*I received a free copy of The Duke's Accidental Wife from Intrepid Reads via Netgalley. This has in no way influenced my voluntary review, which is honest and unbiased *The Duke's Accidental Wife by Erica Ridley
Series: The Dukes of War #7
Published by Intrepid Reads on 1 March 2016
Genres: Adult, Historical Romance
Miss Katherine Ross is a wealthy, eccentric socialite who knows precisely what she wants: No husband. No children. No candlelit tête-à-tête with the insufferably emotionless Duke of Ravenwood. She's convinced his heart is ice — until she touches that chiseled chest for herself. One lapse in judgment is all it takes to turn both their lives topsy-turvy...
The Duke of Ravenwood isn't cold and haughty, but a secret romantic who has always dreamt of marrying for love. Instead, he gets Miss Katherine Ross — a headstrong hoyden intent on unraveling his carefully ordered world. He doesn't know whether to kiss her or throttle her. Can they survive each other's company long enough to turn a compromise into love?
The Duke’s Accidental Wife had a lot of sweetness inside, even if there was quite a bit of sadness as well, because the protagonists didn’t really understand each other at first.
The Dukes of War series is a really good one, and I loved getting to know Ravenwood better! He has been quite present in the prior books in the series, and I thought he was a stuck-up bore. Alas, I was wrong, he really proved that he has a big heart and a lot of sensibility in The Duke’s Accidental Wife. He wasn’t only honourable and firm, he was also very loving – and lovable – as he took on Catherine. Whom he thought was a scandalous airhead he didn’t have a single thing in common with. And of course, they were absolutely delicious together once they let go of their pre-conceptions.
I think the part I love the most about historical romances is that newly married couples actually have to find out after the fact whether or not they are compatible. The Duke’s Accidental Wife brought that point home in a great way, as both Catherine and Ravenwood had very definite thoughts about the other – without having ever spoken to each other. And while both of them were kind of victims of gossip, they had both felt how hard it was to cope with people thinking of them in a certain way, they also didn’t seem to think that applied to the other. Catherine had made up her mind about him being stuck-up and very strict, and he really thought she was just a frivolous young thing he would never have anything in common with. Seeing them proved wrong was delightful!
There was a lot of longing in The Duke’s Accidental Wife, and it was very sweet to see the two protagonists longing for love, devotion, acceptance and understanding – while not being fully prepared to give those same things to the other. Once they opened up a little, they realized that they had both found a hidden treasure, and it was great to be along for the ride. Written in third person point of view, past tense, the omniscient narrator let the readers in just enough to keep some mystery, but also so we get to know the characters well enough to care about them. The many dialogues make the story better, and the hidden beauty of Ravenwood and Catherine is worth finding.
He had always maintained a silent, retiring nature, but without his sister about to put her nose where it didn’t belong, the only words spoken to him at home these days were Yes, Your Grace or Perhaps the blue waistcoat today.
If she were a man, perhaps her motley friends wouldn’t have mattered. Lord Byron managed to be a poet and a baron. Brummell managed to be both a dandy and a debtor. For women, it was different. If one were an actress, the assumption was that she was also a whore.
This marriage might have been an accident, but it wasn’t a mistake. Not if they worked at it.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: