Title: The Duke Can Go to the Devil
Author: Erin Knightley
Series: Prelude to a Kiss #3
Genre: Historical Romance
Pub Date: July 7, 2015
My Copy: Courtesy of Netgalley and Signet
In the new novel from the bestselling author of The Earl I Adore, May Bradford isn’t afraid to play devil’s advocate when it comes to a duke.…
After her mother’s death, May’s sea captain father sends her halfway around the world to live with his stodgy sister in England. The summer festival in Bath made for a lovely distraction, but now she can’t wait for her father’s return so she can leave this country, its suffocating rules, and one infuriatingly proper nobleman in particular behind.
Because he is the Duke of Radcliffe, William Spencer’s whole life revolves around his duties. He never steps foot outside the bounds of proper behavior, and he expects the same of those around him. With her devil-may-care ways, May vexes him nearly as much as she tempts him, but there’s something about her that he just can’t resist. He knows he’s falling hard for her, but with lives that are worlds apart, will they ever be able to find any common ground?
A totally different kind of historical romance than what I was expecting. I totally enjoyed that these two opposites would find anything in common, but yet they do work really well. May Bradford and William Spencer are two strong individuals who butt heads because of their fiery personalities.
William and May meet at a party and things end up being awkward, and May has a tendency to do and say the wrong things. She doesn’t dress like a proper young English woman should dress. I kind of like that about her. May can be very outspoken, but sometimes does things without thinking about the consequences or who she offends. William on the other hand behaves as a Duke should. He is very proper and does what society expects of him. He also has several business adventures of his own that no one would expect of him. William is also looking for a duchess, not thinking that his life will change with the meeting of May. May does something to offend him and then because of her aunt, she is forced to apologize, even though she doesn’t want to.
This book takes some interesting turns as we learn a lot about these two characters and their families, the dynamic of those family ties. I also kind of really dislike May’s aunt so very much. May’s aunt is always trying to correct and punish her in some form. She can’t hang out with her friends or go to parties until she apologizes to the Duke. May agrees to do this because she wants to be out of her aunts sights and doesn’t want to deal with her aunts dictates of proper behavior.
I like that William has a lot to deal with. He has a stepmother that he can’t stand at times. We learn that his stepmother is a real piece of work. Plus he also runs his own business and taking care of his much younger siblings. There are a lot of issues there. We learn that his business ventures are important to him and he tries to make sure that he isn’t idle at all. There seems to be a desire in him to make the most out of his life.
What happens between William and May when May comes to visit him at his home is interesting and intense. They start to develop some respect and maybe have an attraction. Yet May can be way inappropriate with her mouth. Through out their time at his estate, we learn that these two need each other in ways that make them both better as individuals and things happen that neither can expect. Their arguments and opinions are what make them both strong and both think they are often right. They both have things to overcome and say to one another that both of them need to be told much to the other person’s displeasure and other things happen from the past because of their family histories. Both learn from one another that not everything is black and white. I love how both of them fight for what they believe in.
Overall a great book with an unconventional couple. I like that this couple didn’t feel like they like one another, but got to know one another as individuals and learned what the other person needed, not expecting to fall in love with one another.