ARC Book Review-Must Love Dukes

Must Love Dukes
Tricks Of The Ton (1)
Elizabeth Michels
Sourcebooks Casablanca
E Book
Published February 4th 2014
352 Pages
Regency Historical Romance
ISBN:  9781402285998
Authors Website 

Straight-laced, self-proclaimed spinster Lily Phillips is forced to become a liar, seductress and thief to retrieve her family’s lost property. Her secret is safe until her brothers order her from a quiet life to an arranged marriage in London—a move that threatens to reveal her past when she encounters the man with whom her crime spree began.

Devon Grey, Duke of Thornwood, known to all of London as the Mad Duke, is an explorer chained to a city he hates by the title he never wanted. After he’s coerced by his friend into an evening out, Devon makes his greatest discovery yet. There, in a London ballroom stands the prim miss he’s been in search of for a year. After all, how could he forget the night Lily stole from him and vanished while he slept?

Determined to have his revenge, Devon blackmails Lily into participating in various escapades to torment her would-be suitors and scandalize London society. At the risk of having her secret revealed, Lily bends to Devon’s will. Forced to participate in such terrible activities as setting hunting dogs upon a skirt chaser’s crotch in the middle of a ballroom, or knocking a pompous equestrian from his much revered high horse; she eventually begins to enjoy the stunts. Lily remembers why she let her guard down with Devon a year ago. In turn, Devon watches this mysterious Lily begin to bloom into the woman of his desires.

When Lily’s brothers force an unwanted betrothal upon her, will Devon choose to burn his dreams of scientific exploration and truly forgive her before it’s too late?

My Review

Lily doesn’t exactly like what she has been forced to do. But when her brother starts selling off family heirlooms, she is desperate to get even a few of them back. So when she finds her fathers pocket watch she tracks it down to the new owner, Devon Grey. She follows him and they bump into each other close to a pub, they share drinks and end up sharing a very passionate night together. The next morning Lily disappears along with his watch, and Devon is furious. Now a year later, Devon and Lily see each other at a ball, and sparks fly, tensions rise, and their desire is reignited. Devon then blackmails her into doing certain tricks that leave them both laughing at fools of the Ton. When Lily is being forced to be betrothed to a man that is totally wrong for her, will Devon be able to put everything else aside and claim her before its too late….

This was such a fantastic read, I can’t even express how much I loved this story. I read this all last evening, and I loved every fun and humorous moment. Must Love Dukes is the first book from the debut author. I tend to get really nervous with debut authors, since I never know how I am going to enjoy them. After reading this title however, I am addicted to this author already and I can’t wait to get my hands on the next two books in the series. From the blurb, it seems like this is a super complicated story, and its anything but. I never felt like I had a hard time concentrating, in fact I had such a fun time reading Must Love Dukes. It does start out with these two sharing facts and history about each other, while not giving out the full truth of each others identities and end up sharing a bed together. Then the plot thickens just a touch when Devon blackmails Lily. The way he goes about blackmailing her is quite witty, and some of the things he makes her do is quite humorous and will have you laughing your seat off, because in the end they end up benefiting Lily. Toward the end of the story there is quite a conflict that rises up, and the reader will end up full of tension wondering how this couple will reach their HEA.

The Characters in this story were so fun to get to know. Devon is, well, I would marry him if I could LOL. The schemes he creates are so creative and full of original thinking. Devon is not your usual rake stereotype hero. There is quite a bit more to him than meets the eye. Devon has a close attachment to his mother and sister, and even though he is angry at Lily, he ends up assisting her in his silly like blackmail games. Lily was a very human like character. She definitely makes her share of mistakes, but she is also put in a horrible position. I did admire her backbone at times, but then there was other times I wished she stood up more to her brothers, and even Devon a bit more. You can see how stubborn she can be at times, and occasionally I wanted to shake her. At other times, my heart did go out to Lily, because out of a father and three brothers, only one brother seems to care for her at all, the other just want to sell her to the highest bidder. I did enjoy some of the side characters such as Devon’s family, and Lily’s brother (the nice one :).) My favorite was Devon’s mom, she was so endearing and I loved the way she tries to get Devon and Lily together.

Overall a sexy regency romp that will give you barrels of laughs, and captivate your attention from the first page. A delightful telling of a tale of two people that are more than perfect for each other. A wonderful beginning to Michels debut series that is guaranteed to give you a good time!! FABULOUS!!!

My Grade 
4.5 Blossoms

Heat Rating 

Other Books In Series 
Desperately Seeking Suzanna
How To Lose a Lord in Ten Days Or Less

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