I received a copy of this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an unbiased and honest review.
Say No To The Duke by Eloisa James
Series: The Wildes of Lindow Castle #4
Published by Avon on June 25, 2019
Genres: Regency Romances
Format: eBook, Paperback
Amazon | Goodreads
Could she possibly refuse a duke’s hand—in favor of a sardonic, sinful rake?
Lady Betsy Wilde’s first season was triumphant by any measure, and a duke has proposed—but before marriage, she longs for one last adventure.
No gentleman would agree to her scandalous plan—but Lord Jeremy Roden is no gentleman. He offers a wager. If she wins a billiards game, he’ll provide the breeches.
If he wins…she is his, for one wild night.
But what happens when Jeremy realizes that one night will never be enough? In the most important battle of his life, he’ll have to convince Betsy to say no to the duke.
It’s been a long time since I’ve read a historical romance story, but Say No To The Duke by Eloisa James was an entertaining and refreshing re-introduction to the genre!
From the first moment we were given a glimpse into the makeup of Bess’ character, I knew I would end up loving her journey. Her individual conflict and resolution wasn’t anything spectacular. But if you were to mix in her personality, her love interest, along a host of supporting characters you would then have the perfect blend for an engaging and relatable story on your hands.
It was so refreshing to read about characters that were different from the norm within this genre. Say No To The Duke carried such a light tone while also tackling some serious (and under-represented) topics that I still felt satisfied in the story that was given. Maybe the repeat of the same type of characters in the same type of situations finding the same type of endings were what drove me away from this genre in the first place.
The other half of this duo, Jeremy, who we learned was a little broken and having to learn how to cope with his current mental state while battling his attraction to Bess.
After surviving a war that claimed his comrades he follows his good friend, North, home to Lindow Castle. His memories seem to play as a never ending record within his mind so he turns to alcohol to cope. Eventually, he’s seen as the reprobate, or the damaged hero, that has taken refuge at the Wilde’s home.
With the wedding for North and Dianna taking place, Bess and Jeremy find themselves somewhat in cahoots together. They sort of play a game where their slightly inappropriate (in their culture) banter shocks those around them, but provides them a reprieve from the restrictions that are placed on their sex. With that said, Jeremy find their banter as a shinning light that obliterates the darkness that encroaches onto his daily thoughts.
How can ones past influence their future? Just ask Bess and Jeremy from Say No The Duke by Eloisa James and you’ll find a romantic connection that will stay with you long past its final page.
Objectively, if Bess had another type of personality I’m sure that her character would’ve annoyed me. Her internal battle and the role she chose to play when it came to potential suitors would’ve soured the story for me if she was anyone other than who we were given in this story. Additionally, if Jeremy would’ve always lamented his woes I equally would have given up on this story, but thank goodness Say No To The Duke didn’t turn out that way.
The connection between Jeremy and Bess was so magnetic. They were evenly matched and had a great foundation to what I’m sure will be a lasting relationship, if the endings are anything to go by. Even before there were professions of feelings or declarations of love I felt that, while neither one would admit it, they were probably each other’s best friend. Jeremy was able to tell when she was pretending and Bess knew his triggers enough of his core character qualities to defend his against the gossip from others.
I had to somewhat rush through Say No To The Duke by Eloisa James, but with how good the story was I didn’t feel that it was a hardship to give a majority of my attention to its pages. I need more of this family and their unconventional lifestyle so I’ve already looked up the previous books within this series. I don’t think I’ve ever come across a family quite like the Wildes and the shenanigans they get up to.