Title: The Duke's Quandary
Source: Entangled Publishing
Genre: Historical Romance
Release Date: March 10, 2014
Reviewed by: Jasmyn
Rating - 3
Sexual - 3
The Duke's Quandary scored points just by using the word "quandary" in the title. It's a fun but awkward word and it suited this novel perfectly. Most of the book revolves around two fun (but awkward) people trying to navigate the haute ton to varying degrees of success.
Drake, Duke of Manchester is searching the Marriage Mart for a perfect bride. He wants a woman who is poised, sophisticated, and worthy of the title Duchess. But most of all, he wants a woman who does not want the useless emotion of love.
Socially awkward Miss Penelope Clayton isn't meant for marriage. A serious botanist, she has no desire to wed, so being forced by her guardian to participate in the Season to find a husband is torture. She'll never fit in with the ton, especially if they discover she's been pretending to be a man within the scientific community.
As Drake's family makes over Penelope, turning her from naive bluestocking to enchanting debutante, he is put upon to introduce her to society and eligible bachelors. Despite dance lessons and new gowns, Penelope is the opposite of poised and sophisticated as she stumbles from one mishap to the next. Why then, does he find it so hard to resist her?
First we have Miss Penelope Clayton. She is a bit of a hermit, a future blue stocking, and set against marriage and all the restrictions it may impose. Then we have the Duke of Manchester, or Drake, who seems to have a stick so far up his butt most of the time that I'm not sure how he manages to sit without injuring himself. When you throw these two together, along with a houseful of unmarried sisters, and you have quite an interesting story.
Callie Hutton does a good job of throwing some fun things their way, but they are drawn to each other no matter how hard they try to stay away. And no matter how many times they swear not to let anything happen, it does anyway. This was the biggest downfall of the story - their professions of un-love for each other, their promises to stay away and remain proper - got a little tiring and I think there could have been less of those conversations.
I loved how Penelope was a scientist and it led to a very great sequence of scenes near the end that had me chuckling. Drake's sisters are all very dear and sweet and trying very hard to remove the stick from his butt - the perfect background characters to help push things along. Drake's mother is a sweet lady as well and maybe there will be stories of her finding great love matches for Drake's sisters as well.
*This book was received in exchange for an honest review*
Callie Hutton always knew those stories she made up in her head would be written down one day. There was nowhere else for them to go. After years of writing articles and interviews for magazines and company newsletters, she decided to tackle writing a book. That was back in 2010. Now with twelve books under her belt, and seven more contracted, the relief at having somewhere to tell those stories is wonderful. She lives in Oklahoma with her husband, adult children and three dogs.
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