Title/Author: The Trouble With Being A Duke (At The Kingsborough Ball #1) by Sophie Barnes
Publisher/Date published: Avon, August 27th 2013
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository
Goodreads summary: Sometimes happily ever after...
Anthony Hurst, Duke of Kingsborough knows the time has come for him to produce an heir. But first he must find a bride. When he meets the most exquisite woman at his masquerade ball, he thinks his search is over... until the breathtaking beauty runs off. With few clues other than her figure, her scent, and the memory of her kiss, Anthony must find his mystery lady.
...needs a little bit of help.
Isabella Chilcott can scarcely believe it: she is finally at the Kingsborough Ball. As a child, she dreamed of dancing a waltz here and now, thanks to a gorgeous gown she’s found in the attic, Isabella is living her fairytale fantasy. And she’s waltzing with the Duke of Kingsborough himself! But she must escape before he discovers her secrets…for she is not who she pretends to be, and falling in love with Prince Charming is the last thing she can allow herself to do...
Guys, I am a sucker for masquerade balls. I mean, I would LOVE if we actually had those around here! There's just such a mysterious air about them and it definitely makes for some wonderful encounters and some searching for the person you met that night. And I just love it when it's in a novel and I will ALWAYS pick it a book up when it says it has a masquerade ball.
SO, The Trouble With Being A Duke had A LOT to live up to before I even started it ;) And while it's not my favourite historical romance, it was definitely a lovely read!
I really liked Isabella, she's determined to have her fairytale night and sneaks out of the house in a dress she found in the attic to experience said night. I love that she reasons that with a mask they won't ever know who she is, it's both logical and naive at the same time. It's definitely a lot smarter than just going to a ball WITHOUT a mask and hoping for the same thing. While she's not even remotely attracted to the man her parents intend her to marry, she's set her mind to doing the right thing by them and honoring their wishes.
Anthony is full on male and entitled Duke and just such a MAN. He's told himself that he should marry and has set his sights on Isabella, no matter if she doesn't seem to be cooperating. I really liked that he realised he's being an ass at one point trying to get his way and is determined to sway them by charm and real consideration instead of just pushing to get his way. I felt that he was a bit overcome by his attraction to Isabella and he didn't always go about convincing her to marry him instead the best way, but he was charming even while blundering and I like that.
They definitely had some real chemistry and even with Anthony being a duke, there were things that stood in their way. I'm glad they worked it out in the end. I would have liked for Isabella to be a little more swept off her feet by Anthony, she was so levelheaded the whole time and so holding onto her almost-engagement to another man that I was questioning whether she really loved Anthony. I thought that the mean girl in this story was a bit over the top, but it did add extra conflict. And I love conflict before the happy ending!
I really enjoyed reading The Trouble With Being A Duke and sincerely hope that the next book in the series will be about Casper, Anthony's friend, because I totally loved him in this novel even if he did have a minor role and needed some perspective on love!
My rating: 4 stars
Made me crave: garlicy pasta with mushrooms and salami