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Whisper Reviews (3) | A Duke, An Earl, An Heiress


I read these three historical romances this year and I cannot stop thinking about them!

First, we have a friends-to-nothing-to-partners-to-lovers with a fake-engagement thrown into the mix.
Then, a slow-burn romance.
Lastly, a second-chance enemies-to-lovers romance!




NOTHING COMPARES TO THE DUKE

by Christy Carlyle

Series: The Duke's Den #3

Genres: Historical, Romance

Publication Date: May 26th 2020 by Avon

Format: eARC

Source: Publisher via Edelweiss

Rating: ★★★★


His Only Regret…

Rhys Forester, the new Duke of Claremont, lives his life by four words: Enjoy All, Regret Nothing. He’s devoted to the pleasure of his wild soirees, reckless behavior, and shocking the ton with his interests in trade. The debts that come with his title don’t fit the carefree lifestyle he’s created, and when he’s forced to return to his family’s estate, he’s also forced to confront his one and only regret: the beautiful girl he left behind.

May Be Falling in Love…

Arabella Prescott has been the belle of more balls than she cares to remember. After three seasons and five rejected proposals, she’s done with the marriage mart. Bella’s hopes to live a comfortable life, alone, come crashing down when her parents demand she marry. But her salvation may come in the form of the man she hates the most.

Bella has never forgiven Rhys for what he did to her, but desperate times call for fake engagements. With a few dozen rules, their scheme begins, but it’s not long before the former enemies find themselves breaking every single rule, including the most important of them all: don’t fall in love…
I hadn't read the first two books before starting Nothing Compares to the Duke, and I'm glad to admit I didn't feel like I had missed out, and was able to read without having any confusion.

Bella and Rhys used to be as thick as thieves until Bella, who had a crush on Rhys, found him with another woman. From then on, they never spoke until many years later when Rhys seeks Bella's help.

Bella [...] glanced over her shoulder at the man she should have slapped five years ago.

I greatly enjoyed getting a glimpse of these two being young and carefree, and having that specific scene when the encounter happens told through flashback, rather than from memory. It definitely felt more powerful and brought all the feels for Bella.

I appreciated so much Rhys owning up to what he did and putting his feelings on the table right from the start. He knew it was the only way for Bella to forgive him and move on from the past. Once that happened, I just loved their little banter, and the course of them going on a "detective adventure".

"I'd be more than happy to exchange favors, Bella." His smile was wicked, unlike any he'd ever offered her before. "If you change your mind, you know where to find me."

I was slightly surprised by the fake-engagement, but at the same time, I loved it! I'm such a sucker for this trope. When Bella proposed the idea, my heart got so giddy! I respected Rhys so much when he gave his answer to Bella. Rhys is just so perfect. *dreamy sigh* I especially loved all the conversations these two characters had. I will always prefer dialogue because it truly shows the reader that the characters are connecting, at least in my eyes.

Overall, Nothing Compares to the Duke is so lovely, enticing and marvelous! I loved the friends-to-nothing-to-partners-to-lovers trope mixed with fake-engagement trope. I'll be reading more books by this author! 

πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•


THE EARL TAKES A FANCY

by Lorraine Heath

Series: Sins for All Seasons #5

Genres: Historical, Romance

Publication Date: March 31st 2020 by Avon

Format: eARC

Source: Publisher via Edelweiss

Rating: ★★★★


She’s looking for a nobleman to wed…

Though born out of wedlock, Fancy Trewlove is determined to fulfill her mother’s wish that she marry into nobility. Fancy’s keen intellect and finishing school manners make her the perfect wife for any gentleman—if he’s willing to overlook her scandalous lineage. But Fancy’s plans are thrown into chaos when an intriguing commoner begins visiting her bookshop—and she finds herself unable to stop thinking about him.


He’s looking to escape his title…


Widowed just a year ago, the reclusive Matthew Sommersby, Earl of Rosemont, has been besieged by women hoping to become his next wife. Desperate for anonymity, he sheds Society life to search for the peace that eludes him. Fancy’s shop is his one refuge, until the night their passion erupts into a kiss that nearly leads to her ruin—and leaves both longing for much more. 


Together, they discover an unlikely love…


As Fancy finds herself torn between her family’s expectations and her growing feelings for Matthew, secrets are exposed—secrets that force Fancy to question if she can trust her heart’s desire...
Matthew Sommersby and Fancy Trewlove stole my heart! I love how they slowly became friends and then more. (THAT SLOW-BURN!) Their romance had me swooning and feeling all the feels.

Fancy is a wonderful female who owns a book store. And she gives reading classes to children and adults, which I found to be super amazing from her part. She just wants to give back to the people. Then there's Matthew. My heart ached for him and all he went through. I was glad he had Fancy to help him with his emotions and his pain.

He found her to be so much like sunshine herself that she brightened the dullest moods.

This is a beautiful and heart-warming romance that will have your heart beating out of your chest, but the slow-burn will have you eagerly wanting more and more!

πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•


AN HEIRESS TO REMEMBER

by Maya Rodale

Series: The Gilded Age Girls Club #3

Genres: Historical, Romance

Publication Date: March 31st 2020 by Avon

Format: eARC

Source: Publisher via Edelweiss

Rating: ★★★★


Can a scandalized heiress…

Beatrice Goodwin left Manhattan a duchess and has returned a divorcΓ©e, ready to seize control of her fate and the family business. Goodwin’s Department Store, once the pinnacle of fashion, has fallen from favor thanks to Dalton’s, its glamorous competitor across the street. But this rivalry has a distinctly personal edge…


And a self-made tycoon…


For Wes Dalton, Beatrice has always been the one—the one who broke his young heart by marrying a duke, and now, the one whose cherished store he plans to buy, just so he can destroy it. It’s the perfect revenge against a family who believed he’d never be good enough for their daughter—until Beatrice’s return complicates everything…


Find happily ever after at last?


While Goodwin’s and Dalton’s duel to be the finest store in Gilded Age Manhattan, Beatrice and Wes succumb to a desire that has only deepened with time. Adversaries by day, lovers by night, both will soon have to decide which is sweeter: winning the battle or thoroughly losing their hearts…
Love was much, much sweeter than revenge.

Beatrice and Dalton are both forces to be reckoned with. This lovely pairing used to be together in hiding in their youth since Beatrice's family was of a high ranking, and Dalton was not. When Dalton suggests for them to escape and start their lives, Beatrice knows she will lose everything so she decides to marry the man her family chose for her. Years later, Beatrice returns to her hometown as a widow to find out that Dalton has built a department story that rivals her family's story and could very well drive their business to the ground.

He didn't want her anymore. He wanted revenge and he wanted it more than anything.

This story was beyond entertaining. I enjoyed Beatrice and Dalton's antics. Both were dead-set on destroying the other, and would try to accomplish it, but sometimes feelings would slowly resurface and would make them question this rivalry. 

I loved the female representation. Despite it being the Gilded Age, Beatrice wasn't letting any man look down on her nor on the females in her town. I loved how they all banded together and fought for their rights. 

One would be wise to never underestimate two women united in their purpose, especially if it involved thwarting a man.

Overall, An Heiress to Remember is certainly a memorable, entertaining, loving story that I thoroughly enjoyed from beginning to end.


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