I received this book for free from NetGalley, the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Series: Season for Scandal # 2
Published by Forever on July 26, 2016
Genres: Historical Romance, Romance
Amazon • Barnes & Noble • iBooks • Add to Goodreads
Elise deVries is not what she seems. By night, the actress captivates London theatergoers with her chameleon-like ability to slip inside her characters. By day, she uses her mastery of disguise to work undercover for Chegarre & Associates, an elite agency known for its discreet handling of indelicate scandals. But when Elise is tasked with locating the missing Duke of Ashland, she finds herself center stage in a real-life drama.
Noah Ellery left the glamour of the London aristocracy to pursue a simpler life in the country. He’s managed to avoid any complications or entanglements-that is, until he lays eyes on Elise and realizes there’s more to this beautiful woman than meets the eye. But when Elise reveals her real identity-and her true feelings for him-the runaway duke must confront the past he left behind . . . to keep the woman he loves forever.
After reading the first book in Kelly Bowen’s Season for Scandal Regency romance series, Duke of My Heart, I had the thought that there was no way the next book would be as good. But a few chapters into A Duke to Remember, I knew this book was exactly that. While what I loved about it was quite different from what I loved about the first book, my heart is no less engaged. And, hey, if you’ve been following this blog a while, you know I love me my dashing dukes.
First bit of fandom was the return to Chegarre & Associates, the firm of fixers known for their discretion to which we were introduced in the first book. I just love the whole idea of it, and I could read a series of their case files ad infinitum, and I hope the author plans on books featuring cases solved by the couples she’s brought together! (If she reads this, no pressure, but it’s certainly something for my book series wish jar!)
I also loved getting to know more about the supporting characters I met in the first book, in particular two men who I have no doubt will be enjoying their own romances soon enough: Elise’s brother Alex and the mysterious King.
Another thing I loved about this book were the characters. Noah is just heartachingly vulnerable in some ways, and yet everything he has endured and triumphed over and the way he has built a life completely divorced from the privilege he was born to—these things speak to the strength of his character, so immediately the feeling I had for him was respect, sympathy, and admiration. It wasn’t hard to love him at all.
In the meantime, Elise is such a scrapper; she’s brave, strong, and intelligent and has no reason to hide it, even when it would make her life easier. She’s a survivor, and she enjoys and is good at what she does; she might not be looking for or need a partner to fill her life, but finding one is a fantastic bonus. And that’s something that rings true with my inner feminist, so it made me doubly happy to find her character as well-rounded as it was.
Now, as a romance reader, I am of course delighted to have had a happily ever after in this story, but I really appreciated how it wasn’t all hearts and rainbows at the end of it, so that it felt like the characters still had something to work toward even after the main hurdles in their relationship had been leapt. Don’t get me wrong—it was a fully satisfying ending. It was just that it wasn’t all kumbaya for everyone involved, and that was perfectly fine with me.
This series is turning out to be one of my must-read suggestions for anyone who loves or even is curious about Regency romance, so it should come as no surprise that I wait with bated breath for book 3 to come out!
Feel Factor Rating:
Season for Scandal
Series Reading Order:
Join the giveaway for the chance to win one of 10 mass market paperback copies of Kelly Bowen’s A Duke to Remember.