Review: How To Dance With A Duke by Manda Collins

Manda Collins
How To Dance With A Duke by Manda Collins
Release Date: January 31, 2012
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Page Count: 352
Source: NetGalley

What’s a wallflower to do when she’s suddenly in need of a husband? Use all the pluck and moxie she can muster to get what she wants…


Miss Cecily Hurston would much rather explore the antiquities of Egypt than the uncharted territory of marriage. But the rules of her father’s exclusive academic society forbid her entrance unless she weds one of its members. To clear her ailing father’s name of a scandalous rumor, Cecily needs to gain admission into the Egyptian Club—and is willing to marry any old dullard to do it.


Lucas Dalton, Duke of Winterson, is anything but dull. He’s a dashing and decorated war hero determined to help Cecily—even if that means looking the other way when she claims the dance card of Amelia Snow, this season’s most sought-after beauty. But Lucas has a reason for wanting Cecily to join the Egyptian Club: His brother went missing during one of Lord Hurston’s expeditions to Egypt. An alliance with the explorer’s bluestocking daughter could bring Lucas closer to the truth about what happened…or it could lead him to a more dangerous love than either he or Cecily could have imagined….

Review:  I really enjoyed How To Dance With A Duke. It blends together romance, suspense, humor, and a murder mystery all set in a historical setting. Sounds good, doesn’t it? Right from the beginning, I found myself loving Cecily. She was bound and determined to get her way and prove her father innocent, and the lengths she goes to throughout the book to achieve that purpose sets the tone for the entire book.

I loved how she immediately met her match in Lucas but wasn’t quite ready to admit it. Poor ole Lucas was exasperated with her and that was great, too because while he wanted to find out what happened to his brother, he knew that her father was somehow involved, and getting involved with her could spell disaster. That’s where the book really starts to gel for me. It really comes together with the involvement of the mystery itself, the mystery of Egypt and the artifacts, and finding out if Lucas and Cecily really can work it all out.

It was fantastic that I was kept guessing until the very end. There were no hints at who the villain might be. When you add in the random cast of characters that includes 2 wallflowers, a mean girl and her followers, and a misplaced fan, the book does a good job of keeping you interested. It totally kept me guessing to the end. I hope Manda follows up with books about the 2 cousins that are wallflowers. I would love to see how they find the men of their dreams.

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