Sophie Barnes returns to the blog today with the second in her Diamonds in the Rough series, and we follow along with characters first met in the first. Please read on for my review of
The Duke of Her Desire
Amelia’s brother Raphe inherited the dukedom, and moved he and his sisters from St. Giles and a hardscrabble life into a Mayfair home. After years of supporting the girls, and subsequently trying to hide his own history from the tonne (he was a boxer), he’s found love and a challenge in Gabriella, and the two are off to honeymoon. Knowing that his sisters Amelia and Juliette are still struggling with their newfound positions and the social events that will soon be filing their hours, he’s asked his friend Thomas, Duke of Coventry to chaperone and guide them through the maze that is appropriate and acceptable social interactions. Raphe’s desire is to find Amelia a match that pleases her, and he doesn’t wish for either of his sisters to feel slighted by rough edges, so Thomas is the perfect choice to soften those and provide entrée into the drawing rooms that matter.
Amelia has always had a crush on Thomas – as he and her brother are good friends of long standing. But she’s also bored with the ‘usual’ pastimes thought appropriate for women of her standing in society. She’s not fighting the endless rounds of lessons and corrections, but the whole thing feels rather limited and pointless – and if she doesn’t find something that challenges and excites her, she’s in danger of just digging in her heels and refusing to play the games necessary. And then there is Thomas – gone is the friendly banter she is familiar with – instead he is haughty and almost cold in his reactions, praise is hard to come by and the banter and friendliness she so wants, mixed lightly with what she felt was appreciation, is missing.
Thomas isn’t going to test his friendship with Raphe by reacting in the way he would like when Amelia is around. He’s worried that he may steer her wrong from a match, or that he’ll be tempted and her reputation may suffer. His frustration with the situation makes him standoffish and rather cold, and those moments don’t feel comfortable to him. Of course, Amelia is reacting and confused by the change in their relationship, but he just can’t help reaching out to touch her.
Oh these two were sweet and cute together – and Thomas was hard not to like with his determination to be proper and right, giving his best friend’s sister the best instruction and care he can provide without overreaching or stretching propriety. The two of them didn’t have the banter and push-pull of many of Barnes’ couples – I think it worked well here though as both felt constrained. Thomas from a big secret and his promise to Raphe, where the utter boredom and mind-numbing repetition that neither challenged nor excited Amelia have her feeling trapped and confused about Thomas’ reactions. Of course, time, proximity and the rightness of their connection and explosive moments when they first kissed are huge players in their relationship as it progresses to an end that is not unexpected but wholly satisfying.
Title: The Duke of Her Desire
Author: Sophie Barnes
Series: Diamonds in the Rough #2
Also in this series: A Most Unlikely Duke
Genre: Historical Romance, Regency, Setting: Britain
Published by: Avon
Published on: 26 December, 2017
Source: Publisher Via Edelweiss
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ IndieBound ♦ Book Depository ♦ Google
He was only supposed to keep an eye on his friend’s sister . . . now he’s about to lose his heart . . .
When Thomas Heathmore, Duke of Coventry, agrees to steer his friend’s inexperienced younger sister through society, he doesn’t expect the lady in question to be so infernally stubborn. Amelia Matthews seems to have little interest in balls or suitors at all. Instead, she intends to open a school, and against his better instincts, Thomas offers to help. Yet somewhere along the line, Amelia ceases to be a simple responsibility . . . and becomes an undeniable temptation.
Since her brother inherited a dukedom, Amelia’s prospects have transformed. But though she’s long been secretly infatuated with Thomas, she refuses to heed the arrogant aristocrat’s advice. If only it were as easy to ignore his heated touch. And as Amelia soon learns, the ton is a minefield, where one moment’s indiscretion can unleash a scandal—or entice her to surrender everything to the duke of her desire...
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher Via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.