Self-made civil engineer Geoffrey Brookhouse has unexpectedly inherited the dukedom of Grenwood. But he has a secret that could ruin his family. Hoping to save his timid sister from that fate, he seeks to marry her off to a respectable, protective gentleman. With the London Season imminent, Geoffrey hires Elegant Occasions to orchestrate her debut. Yet Lady Diana Harper, spirited fashion expert, proves more than he bargained for. Suddenly, Geoffrey’s sister is emerging from her shell, and he is beleaguered with social invitations and gossip! Worse, Diana is attempting to transform him into a presentable duke—when all he really wants is to win her heart…
Diana doesn’t know what to make of the handsome, disheveled duke. The man bristles at the very idea that his fashion faux pas might spoil his sister’s chances. Yet Geoffrey’s stubbornness simply inspires Diana to ruffle his feathers—by setting him on a course of self-improvement. Although there’s something endearing, even irresistible about his flaws, can a man who hates the ton tolerate a woman who makes her living catering to them? Little does either know that they have more in common than they suspect—and that two can create a society all their own…
|A Duke for Diana
|Designing Debutantes (Book 1)
|Enemies to Lovers
|Point of View:
|Third Person, Past Tense
|24th May, 2022
A sparkling start to a new series
I’ve always been a big fan of Sabrina Jeffries – she was one of the authors that first started my romance obsession – but I’d kind of dipped in and out of her more recent works. That’s why it’s great to get a fresh new series where the reader isn’t expected to know any characters or connections. This book starts the Designing Debutantes series but is a complete standalone novel with its own HEA.
The reason for the series title is because of the business that Diana and her sisters run – a sort of consultancy that aids girls coming out into society. This part of the book was interesting but never overshadowed the romance of the story with the details – although it was the glue that held the story and characters together.
I really liked Diana as a character. She was feisty and strong and always thinking she was in the right. This gave her the perfect combination of traits to bang up against Geoffrey Brookhouse, the newly minted Duke of Grenwood, and brother of Diana’s newest client. Geoffrey is a normal, hard-working chap who has found himself thrust into a world that is so foreign to him. As a result, he comes across as a bit crass, a bit rude and quite overwhelming. The perfect man for our proper society miss.
There’s an instant attraction between our couple and I was excited to watch them butt heads and dance around each other, misunderstand each other and then finally collide. This happened but then I felt some confusion which did put a damper on the sexual tension. This was because I wasn’t really sure who was doing the chasing at any one time, and who was doing the retreating. I just felt their motivations weren’t crystal clear which pulled me out of the book as I tried to understand their ultimate purposes.
With that said, there was still a spark of chemistry between our pairing and the scenes when they were together were delicious and just naughty enough to make me happy. I can always rely on Sabrina Jeffries to bring some sauciness to Society.
It goes without saying that I thought the writing was excellent – it always is with Ms Jeffries. I was immediately engrossed in the Regency and with all the characters. Although they didn’t feature heavily, I’m already looking forward to the stories of the other sisters (Eliza in An Earl for Eliza and presumably then, A Viscount for Verity). There was, too, a lot of information in this book and little snippets of Regency life peppered throughout. Always in a way that made it part of the story, but interesting nonetheless as I wasn’t aware of many. I do so like to learn more about the Regency.
I did feel the story and the urgency of the love story faded a bit towards the end of the book – especially as the spotlight moved towards Rosy and her own story. This was a bit of a shame as it took the focus off Diane and Geoffrey. But once I’d finished the book and looked back – I still felt this was a five star read. I hugely enjoyed the read and raced through the book. Furthermore, it was a an exciting start to a brand new series and I’m excited to read more and hopefully revisit our couple from this book. As a result, it’s 5 stars from me.
* I received this book in exchange for my honest review *
Sabrina Jeffries is the New York Times bestselling author of more than 50 novels and works of short fiction (some written under the pseudonyms Deborah Martin and Deborah Nicholas).
At home in front of a crowd, Jeffries is a sought-after speaker, as evidenced by her 2010 gig as emcee for the National Romance Writers of America’s 30th Anniversary Awards Ceremony.
Whatever time not spent speaking to organizations around the country or writing in a coffee-fueled haze is spent traveling with her husband and adult autistic son or indulging in one of her passions—jigsaw puzzles, chocolate, and music.
With over 9 million books in print in more than 20 languages, the North Carolina author never regrets tossing aside a budding career in academics (she has a Ph.D. in English literature) for the sheer joy of writing fun fiction, and hopes that one day a book of hers will end up saving the world.
She always dreams big.