Title: If the Duke Demands (Capturing the Carlisles #1)
Author: Anna Harrington
Publisher: Forever (Grand Central Publishing)
Expected Publishing Date: February 28, 2017
Genre: Historical, Romance
Format: eBook, Paperback
Page Count: 368
Rating: 3 Stars
A LESSON IN SEDUCTION . . .
Miranda Hodgkins has only ever wanted one thing: to marry Robert Carlisle. And she simply can’t wait a moment longer. During the Carlisle family masquerade ball, Miranda boldly sneaks into his bedchamber with seduction on her mind. Soon she’s swept into rock-hard arms for the most breathtaking kiss of her life. But when the masks come off, she’s horrified to find herself face-to-face with Sebastian, the Duke of Trent-Robert’s formidable older brother.
Shocked to find Miranda in his bed, Sebastian quickly offers her a deal to avoid scandal: He’ll help her win his brother’s heart if she’ll find him the perfect wife. But what begins as a simple negotiation soon spirals out of control. For the longer this reformed rake tries to make a match for Miranda, the more he wants to keep her all to himself.
♦ Personal Thought ♦
This is a mix of childhood friends to lovers, love for the wrong brother, and the Cinderella story. If you have read many historical romance before, you’re familiar with this formula: Common girl fell in love with an aristocrat, said aristocrat loved her back but need to find suitable wife from peer, etc etc; or variation of such. That’s the gist of the story here.
Though first in a series, If the Duke Demands connected with earlier series of the author’s with couple of characters from that series made some appearance here. But worry not, this is my first Anna Harrington book and I didn’t have trouble following the story.
Miranda and Sebastian were amusing enough characters, their unexpected attraction hilarious and inevitable to happen. Though I did question Miranda’s persistence in chasing the wrong brother when I didn’t see much good in Robert throughout the book. In fact, I found the other two Carlisle brothers to be rather callous and self-centered here! Contrary to repeatedly notion the siblings were close to one another – and to Miranda – I don’t see much proof of that in this book!
The Duke himself was one bullheaded martyr set to sabotage his own happiness in the long run. While I could understand his personal feeling, after a while it began to grate on my nerves. His inner struggle felt prolonged and exhausting to read. That said, the tête-á-tête with a parent close to last chapter of the book raised up my point of the story a little.
For a new to me author, this is a lukewarm introduction for me. Considering how unimpressed I am with the remaining Carlisle brothers, I’m gonna wait and see whether to read the next installment of this series; time will tell.
Advanced copy of this book is kindly provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.