When the Duke Found Love by Isabella Bradford

Wylder sisters: Eternal Romance

Georgian Era – Historical Romance

Heat Rating – 2

Review rating – 3.5 stars


Blurb 

The spirited Wylder sisters continue to scandalize the ton in Isabella Bradford’s witty and winsome trilogy. This time, the most impulsive of the siblings meets her match: a charming rake determined to save her from an arranged marriage.

The youngest of the Wylder girls-and the last left unwed-Lady Diana is also the most willful, a trait that’s leading her ever closer to dishonorable disaster. While her family’s solution is a fast and excruciatingly respectable marriage, Diana can’t imagine being wed to the very staid and dull Lord Crump. But while wedding plans are being made, a chance meeting at a gala turns Diana’s world upside down.

A kiss from a dazzling stranger gives Diana a most intimate introduction to one of the ton‘s most resolute and scandalous bachelors, the Duke of Sheffield. Torn between family duty and her heart’s desire, Diana recklessly surrenders to the headiest of passions, recognizing that she has found a kindred soul in the handsome young duke. Soon it’s clear that seduction is no longer the game: Something deep and lasting has come to bind their hearts, and the stakes are nothing less than true love.

Review by LadyOfMisrule 

Lady Diana Wilder is the vivacious and impulsive 3rd daughter of the Earl of Harvey. She is wilful, exuberant, and in trouble for having succumbed to an indiscreet dalliance which has tarnished her reputation. With such a stain on her character Diana is no longer a prize on the marriage market, and her mother Lady Hervey arranges for her to be married to the respectable yet passionless Lord Crump, a circumstance that Diana herself is less than happy about, but feels incapable of escaping.

George Atherton, Duke of Sheffield has been in France ravishing a married Marquess. Her husband has found out about the affair and he has been essentially chased out of the country by the scandal. Enough feathers have been ruffled to attract the notice of the king, who decrees Sheffield should wed Lady Enid Lattimore, to keep him out of trouble.

Diana and Sheffield are cousins through marriage, and after their first chance meeting life keeps throwing them together. The story follows their attempts to deny and/or hide their feelings for one another and they each approach their respective wedding days. When the Duke Found Love is a fun, light read with comedic elements. There are some very complicated entanglements, and confusing relationships within the novel, and the characters intentions towards one another fluctuate quite a lot, but the story remains lively and comes along at a good pace, reminiscent of a theatrical farce. Bradford does, in fact, reference Shakespeare’s comedies at one point in the novel, and so I think the exaggerated ridiculousness of many situations is intended to be interpreted this way. It is, of course, something of a foregone conclusion, but the progression towards the inevitable ending is certainly enjoyable to read.

Although Diana and Sheffield have been very lucky to be born into wealth, they are still both free spirits straining against the constraints of their class; namely, the practice of marrying for wealth, status and alliance between families rather than love. The confusion that the two headstrong protagonists experience with their feelings for one another is expressed very sweetly by Bradford.  They are both very discomfited by their new, unexpected emotions, and initially at least, have no idea whatsoever how to deal with them. Their romance is essentially an endorsement of following your heart rather than obeying the strictures imposed by contemporary society, a message that I sympathise with and which is still relevant today. Overall, When the Duke Found Love is a fun, lighthearted romp through the Georgian period with some interesting protagonists, and I would consider it to be the perfect holiday read 🙂


LADY OF MISRULE

Hi, I’m Bek , a twentysomething bookworm, but I prefer to call myself a member of the Literati. I have been a big fan of historical fiction for almost a decade. I am a proud Yorkshire rose, and my interest for history was initially sparked by the War of the Roses, but has from this seed bloomed into a full on passion! I am a person who is never satisfied unless they are learning, or working towards something. Books set in a historical setting help me to scratch that itch, and my lengthy commute to work and back every day means that I often get through them at a good pace! I’m also a sucker for a good, tasteful love story 🙂

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