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The Duke Next Door by Celeste Bradley
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The Duke Next Door
3 Stars

Deidre Cantor has adored Calder Marbrook from afar for years and finally seizes the opportunity to marry him when her cousin Phoebe leaves him at the alter. But Calder has a secret that may just destroy his marriage before it has even begun...

Cute romance but could have done without the silly misunderstandings.

Deidre and Calder have a smoldering chemistry and their sex scenes are intense and erotic. Unfortunately, the problems begin when they open their mouths to speak. Their bickering is snarky and entertaining at first but becomes tedious as they continue sniping at each other and fail to communicate.

Calder has potential as a tortured hero but his characterization as a wounded beast in need of taming fails to come across effectively. On the flip side, Deidre is a strong heroine who refuses to allow the man she loves to dominate her. Her relationship with Calder's impish daughter is the real highlight of the book.

The suspense plot is good - Wolfe is suitably nasty and Baskin seriously demented but the resolution is anti-climactic. Moreover, the tavern scene is convoluted, ridiculous and unnecessary to the story.

Sophie and Graham's book is next and hopefully the series will end on a positive note.
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