Published by Forever on November 7th 2017
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo
Julian St. David, Duke of Haverford, is barely keeping his head above water in a sea of inherited debts. Though he has a long-term plan to restore the family finances, his sister has a much faster solution: host a house party for London's single young ladies and find Julian a wealthy bride.
Elizabeth Windham has no interest in marriage, but a recent scandal has forced her hand. As much as she'd rather be reading Shakespeare than husband-hunting, she has to admit she's impressed by Julian's protective instincts, broad shoulders, and, of course, his vast library.
As the two spend more time together, their attraction is overwhelming, unexpected... and absolutely impossible. With meddling siblings, the threat of financial ruin, and gossips lurking behind every potted palm, will they find true love or true disaster?
~~Reviewed by Amy~~
Grace Burrowes’ No Other Duke Will Do is a swoon-worthy romantic novel with biting wit, insightful social commentary, and memorable characters you can’t help but fall in love with. If you’re a Jane Austen fan, you’ll find this 3rd book in the Windham Brides series to be a joyful indulgence.
Julian Andreas Cynan Evan St David, 12th Duke of Haverford, had no plans to find a duchess for at least another decade. He couldn’t afford one. He was barely keeping afloat thanks to the debts his forefathers had incurred due to their passion for all things literary. Unfortunately, the only books Julian was interested in now were his ledgers. It didn’t help that his sister, Glenys, intent on ending his bachelorhood, was throwing a house party. Guests meant inane socializing and more expenses. Julian had no time for such pointless frivolities when there were lists, plans, and budgets to deal with.
Elizabeth Windham was ready to embrace spinsterdom. Having remained unmarried despite a decade of seasons, she was content to live a solitary life. But due to a recent scandal, her family was determined to see her wed, and the St. David house party promised to feature the most well-bred bachelors worthy of notice. While Elizabeth had no interest in pursuing a husband, she was impressed with her host. He was a duke, but he was unlike any aristocrat she’d met before.
After Julian and Elizabeth confessed that neither sought marriage, they decided to be friends and spent time together sharing confidences and stolen moments. A comfortable and daring relationship soon formed. They were both lonely and decided just because they were friends, didn’t mean they could never kiss and see where it leads. Only for the duration of the house party, of course. So amidst the threat of financial ruin, the party’s gossipmongers, and match-making siblings, true love picked an inconvenient time to bloom.
This was an absolutely sweet, happy, and charming story filled with little unexpected schemes and twists. Julian and Elizabeth were delightful. I loved watching their relationship blossom. They were so at ease together. Elizabeth’s demure composure intrigued Julian, and her hidden ferocity fascinated him. She was perceptive and took him to task. He liked her scolding. Elizabeth felt the same of Julian. He was the duke, but beneath his somber, civil tones, when he was alone with her, his emotions took over. I loved their frank conversations and displays of affection. Their relationship “was how it was supposed to be between a man and a woman, both comfortable and daring, a private adventure”.
Julian’s and Elizabeth’s weren’t the only shenanigans going on at the house party. The secondary characters were just as loveable. I enjoyed seeing Glenys and Radnor discover their feelings for one another. Their bickering couldn’t mask their true affection. I laughed out loud when Radnor announced his intentions to court Glenys after he climbed into bed with her. Charlotte and Sherbourne were fun to watch too. Charlotte was so saucy and in her presence, Sherbourne was a little discombobulated. Seeing her put him in his place was a delight. I couldn’t help but fall in love with Griffin. He was as guileless as a boy and even less self-conscious. I’m still chuckling about the aching tallywags. I adored the relationships Ms. Burrowes portrayed among these siblings.
I suppose you could read this as a stand-alone but I think it would be frustrating. If you don’t know the history of the Windham sisters, there may be names and references that leave you confused. Besides, you’ll love the earlier books in this series. They are all filled with romance, passion, and wit. Ms. Burrowes’ writing style is stellar, and her books are vivid and fun to read.
I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader’s Copy of this book.