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Charming the Duke

3.44  ·  Rating details ·  374 ratings  ·  40 reviews
1849 . . . Matilda Sheldon, the middle daughter of the sixth Earl of Bisset, has never been interested in the fashionable society events that so preoccupy her parents and siblings. Her loving, albeit, daft family cannot understand why. But Matilda has little use for silly rules and dramas. She would rather occupy her time with a worthwhile cause such as opening The Sheldon ...more
Paperback, 289 pages
Published March 18th 2014 by Holly Bush Books (first published 2005)
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Average rating 3.44  · 
Rating details
 ·  374 ratings  ·  40 reviews

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I was utterly taken in by this witty, fast paced, and ultimately tender romance. The sense of family in the book is especially endearing as is the banter between the Duke and our heroine.

I discovered Holly Bush's historical romances last year and she has yet to disappoint. Her great talent is in taking themes that can be tired and shining them until they sparkle and you remember why they became troupes in the first place.

Here, she leaves the American West of her other books for a Regency
Tara Chevrestt
Jul 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
I broke my "no dukes, no rakes, no rogues" rule and read this novel the last few days. I was drawn in by the cover and the author's solid reputation for being talented.
Being a huge Downton Abbey fan, I was pleasantly delighted by the Dowager in this story. Every time she spoke or tapped away with her cane, I pictured the Dowager, a delicate, aged eyebrow arched, as she looks at whomever she's speaking to as if they're an imbecile...and in this case, they rather are.

The main story follows
This book started really good,then I don't know what went wrong in it?
It became boring and boring to the limit you can't take it any more. Sorry but the best thing about this book it's cover.
Apr 20, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: for something fun and heart-warming
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 27, 2014 rated it it was ok

I read and loved Ms. Bush's other book, Train Station Bride. I was excited to see another book had just come out. Sadly, I was disappointed with this one.

The "world" was not very established and things that happened weren't really believable. Towards the end we're supposed to worry about a scandal involving one sister that can affect the whole family which was a lie made up by the villain. But Matilda had already caused a scandal of her own by being compromised by Thornsby.
Mar 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historicals
Smart , Sassy , Sweet h
M/F-M/M-M/M/F-etc: M/F
HEA/HFN/etc Ending: HEA
Contains Cheating: NO!
Contains Children: (view spoiler)
Jealy/Possy/OTT Rating: 3
Angst Level Rating: 3
Feel-Good Level Rating: 4
Steam Factor Rating: 1
Kink Level Rating: 1
Amount of Sex In The Book: (view spoiler)
Overall Smex Rating: (view spoiler)
Hero Description: Duke
Hero Likability Rating: 3.5
Debbie McCreary
Mar 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Matilda loved her life. Sure she has 2 dim-witted sisters and her mom and dad almost as bad. But Matilda is content, starting her orphanage. Until she meets the Duke of Thornsby. The duke disrupts her life from the moment they meet. Misunderstandings plague them from then on. The duke attempts of courting are filled with mishaps. Charming the Duke is very well written. This is the first book of Holly Bush I have read and I will read her again.
Robin Malek
Nov 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So charming!

Loved the story and the characters. I was so totally charmed by the whole story. Independent Matilda and the scoundrel Thornsby both learning how to "deal" with each other and all of the children. Thank you!
Kimberly Rocha~ Book Obsessed Chicks

Miss Matilda Sheldon could care less what people think about her. Unlike her sisters who always the height of fashion and comportment, Matilda thrives to disappear into the background wherever she goes. Her only interest is opening and running an orphanage and to care for those orphans who have nothing. Her lovely but dim-witted sisters are on the lookout for suitors and consistently peck at Matilda about her drab appearance.

The Duke of Thornsby needs to find himself a bride, one that would fit
Mar 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Charming the Duke is a humorous historical fiction novel that takes place in England during the 1800s. The Duke of Thornsby was speechless when he discovered that in order for him to receive his inheritance, he would have to be married by his thirtieth birthday. The very thought of it made him shudder. However, he’d be damned if was going to lose his fortune just because of a technicality. The Duke had less than a year to find and marry a woman who wasn’t aware of his appalling reputation. He ...more
Apr 24, 2014 rated it liked it
A light, sweet, and enjoyable read, Charming the Duke was a good historical romance. I didn't love it, but I did like it. It was a sweet romance.

The characters were okay. I liked the Matilda was strong and independent, but it frustrated me that she was a bewildering combination of self-deprecating and self-conscious about her looks but disdainful and downright arrogant about her intelligence. It especially didn't sit well with me that she constantly called her family dim-witted and was almost
Deanna Sletten
Mar 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
It's 1849 and Matilda Sheldon is not interested in snagging a suitable suitor like her two sisters are. Fashion, gossip, and all the other trappings of her social status do not interest her, especially putting on a show to find a husband. She feels she is not as pretty or graceful as her sisters and therefore puts her energy into other more serious pursuits like starting an orphanage. But when The Duke of Thornsby, who desperately needs to find a proper wife, meets Matilda, he finds himself not ...more
Dec 28, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
Charming has taken on new depth an euphemism for blissful bed sport.

Matilda, a forthright woman in a family of flighty finds it hard to connect with her family until they lovingly rally around her orphanage project with more heart than skill.

The Duke must have a wife. Amongst the the glittering, twittering debutantes it is the wren who fascinates him and continually dismisses him. Matilda breaks through his cool disdain, unsettles and fires his passion. Though the road to happiness is thwarted
Jess F. (From Me to You ... Book Reviews)
"3 out of 5 stars. Matilda and Frederick (Thornsby/Freddy) will charm you in this quaint historical romance!"

Read more of this review, a teaser, and a an excerpt here: -- Posted as a part of a blog tour on April 30th.
Mar 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Holly Bush's "Charming the Duke" is a most enjoyable book. I enjoyed the storyline, the characters and I loved the ending. My only concern is that I felt there were too many similarities to Jane Austin's "Pride and Prejudice" at times.
Annette Drake
Sep 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was charming.

Entertaining. Delightful banter and a delicious hero. There is something endearing about a man who loves children. Just an enjoyable read.
Apr 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed reading this book. It had some very funny bits in it. Lost my way towards the end . Otherwise been 5 stars.
Aug 29, 2019 rated it it was ok
Why is a widow referred to as a Miss as well as a Countess? How will the youngest sister's marriage to a Viscount lead her to become a future Duchess when his father's an Earl? Why is a Marquis' eldest son and heir called a mere Mister as well as a Viscount?

Why am I supposed to think that a woman who physically ruins things her daughter-in-law takes pride in, is a worthy role-model for feminism?

Why isn't the entire Sheldon clan ostracized by the scandal caused by Matilda rejecting the Duke's
☽ Rhiannon ✭ Mistwalker ☾
Not terribly angsty, but enough so to get on the shelf. I liked the family and chuckled several times - Ethel cracked me up! Despite my lack of interest in storylines with kids, it didn't much bother me here (not a huge feature really). Great drama with the Victorian-era Regina George. (3.5 stars)
Jul 10, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Charming" little book. Even if it was almost squeaky clean.

Cute and entertaining. But I prefer my books be a bit more scandalous. That being said, it was still fun.
Pilar Seacord
Feb 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
Matilda Sheldon is the smart one of a not so bright family. Except for Grandmama Ethel. Duke of Thornsby needs to be married by his thirtieth birthday or forfeit his inheritance. His sister Athena and best friend Smithy who are always arguing are trying to come up with suggestions. Thornsby says they are going to a party at the Sheldon's. When they get there Matilda ends up opening the door and Thornsby mistakes her for the maid. Then he puts his foot in his mouth even more. It got to be rather ...more
Nov 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: steamy
3.5 stars

Completely agree with other reviewers. Didn't believe the love between the h/H even remotely. It might have been lust but it just felt like they were together because they were pushed together by others. Matilda was encouraged to marry by the idea of intimacy in marriage. Freddy (urrgh, what a name) was suddenly interested in the idea of love and falling in love when he knew about his parents love story. I think he was desperate to be in love and Matilda was available at the right time.
I really liked the characters in this book, but the story itself was sadly rather bland and unbelievable in places.

There was no heady romance, no real angst, not even any particularly tiresome misunderstandings (there were a few misunderstandings but none that seemed extremely contrived or overly stupid). It was really just two lonely individuals considering the idea of marriage and love whilst wondering if the other could ever find them "suitable".

Though the writing was technically decent I
William Simmons
Sadly I found what should have been a great book just ok

The plot wag good and for a while the storyline seemed to be following along. Then it just lost it. Actually looked back to see if I had jumped ahead too far.

After Miltilda leaves the bus party with the knowledge that the Duke is supposed to talk with her father their next day it jumps 45 days. Naive me, even then I thought it must be taking use to the wedding. Imagine my surprise to find out they have been married 46 days.

Besides missing
Jan 05, 2015 rated it it was ok
The heroine's grandmother tells her, that even if your husband is a Trottel, marriage is not that bad if the "coupling" is "charming". And oh god, the hero must be a crack shot in this department because a Trottel he is!

(view spoiler)

Lobna Amer
May 11, 2015 rated it did not like it
Maybe I'm in no place to judge. I have not finished the book (stopped at page 60). The heroine is the most obnoxious, pompous, know-it-all, cynical female that I've ever read of. The hero's interest in her is just NOT understandable.

Her family is the sweetest, yet she derides them as frequently as she thinks, which is super often

She thinks EVERYONE is a dimwit just because they like taking about balls, dancing and fashion. B****, PLEASE! Get off your high horse!

She is aggravatingly rude but

May 13, 2014 rated it liked it
More of a 2.75 stars really.
This was...charming (an in joke that is a little belabored in places in the book, but adequately describes the whole story). It was sweet, it was very old-school regency in feel - no overt sex scenes, barely even kisses. The big issue I had with this was the ending. What the heck happened? One moment we're heading nicely towards matrimonial bliss by way of a presumably lovely proposal after a huge denouement...then suddenly we're in bed and already wed. Where was the
May 03, 2015 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: romance, spinster
Shelves: ebooks
Mathilda was about as unlikeable as possible and Thornsby wasn't much better. Mathilda is an unattractive spinster who gives up on marriage since she doesn't believe that she can retain her independence once married. Thornsby is a Duke who needs to marry by 30 to collect on his inheritance. Typical story told in a typical way. What made this awful was that Mathilda was such a shrew and Thornsby was such an idiot. Mathilda looked down her nose at her family - loving them but thinking them ...more
May 07, 2015 rated it liked it
For the most part, it was a good fun period story- the end got a bit descriptive however. A young lady- who has some brains- and isn't all that into looking good- playing society games-- decides to do something with her money and sets up an orphanage. As she is working, she meets a duke. At first he is obnoxious and yet she starts to grow interested in him. Their plans are thwarted by a conniving woman who tries to stop the progress of their relationship.
Sheila Hatke
An interesting story.

When I first started reading this book I was not sure I would like it, but quickly found myself rooting for the Duke and Matilda. Their first impressions of each other and the ups and downs of their relationship as they found their happily ever after made for a fun read. The Dowager Countess was especially entertaining.
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 1 Feb 26, 2015 09:18AM  

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“Love always has something to say. Sometimes it shouts from the highest hill, and sometimes it whispers so softly one must listen closely to hear. Do not turn away. It is a rare and precious commodity. Treasure it.” The Gentrys of Paradise

Holly Bush books are set during the turbulent and transformative years of the late 1800’s. The first two books in her newest series, The Gentrys of Paradise,