Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “A Duke by Default (Reluctant Royals, #2)” as Want to Read:
A Duke by Default (Reluctant Royals, #2)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

A Duke by Default

(Reluctant Royals #2)

by
3.99  ·  Rating details ·  2,194 ratings  ·  558 reviews
Award-winning author Alyssa Cole’s Reluctant Royals series continues with a woman on a quest to be the heroine of her own story and the duke in shining armor she rescues along the way

New York City socialite and perpetual hot mess Portia Hobbs is tired of disappointing her family, friends, and—most importantly—herself. An apprenticeship with a struggling swordmaker in Scotl
...more
Mass Market Paperback, 374 pages
Published July 31st 2018 by Avon
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about A Duke by Default, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about A Duke by Default

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Rating details
Sort: Default
|
Filter
Melanie
Aug 05, 2018 rated it really liked it

ARC provided to me by the publicist in exchange for an honest review.

#1.) A Princess in Theory ★★★★

“We have a fantastic romance section,” she said. “Do you need recommendations? How do you like your dukes? Grumpy? Tortured? Alpha, beta, or alpha in the streets, beta in the sheets?” “Actually, I meant nonfiction”

Friends, this was nothing short of pure joy to read. Please, if you’re looking for a heartwarming, funny, and expertly crafted romance, please look no further. A Duke by Default follo
...more
Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘


Two weeks ago, when I learned that I'd be part of the blog tour for A Duke By Default, I was so excited. Everything about it sounded amazing : a black heroine with ADHD? A commoner turned duke? Scotland? My, my. It's as if this novel had been written for me, really.  I posted elated tweets about it, messaged all my friends, wrote a prereview on Goodreads, and then,

I didn't read it.

Oops. I spent the next two weeks randomly looking at the cover, clutching my ereader, before reading something e
...more
Riley
Aug 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Scotland + sword fighting + salt and pepper duke + heroine with ADHD + Harry Potter and Doctor Who puns

I adored this.

Also bless Alyssa cole for not referring to female anatomy as a “pearl” or “mound”
Hollis
I'm not going to do a drawn out review for this one because I was stuck at the 15% mark of this book for dayyyyyys while I was out of town and also slumping and honestly I'm just glad to have finished something at this point. And I don't want to linger on this any more than I already have. I need to move on! But I do want to say that three-fourths of this is a solid four star read. We have diversity, an interracial romance where they both have their own issues with discrimination and privilege b ...more
Geri Reads
Jul 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: all-my-loves
4.5 stars!

“You’re my liege. You’re the person I’m fighting for.”

Alyssa Cole delivered another sweet and heartfelt romance with A Duke by Default! She continues to be one of my go-to contemporary romance authors these days. There's just something about her stories and her characters that speaks to me as a reader. And this book, is a great example of what this talented author can do!

Portia Hobbs might be my favorite Alyssa Cole heroine to date. When she was introduced, she was a bit of a hot m
...more
Tina
This cover! Her dress! Her hair!! HIS Hair!!
Rincey
Aug 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Here for #swordbae

See me discuss it in my August wrap up: https://youtu.be/plrKGeYsG24
Truusje
Aug 02, 2018 rated it liked it
I really enjoyed the first half of the book. I loved Portia and grumpy Tav. I loved the secondary characters (even if Mary basically disappeared after she had outlived her usefulness). I loved the Edinburgh armoury setting. All was going well.
But then the Duke-thing came up and I just couldn't suspend my disbelief. Too much of it was inaccurate and I just couldn't stop myself from picturing Prince Phillip every time the Duke of Edinburgh was mentioned. Which was a lot (though he never makes an a
...more
Kara
Aug 06, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: romance-novel

I was surprised by how much I didn’t like A Duke by Default, because I LOVED the first book in this series, A Princess in Theory.

However, after loving everything in Princess, just about everything in Duke annoyed me:

-The armory – for all the talk about the intensity of the competition for the internship, not much sword-making ever takes place. This could have been replaced by any cottage industry from arrow fletching to heirloom zucchini growing and it wouldn’t have affected the plot.

-The hero –
...more
Stacee
Jul 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
I had seen a lot of talk over this series and I was eager to give this one a try.

I loved Portia and Tavish. She’s so smart and sassy and he’s a pretend stoic who is actually a gooey marshmallow. Together they have loads of chemistry. I really liked the secondary characters and I’m so excited that Johan is the next book.

Plot wise is was the slowest burn that ever burned in a contemp. I swear, this was like a regency book with the longing filled glances. My main complaints is that there just wasn
...more
Maria Rose
A Duke by Default by Alyssa Cole is the second romance in her Reluctant Royals series. It follows the adventures of Portia Hobbs as she journeys to Scotland for a sword making apprenticeship, only to find herself falling for her grumpy boss. I don’t know how anyone can resist a plot like that (and I certainly couldn’t!) so it was with high expectations that I started this story and found it to be as interesting and delightful as I’d hoped!

Portia is best friends with Ledi (heroine of A Princess i
...more
Zoraida
Sep 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
TAVISH 😍
Taryn (Taryn and Her Books)
Ahhhh I got accepted for an ARC of this one. Thanks so much Edelweiss!!!

After reading A Princess in Theory earlier this year, I'm so hyped to read this.
Ashley
I finished this on a bit of a book high, but in the three weeks since I finished it, it's soured a bit in my memory. I think I will probably finish out both of the series she's got currently running, and then reevaluate from there if I'll read more of her books.

Now that I've had some distance from A Duke By Default, it's clear that yet again, Cole has written a book where I unabashedly love the lady and think the dude is a mess (a mess in terms of story, not in terms of personality). The only on
...more
The_Book_Queen
✦ Black socialite with ADHD takes an apprenticeship in Scotland

✦ . . . with a silver fox swordmaker (biracial -- Chilean/Scottish)

✦ It’s just so good?! Like, all of it? Do you know how many quotes I shared?!

✦ It's packs some emotional punches, especially as I could relate some to Portia.

✦ But it was also just fun and charming and brightened my day

✦ Slow, low burn but so much tension and I loved it [yes, okay, I wanted more sexytimes but what we -- finally! -- got was A++ so I'm okay with this]

...more
Amanda
Best book I’ve read this year. I should've written my review right after finishing it, but I had too many emotions!

I can't even tell you all the reasons I loved this. But I'll tell you the main reason: PORTIA HOBBS.

She appears in the previous book and to be honest, I wasn't her biggest fan. But I knew going into this book that she was a fav of a lot of reviewers whose opinions I trust, so I was ready to give her a chance. I shouldn't have worried--she won my heart in like, 2 paragraphs. And it's
...more
maggieandteddy
4.25 stars!
I read and really enjoyed Book 1 in this series, A Princess in Theory.
This book is Book 1 heroine's BFF, Portia. The wacky BFF- of course.
From the first page of this book, Portia is out to change her reputation as a screw up-party girl.
She's in her late 20s and hasn't stayed with one thing long enough to call it a career.
Portia and (fraternal) twin sister Reggie had grown up in a wealthy family. Portia is constantly questioned about her choices and when is she going to settle down
...more
ambsreads
Aug 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
FIND MY REVIEWS FOR BOTH BOOKS IN THIS AMAZING SERIES OVER ON MY BLOG. CLICK HERE.

Trigger Warnings: alcohol, alcohol addiction mentions, divorce mentions, a character is drugged without their consent

A Duke By Default was as amazing as I thought it would be. I could basically end this review here. Alyssa Cole is a magician when it comes to writing and I need to read their entire backlist. This Reluctant Royals series is fuelling my heart. I absolutely adore stories with royals, as I mentioned in
...more
The FountainPenDiva, Old school geek chick and lover of teddy bears
I forced myself to not inhale this amazing romance in one day, as I'm usually wont to do. I made myself take my time and savor the sweet-hot cuteness of Portia and Tav.

Okay, let's talk about THE COVER!!! Were I not already familiar with Alyssa Cole's oeuvre of work, if I saw this cover at a bookstore, I'd scoop it up without a second thought. Given how much whitewashing there is in publishing, it's so many kinds of awesome to have actual PoC on covers. In this case, a beautiful Black woman in a
...more
Al *the semi serial series skipper*
I thought it was cute, unbelievable (view spoiler) but cute.
Steph's Romance Book Talk
This was a funny, sexy, and sassy interracial romance. Portia was this independent, sassy, young woman that was trying to make herself better. Tavish starts off as this brut that is somewhat unlikeable but then he finds things out about his life to reevaluate the way he thinks. Portia and Tav has a banter and sexual chemistry that jumps off the page. This was a fun ride and I look forward to reading more by Alyssa Cole.

This specific video review will be included in the August 2018 wrap-up.

For o
...more
Lover of Romance
Aug 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review was originally posted on Addicted To Romance

*May Contain Spoilers*

A Duke By Default is the second book in the reluctant royals series and man this book was just as good as the first one and it kicked butt!! This book was so wonderful and of course, I was expecting it with Alyssa Cole at the helm, but man bring me a sexy scot (no matter the century) and I cave. But it was so much more depth than I was really expecting and I loved getting to see a more personal view to Portia. This is
...more
Malin
1.5 stars

#CBR10Bingo: Cover Art

Spoiler warning!
This review will discuss plot points from the book in detail, because it is impossible for me to list the many ways in which this book did not work for me without mentioning them. If you are unfamiliar with Scotland, Edinburgh and couldn't care less about the British peerage, then maybe these things will not bother you. Nevertheless, be warned that you may get spoilers if you continue with my review after the fourth paragraph.

New York socialite Por
...more
nick

Well, folks, it's a done deal. I am willing to sell my soul for anything and everything that Alyssa Cole writes. After adoring the first book in this series, A Princess In Theory, I knew this companion novel was going to be a hit for me. I mean, just look at the two beautiful people on that cover! Do they not give you shippy feels that you want to drown in??? I am beyond thrilled to say that the inside of A Duke by Default was even more glorious than the outside. I know I am notorious for always
...more
Under the Covers Book Blog



I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.


This is my first book by Alyssa Cole and after seeing a lot of hype for her books around social media I was beyond excited to dive in.  Plus the premise of this story sounded extremely cool and unique.  The heroine is a NYC socialite that is always put down by her family as the no-good member of the family and her twin sister is the successful on
...more
Mirjana **DTR - Down to Read**

***4.25 Stars***

I loved this book! It was charming and fun and smart and swoony and emotional and so many wonderful things.

Also, if you like a slow burn...and I mean slooooooowwww ...then this book is for you! The burn is long and deliciously packed with all kinds of tension. But, oh the reward is soooo worth the wait!

Portia was an amazing heroine. Smart, sexy, vulnerable, passionate...just a richly developed character that felt so relatable.

And Tavish? He was such a great hero. Grumpy and ro
...more
Clare Hutchinson
Aug 02, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: romance
I loved the main character and the setting (a barely-disguised and lovingly lived-in Leith), but the plot seemed sort of all over the place and the ending felt very messy, rushed, and unresolved. A whole bunch of characters were introduced at the end seemingly just so they could feature in the next book, the drama of the ending was out of balance with the way the plot and characters operated for the first 3/4 of the book, and I wasn't convinced that the MCs had actually thought about or addresse ...more
Robin
Jun 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I can't remember who told me this book was even better than A Princess in Theory, but they were absolutely right.
Sara
While I continue to be totally in love with Alyssa Cole's writing style and her multifaceted, realistic and sexy as hell hero and heroine I wasn't quite so enamored with the story this time around.

Unlike the largely delightful "A Princess in Theory" it felt like not quite enough time was spent really getting into the heads of Portia, a smart but emotionally fragile trust fund kid who has trouble seeing her own value thanks to frankly crummy parents and an overachieving twin sister, and Tavish,
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
The audiobook 1 2 Oct 04, 2018 07:06AM  
Gail Carriger Fan...: August 2018: A Duke by Default by Alyssa Cole 5 45 Aug 24, 2018 08:52AM  
916 followers
Alyssa Cole is a science editor, pop culture nerd, and romance junkie who splits her time between fast-paced NYC and island-paced life in the Caribbean.

In addition to writing, she has hosted a romance book club and taught romance writing at the Jefferson Market Library in NYC. When she’s not busy writing, traveling, and learning French, she can be found watching cat videos on the Internet with he
...more

Other books in the series

Reluctant Royals (3 books)
  • A Princess in Theory (Reluctant Royals, #1)
  • A Prince on Paper (Reluctant Royals, #3)
“How do you like your dukes? Grumpy? Tortured? Alpha, beta, or alpha in the streets, beta in the sheets?” 1 likes
“People focused so much on the prince slipping on Cinderella’s lost shoe that they didn’t realize the real happily ever after was the moment she realized she was brave enough to go to the damned ball alone in the first place. “I’m not waiting around for some fuckboy to bring me a shoe. I’m here, working for you. I’m finding my own shoe,” 0 likes
More quotes…