Published by Avon on November 27, 2018
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo
In the first novel in Christy Carlyle’s sizzling Duke’s Den series, three men, intent on making a fortune, discover irresistible opportunities . . .
Nicholas Lyon gambled his way into a fortune and ownership of the most opulent, notorious gentlemen’s club in England. But when Nick’s cruel brother dies, he inherits a title he never wanted. The sooner Nick is rid of the estate that has always haunted him, the sooner he can return to the life he’s built in London. But there’s one obstacle—the exquisite Thomasina Thorne.
When the new heir to the Tremayne dukedom suddenly appears in Mina Thorne’s life, she’s flustered. Not only is he breathtakingly handsome, but he’s also determined to take away her home and position as steward of the Enderley estate. If Mina learns what makes the enigmatic duke tick, perhaps she can change his mind—as long as she doesn’t get too close to him.
With each day Nick spends with Mina, his resolve weakens as their colliding wills lead to explosive desire. Could she be the one woman who can help him finally bury the ghosts of his past?
~~Reviewed by AnnMarie~~
A Duke Changes Everything is the first book in the Duke’s Den series by Christy Carlyle. As usual with a book from this author, I thoroughly enjoyed it and am very much looking forward to the rest of the series.
In this particular story, Nicholas (Nick) Lyon is a very successful, self-made wealthy man. He is the second son in line for the Tremayne Dukedom, a role he never wanted to accept. It’s one unfortunately which is forced upon him when he hears that his brother has died. There was no love lost between Nicholas and his family, his whole time living there when he was a boy was torturous, so the only thing that Nick feels is anger that he will have to leave his successful gaming establishment in order to sort out his ancestral home. He won’t live there, he won’t answer to Duke, or your Grace, he just wants to sell what he can and rent out the ducal house and anything that is entailed. Then he wants to go back to London and forget all about the place.
Thomasina (Mina) Thorne is the current steward of Nick’s Enderley Estate. Her father worked for Nick’s father, and then for Nick’s brother once the old Duke died. When her father died Mina took on the job of steward and was distraught at how both men could care less for the estate. Money should have been spent on its upkeep and on helping the tenants, but none was forthcoming. So when Mina found out that the new Duke would be visiting the estate after months knowing that his brother had died, it was with trepidation that she readied herself to meet him. She desperately wants to show Nick the best side of the estate rather than all its problems in the hope that he would be a worthy Duke and start to look after things properly.
Despite Nick having a scarred face, he is a very well built, handsome man. Mina’s first meeting with him was most unconventional and as up close and personal as they needed to be they both felt the stirrings of attraction. He is surprised to find out that she is his steward, and a little put out because she kept the fact that she is a woman from him during their written correspondence. He can’t abide deceit. Rather than dismiss her from the job he realises it’s best to keep her on. She is the only one who will be able to help him inventory his home contents and prepare the place for sale. He tells her as much and she is upset that all her dreams of the new Duke keeping and improving the place have gone down the drain. Or have they? Perhaps she can still show him the beauty of the place and its people and convince him to stay. She doesn’t realise the horrors he endured when he lived there and how much he needs to rid himself of the place.
The more time that the couple spends together the more their attraction grows. They both fight it because they know that it can go nowhere, she is loyal to Enderley and he can’t see the back of it quickly enough. Is there any chance for them to have a happy ever after? Of course, there is. You will have to read the book to find out how it comes about though!
Nick is the perfect damaged hero. Look at the front cover on the book and you will see a model depicting just how gorgeous he is, and how beautiful Mina is (although she prefers to dress in britches and a shirt)! The passion between them is palpable and how they manage to hold off from that first kiss as long as they did is beyond me!
I appreciated poor Nick’s hatred of Enderley and could have cried for all that he endured. As I read on I couldn’t wait to read that Mina helped bring him some comfort. Their relationship was a breath of fresh air from the start and I loved reading every minute of it unfolding into something special. I was more than happy with the outcome and am smiling now just remembering it.