The Duke by Gaelen Foley

Overall: ⭐️⭐️

I’m not entirely sure how this book is so highly rated. Not much really happens in this book. It’s loosely held together with a possible murder plot that has a disappointing and rather weak resolution. But without this plot there is no reason for the characters to come together in the first place, which, in my opinion, makes for a bad plot line to begin with.

The characters lack development and much of what could be developed is skipped and simply explained in a page or two in order to let the reader know that things have changed. One of the most disappointing things about this book is the hero. I like him well enough to start. He is supposed to be an intensely moral man, with many scruples. Yet, he’s perfectly fine with beating a man half to death, and killing another man who didn’t deserve it. He’s only slightly more disturbed by his own rage than the fact that someone is unjustly dead. It doesn’t even give him pause. In fact, he is somewhat exhilarated by what he’d done. Finally, the heroine, who is also supposed to be of sound moral fiber (despite the fact that she’s a courtesan) doesn’t seem to be bothered by these things either. It just doesn’t hold true to who these characters are supposed to be. Nor to what I would like to see in them.

I will say that I like a romance with some sizzling encounters in them, and this book definitely has that. But, while they were hot, they weren’t very romantic. It seemed more written for a man and lacked the emotional descriptions during the love scenes that usually make my heart race during them. Most of these scenes are devoid of that note, which is most of what makes a good romance to me. Otherwise its just sex, and why bother with a romance novel if that’s all you’re looking for?

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