Catherine's Reviews > How to Marry a Duke

How to Marry a Duke by Vicky Dreiling
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Nov 16, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: fiction-vixen-reviews, first-reads-arcs-won-a-copy, romance, challenge-task-contest, england, historical, matchmaker, read-2010, series-but-not-officially
Read from December 22 to 23, 2010 — I own a copy

The beginning of this book was pleasant, but that was about all. I felt that the attraction between the hero and heroine was a bit ham-handed and abrupt. I also became very nervous when the author whipped out a competition and elimination a la The Bachelor. I am definitely not a fan of things like that.

But somehow I forgot my concerns as I got more and more into the story. Tristan and Tessa had a great dynamic together and I had a blast giggling over some of their interactions. The bride competition wasn’t focused on in the manner I feared it would be, so that was a plus too. It wasn’t ignored by any means, but I didn’t have to watch blow by blows of the hero interacting with countless other girls either.

I really liked all the side characters, especially Hawk and Tristan’s mother. I felt that they really added a lot to the story, especially as Tristan became more and more frazzled by his growing feelings for Tessa. Watching them slyly wind him up was hilarious for me!

Tessa had some moments of inner awareness that really surprised me. I was extremely pleased that the author had her honestly look at her actions and behavior toward Tristan, even though it didn’t always change her future behavior. The way she didn’t spare herself from the truth really bumped her up in my estimation.

I was extremely pleased that the author didn’t have the Tessa and Tristan constantly groping each other while he was supposed to be finding a bride. There was tension there, and they did slip up a time or two, but for the most part they both were aware of their roles and knew that they couldn’t just do whatever they wanted to.

This book was not stunningly original, and the bride competition was a weird setup, but it was fun and readable. The setup with Tristan being a rake and Tessa having a big dark secret were things I really felt could have been cut from the book. The draw here was the interactions between the characters. I felt there was enough of a hook there without including those things that were token at best.

So, overall I was very satisfied with this book. I even ended up getting so hooked into it that I stayed up until 1:30 am to finish it—and that was on top of being sick and having to wake up at 5:30. I just couldn’t help it, it hooked me.

Favorite Quotes:
Pg. 56:
"Your Grace, I must be honest. Ladies expect gentlemen to display some tenderness. Thus far, you've demonstrated a sad lack of the finer feelings. I know this embarrasses you."

"Dash it all. I am not embarrassed."

She gave him a pitying look. "You needn't pretend with me. I'll instruct you in the ways to please and attract a lady."


Pg. 213:
“Think of a time when you did something you knew was wrong. Tell me what happened.” He hoped it had nothing to do with little lambs.

“Not long ago, I did something very bad,” Sally said. “I stole my sister Sarah’s love letter and read it.”

Julianne’s eyes lit with mischief. “What did it say?”

Sally wrinkled her nose. “It was all nonsense to me. The gentleman signed himself as Lord Randy. He said he wished to plunder the treasure in the bush and claimed he carried a candlestick in his, er, unmentionables.”


Review originally posted at Fiction Vixen.
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Reading Progress

12/22/2010 page 13
3.0% ""I say, a matchmaker? If only I had known of your skills when my sisters were single, Miss Mansfield. You might have saved me the trouble of finding them husbands." His mocking tone vexed her. She'd encountered plenty of his kind before, always quick to ridicule her avocation. "I had no idea I had a competitor. Or do you only make matches for relatives?""
12/22/2010 page 46
12.0% ""You're a hopeless optimist," he said. "Only a pessimist could utter such a ludicrous oxymoron."" 12 comments
12/22/2010 page 56
15.0% ""Your Grace, I must be honest. Ladies expect gentlemen to display some tenderness. Thus far, you've demonstrated a sad lack of the finer feelings. I know this embarrasses you." "Dash it all. I am not embarrassed." She gave him a pitying look. "You needn't pretend with me. I'll instruct you in the ways to please and attract a lady.""
12/22/2010 page 74
19.0% ""As she rose to escort Amy to the door, she glanced back at him and silently mouthed, "Thank you." He scowled. Silly duke. He thought himself unaffected by tender emotions, but now she knew the truth."" 3 comments
12/22/2010 page 207
54.0% "I really started getting into this and forgot to update. I love the way Tristan's mom is making the "horse" thirsty! ;)"
12/23/2010 page 384
100.0% "My copy has 396 pages. But it's an ARC version so I don't know if that matters..."
10/24/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-11 of 11) (11 new)

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message 1: by Tara (new)

Tara Can't wait to read the full review Catherine :)


Catherine I'll let you know when it's ready. :)


message 3: by Dina (new) - added it

Dina What Tara said. ^_^ (No pressure, LOL.)


Laura the Highland Hussy I'm so interested...Laurie London was telling me how awesome this is, now I'm sold :)


Catherine The review just got posted on Fiction Vixen the other day. It should be up here in a few days.


message 6: by new_user (new)

new_user "The gentleman signed himself as Lord Randy. He said he wished to plunder the treasure in the bush and claimed he carried a candlestick in his, er, unmentionables."

LMAO!


Catherine new_user wrote: ""The gentleman signed himself as Lord Randy. He said he wished to plunder the treasure in the bush and claimed he carried a candlestick in his, er, unmentionables."

LMAO!"


That line cracked me up!


message 8: by Quinn (new)

Quinn Great review, Catherine. The competition is a little off-putting to me, so glad to hear it played out OK (no pun intended)


message 9: by Catherine (last edited Jan 08, 2011 10:44PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Catherine Quinn wrote: "Great review, Catherine. The competition is a little off-putting to me, so glad to hear it played out OK (no pun intended)"

The competition was really repellent to me too. I hate reality TV shows like that, so I didn't figure I'd like it in a book either.

I don't think I would have if it had been taken seriously. He went through the motions with it, but he was never actually interested in any girl other than the matchmaker heroine and he never had any quality contact with them that would have made me uncomfortable. They were just a plot device.


message 10: by Dina (new) - added it

Dina Great review, Catherine. It looks like I have to add another book to my out-of-control Wish List. :)


Catherine Thanks, Dina! I feel your pain about the wishlist. I don't know when I'll ever get the time to read them all.


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