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Never Desire a Duke

(One Scandalous Season #1)

3.54  ·  Rating details ·  701 ratings  ·  135 reviews
A secret from his past holds the key to their future...

A Marriage Beyond Hope

Lady Sophia has long been estranged from her husband, Lord Vane Barwick, the Marquess of Claxton, whose rumored list of amorous conquests includes almost every beautiful woman of the ton. Yet a shocking encounter with him in a crowded ballroom—and a single touch—are all it takes to reawa/>A
Kindle Edition, 416 pages
Published September 24th 2013 by Forever (Grand Central Publishing)
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Average rating 3.54  · 
Rating details
 ·  701 ratings  ·  135 reviews

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Mar 31, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a lovely story! So cute and romantic. I love Vane and Sophia. They have their ups and downs but worked through their problems just in time for Christmas. I know it is April but I'm really in the holiday spirit. Absolutely wonderful story!
I've given this a C+ at AAR.

This second-chance romance, in which an estranged couple are stranded together following a snowstorm, was for the most part an enjoyable and well-written début from Lily Dalton. The novel has lot going for it – an attractive and devoted hero-to-die-for, a lovely underlying sensuality and a real sense of relationship progression - but a couple of rather large flaws prevented me from rating it more highly.

Sophia and Vane Barwick, Duke and Duchess of Claxton
Lover of Romance
So I didn't realize until I started reading this one, that is was a Christmas themed story. The blurb does really give that away in any way, so you don't expect it, but as I was reading, I found that the Christmas theme really added a flair to the story. This story is about Lord Claxton and Sophia, who fell in love and got married. But things went downhill very quickly, mostly judgements and miscommunication and making presumptions. Which can happen in any relationship especially in a romantic r ...more
I love finding debut authors and that is the main reason that I was so excited to receive Never Desire a Duke by Lily Dalton. It is so refreshing to read a new voice that has something to add to one of my favorite genres. While it is not perfect, I found this book to be a lovely mix of drama, comedy, and romance with some holiday spirit thrown in.

The plot falls in the troubled marriage category which is one that I like, but don't get a chance to read too often. In this case, Vane and Sop
Sometimes you read a book and you are just swept off your feet and sometimes you read a book and think, why did I even bother to read that book. BUT most books fall somewhere in the middle. Lily Dalton's Never Desire a Duke is just that sort of book. It is a book that makes you believe in love, believe in forgiveness and believe that there is always room for a second (or third) chance. It also reminds us that not everything is what it seems and sometimes, we have to take things on faith.

Lady So
djdavis~*Sivad*Sex Pocket
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Rating: ****

Sophia, the Duchess of Claxton is tired of being married to a ghost. After a wonderful first few months of marriage to Vane Barwick (aka The Duke) the couple suffered a terrible trial in the form of a miscarriage of their first child. But that's not all, the miscarriage was caused by Sophia accidentally reading a letter addressed to the Duke of a torrid nature that was obviously from a lover.
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Nov 20, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
This is a 3.5-star book for me.

* * *

It's an often-used trope in historical romance: they meet, fall in love, get married, and are about to start a family -- the perfect ending to this story would be the birth of the child, but, in Lily Dalton's debut novel, Never Desire a Duke, the perfect ending never happens. Sophia gets upset when she discovers love letters from Claxton's former mistress, and suffers a miscarriage when she tries to leave him. Grief, anger, guilt -- the resu
Sep 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013-bookshelf

Yesterday I requested Never Desire a Duke via the publisher through NetGalley and since I'm on the publisher's auto-approval list I didn't have to wait to be approved which served me well since I loved Never Desire a Duke so much it would have sucked if I had had to wait.

I'm a huge fan of historical romances, I have been since I started reading the genre and I especially love historical romances that have lots of banter, wit and chemistry between the hero and heroine. Plus I love whe
Feb 16, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-contest
Fun quote:
"I was just trying to make her feel better."
"By taking off your breeches?!"

I won this book in a giveaway from Ramblings From This Chick book blog. I had read some good reviews about this book from some of my book blogs, so I was excited to try it. I will definitely try this author again, because I liked her writing style. However, I disliked the heroine so much in this story that I can't give this book a good rating. I was rooting for Sophia to get an antiHEA. ...more
Liz F
Jan 08, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

I am so pissed at this book right now. I hated it. I almost didn't even review it. But if I hold all of this anger inside me, it may drive me insane.

I'm going to start off with a bang: I hated the heroine, Sophia. She's beyond awful. Before I tell you why, I have to give you an idea of the premise. Sophia fell in love with and then married Claxton 17 months ago. Then, she got pregnant and when she was around 7 months along, she received a lette
Carrie (Rotten Banana)
First reviewed at Red Hot Books

Novels that utilize the failing marriage trope are another favorite of mine. I like it because it’s often a good vehicle for conflict and angst and the reunion somehow always seems sweeter to me because of the pain they have to fight through to get back to each other.

It’s been over a year since Sophia, the Duchess of Claxton, has seen her husband Vane, the Duke, despite hearing of his exploits on the continent through the grapevine. Just as she is reconc
Jun 10, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an emotional story full of regrets, humor and romance as a couple with a marriage in turmoil must make some decisions about their future in an age where many do not have options. I really enjoy the journey Ms. Dalton takes us on with engaging characters and an emotional story set at Christmas time to put you in the holiday spirit.

Several months ago Sophia read a letter addressed to her husband, she was so distraught that she fell and lost her baby. Vane, the Duke of Claxton l
A Voracious Reader (a.k.a. Carol)
*Book source ~ NetGalley

Lady Sophia and Lord Vane Barwick, the Marquess of Claxton, have been estranged for a year. Mistakes on both parts have led to an increasingly untenable situation for Sophia and the next time she sees her husband she is going to ask for a divorce. But when he unexpectedly arrives in town making yet another bumbling stupid mistake his hopes for reconciliation are shot down with her words. However, this time he has no intention of running away like the moron he
Sep 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As a stunning new voice in the world of historical romance, Lily Dalton will take the world by storm with Never Desire a Duke. I absolutely loved it from the get go, and was sad to see it end. I already am eagerly anticipating Never Entice an Earl, book 2 in the series, which comes out next April.

I loved Never Desire A Duke's deviation from many of the typical storylines - in this one, the characters are already married, and Claxton instead is trying to save their marriage. It was so
April Reader
It’s a solid debut for a historical romance. I just wish that the heroine wasn’t so annoying. All throughout the book she would tell the hero to leave her when she was mad at him and then when he followed her orders, she was upset. She also did that with other orders/requests. When he listened to her, she was pissed at him or upset.
Sep 20, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A sweet holiday romance about second chances, Never Desire a Duke was a lovely historical romance. It was sweet and a wonderful read that I really enjoyed.

Sophia was an okay heroine. She was my one problem with the book, though. On one hand, I thought she was strong to survive the heartbreak and scandal she dealt with. And, most of the time, she was nice and likable. But, then Vane came into the picture. And she became a shrew. She was really mean and judgmental and harsh to him. I c
Oct 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-i-own
I always forget how much I love historical romances until I decide to pick one up again and become completely wrapped up in the story. And boy did this one wrap me up! This Christmas romance made me feel so warm and fuzzy, and I didn't want to put it down.

Lady Sophia and Lord Vane haven't been on the best of terms lately. Ever since Sophia lost their baby and has been hearing various rumors of Vane's nefarious lifestyle, they haven't spoken to or seen each other in months, leaving their marriag
Ann Marie
I truly enjoyed Never Desire a Duke. I felt it was a strong beginning to the One Scandalous Season series by Lily Dalton. I adore series that are centered on a family and while Sophia’s family did not play a big part after the beginning of the story I liked that they had a hand in helping Sophia and Claxton reunite. I’m looking forward to reading Daphne and Clarissa’s stories as well.

That being said, I loved the middle of the story when Sophia and Claxton were snowed in at his ancest
3.5 stars for Never Desire a Duke.

Desperate for reconcilement with the only woman he has ever loved, Vane follows his wife to his boyhood home. There, a winter storm prevents Sophia from leaving and they are compelled to spend several days together. Vane's history as a scoundrel was the wedge that forced him from Sophia. Vane's history, in the home he grew up in, might just bring them back together.

During the first part of the story, there is much internal dialog for both Vane and S
This was by far one of my very favorite books... the fact i bought it full price is telling in it's self as i tend to wm I love angst and powerful love stories and this one had it all... the damaged young boy turns into a man... decisions he made prior to his marriage and some quite dubious ones made AFTER his marriage make Vane quite the hero and heart-breaker. Sophia is probably flat out one of my very favorite heroines... she is devastated by events that occur but she is practical.. ...more
Aug 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who loves the holidays and stories of redemptions.
Shelves: keeper
Wow! I found a new historical author! By far, I think this is one of the best romances of 2013. RWA agrees with me as the story was nominated for the prestigious RITA.

The novel is a second chance redemption story for both our hero, Vane, the Duke of Claxton and his bride, Sophia. When Claxton and Sophia suffer a tragic loss early in their marriage, they must learn to find a way to forgive one another and themselves before their love can emerge from the heartache. A beautifully told s
Mar 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The Characters, All of Them, Are Wonderful

Lady Sophia has long been estranged from her husband, Vane Barwick, the Duke of Claxton, so when she looks across the ballroom, and sees him there, she is surprised, but she is not unprepared. The Duke has been gone for quite sometime, but his actions have been gossiped about all over the Ton, and Sophia plans to ask him for a divorce, but with one condition. Vane knows he made several mistakes with his beautiful wife, but he has plans, also. He plans to
Oct 25, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a charming debut, with the theme of a marriage in jeopardy. Sophia and Vane, Duke of Claxton, separated after a terrible accident, which was caused by a bad misunderstanding. It was heartbreaking to read, actually, the emotion was handled all too realistically. After nearly a year this bruised and damaged couple decide to try for a baby, before a final separation. It sounds very tortured and it is, well written and with a tremendous amount of tugging at reader heartstrings; I sincerely w ...more

Sophia was really hard to like in this book. At first, I sympathized with her. She lost her child and her husband (Vane) was seen in society with former mistresses and then he pretty much abandoned her. But as the story goes on, we find out that Vane, while exhibiting questionable judgement, had not been unfaithful to her. Yes, he was a total jackass for leaving her and focusing on his work instead of grieving with her, but he came back to make amends.

Genevieve Scholl
Ok, first of all let me just say that I very much enjoyed this book. Although it is a historical, I found myself forgetting that at times, because all in all it was just a very good story. I loved the characters had moments that you wouldn’t normally see during that time; like sabotaging each other’s cakes or sleding down a hill. This book made me tear up several times; both good and bad reasons. It made me laugh, worry, and made my heart break. It was one of those books that are absolutely impo ...more
Jill Barnett
Jul 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow, can this girl plot! I haven't read a book this well-plotted in decades. Impressive. Additionally, she writes a book the way it's meant to be written--the characters talk to each other. This book is a master class on how to write conflict and escalation conflict. Best book of the year...of five years.
Kiki Z
Sep 24, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: unfinished
I just don't care. Vane is an ass. His wife gets the impression he's having an affair and his first instinct is to run? Disappear for seven months? And when he gets back, and she wants nothing to do with him, his choice is to harass her. Apologize and give her some space to let her get over it. Since I can't care about this situation or the heroine enough to continue, I'm dropping it.
Kaycee ❤️
I absolutely enjoyed this holiday romance about second chances. And I can't wait to read the next book.
Ashley H.
The Good:

Old love made new; already married, but estranged.
Snowbound couple trapped in a remote village.
Really sexy build up, lots of tension, tons of teasing.
Adorable minor characters and plenty of shenanigans with the locals.
Childish quest that is way more fun than it should be.

The Bad:

Entirely too much lying to each other and themselves.
A heroine who ruins everything by acting like a psycho.
Rachel T
Written as a Combined Review with book 2 of this series for The Reading Cafe 03 May 14

4 out of 5 for this reader folks!

I love it when I discover a new author in a fave genre. The One Scandalous Season series by Lily Dalton had a great balance of all the elements I love in historical romance. We have some tradition, rakes, scandalous ladies, angst, sass, stubbornness, wealth, poverty, misunderstandings, action, a sense of friend
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 27, 2015 12:40PM  

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Lily Dalton grew up as an Army brat, moving from place to place. Her first stop after relocating was always the local library, where she could hang out with familiar friends: Books! Lily has an English degree from Texas A & M University and after graduation worked as a legal assistant in the fields of accident reconstruction and litigation. She now lives in Houston, Texas, with her family. Whe ...more

Other books in the series

One Scandalous Season (3 books)
  • Never Entice an Earl (One Scandalous Season, #2)
  • Never Surrender to a Scoundrel (One Scandalous Season, #3)