, which revolved around the excavations of Egyptian tombs. The secondary characters were all well developed and interesting, and I look forward to reading the next 2 books in the trilogy about the heroine's 2 cousins and best friends. Further, the author did a good job of depicting the hero falling in l ...more
Milena Benini
Rather well-written, but remains a very average read, despite trying to play with some tropes.

The heroine, otherwise a bluestocking and a wallflower, is trying to gain access to an exclusive Egyptian club, in order to get the diaries her father wrote on his last expedition and decides that the easiest way to achieve it would be to marry a member of the club. Because of logic.

The hero, a temporarily-lame war hero (what is it with temporarily lame
heroes? I've seen about half
Nov 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this well written historical romance. I love reading this genre!

I thought it was awesome that the heroine, Cecily, is an academic and interested in scholarly pursuits. I know she had her heart broken in the past but I didn't like the way she deliberately tried to distance herself from Lucas.

I loved Lucas, though. He was so sweet and protective, and the way he felt about Cecily made me swoon. I loved that he encouraged her and supported her instead of trying to hold her back. H
Jo (My House of Books)
I think I've reached as far as I can go with this novel.

Given the mystery/suspense aspect -- her father's life was altered and his brother is missing ... on the *same* expedition -- I expected a faster pace and a more compelling read. Something that would make me want to turn the pages. Unfortunately, I feel Ms. Collins' debut is slow and, dare I say it aloud, boring.

Others may enjoy this more than I.
Jun 13, 2011 rated it it was ok
Too much stereotypes in this one with over the top flowery phrases. Also couldn't stand the heroine.
Cocktails and Books
Nov 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Look for review on Night Owl Reviews.
Nov 25, 2018 rated it liked it
I am told that this is Manda Collins's debut, in which case: lads, we might be onto something. Just going by this book, her writing is exactly the kind of historical romance I'm into; I like wit and humour, the romance to grow steadily and characters who are quite markedly different. So, in this review you may be witnessing the beginnings of a new author obsession on my part.

Granted, this takes a while to get into: I'd say the first two thirds were pretty slow and wanted more action,
Feb 25, 2018 rated it liked it
The story was fine, I enjoyed the bit of intrigue but I guessed who was who and what was what long before it was revealed. I also don't like storylines, in any book but particularly in romances, that the main character(s) refuse to admit to their feelings. Like just COME ON. We all know what is going to happen, and it's not bringing me any kind of enjoyment by delaying the "declaration of feelings." You're a romance novel, just say you love each other and move forward.
mostly inoffensive? i do think the ending tried to squeeze too much content in not enough pages though
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Manda Collins spent her teen years wishing she’d been born a couple of centuries earlier, preferably in the English countryside. Time travel being what it is, she resigned herself to life with electricity and indoor plumbing, and read lots of books. An affinity for books led to a graduate degree in English, followed by another in Librarianship. By day, she works as an academic librarian at a small ...more

Other books in the series

Ugly Ducklings (4 books)
  • How to Romance a Rake (Ugly Ducklings #2)
  • How to Entice an Earl (Ugly Ducklings, #3)
  • The Perks of Being a Beauty (Ugly Ducklings, #3.5)