Review: Must Love Dukes by Elizabeth Michels

Must Love Dukes by Elizabeth Michels
Series: Tricks of the Ton (# 1)
Release Date: February 4, 2014
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Pages: 353
Source: book provided by NetGalley for review

 The Mad Duke leaned in closer, his lips gently brushing her ear, and whispered, “I dare you.”

She Can’t Resist the Dare

Lillian Phillips could not imagine how her quiet, simple life had come to this. Blackmailed by the Mad Duke of Thornwood into accepting one wild dare after another…all because of a pocket watch. Desperate to recover her beloved father’s pawned timepiece, Lily did something reckless and dangerous and delicious–something that led to a night she’d never forget.

He has a Reputation for Scandal

When Devon Grey, Duke of Thornwood, runs into a mesmerizing, intoxicating, thieving woman who literally stole from his bedchamber–with his new pocket watch–Devon plots his revenge. If the daring wench likes to play games, he’s happy to oblige. After all, what’s the ruse of being the Mad Duke if you can’t have some fun? But the last laugh might just be on him…

 

Review: More please? I loved this book, though it did take a while for me to get into it, and this is why. This book takes place during the sequel which is actually Desperately Seeking Suzanna, which I’ve also reviewed. Because of this, a few of the chapters felt like they were dragging along, mainly because I’d already read them and knew exactly what was going on, except, in this case, what I thought I knew, I didn’t actually know. Make sense?

The Mad Duke, also known as Devon, has been bested by a woman. After a night spent in her arms, he wakes up to find that she’s robbed him. He assumes, of course, that she isn’t gentry and although he’s upset he can’t get his watch back, hasn’t seen her since.

Until he goes to a Ball and sees her being launched into society by her brothers. She’s not just a girl but a Lady, one who is seeking marriage in order to escape the force of her brothers hold on her.

Never one to miss an opportunity, he seeks his revenge, except, he ends up falling for her, and she him. What follows is a delicious cat and mouse game where we see two characters fight whats been there all along–true love, and possibly a bit of hate.

Devon’s character was amazing..simply put, he wasn’t a true Rake, just a man who has the misfortune of having people believe lies about his past and his character. I loved his dedication to his title–I know that sounds weird, but he wasn’t one of those titled characters who knew they were privileged and wanted everyone else to know it too. I genuinely liked him as a person and wanted him to happy which I think says a lot about the writing of his character and setting him apart from the other male character Benson.

Lillian irritated me at first. Who steals a watch? From a handsome duke? That you just spent the evening flirting with? It doesn’t make sense until around five chapters in, but even then I started wondering what was so important about that watch that she had to steal it from him. The author does a really good job using something small, as a catalyst for setting up the story. I think Lillian’s character felt weak to me at times just because she was very defeated in the way she was bossed around by her brother–the one that kept selling things off to pay for his gambling/lifestyle.

I didn’t enjoy this one as much as the sequel, but I will say it’s very good writing and I’m excited to see where Miss Michels’ writing career goes. I’ll be following very closely and waiting eagerly for her next release!