Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Paperbacks
Date of publication: July 30th, 2019
Series: Debutante Diaries
The Duke is But a Dream—book 2
Once upon a time three young ladies vowed to record their first London seasons…and to fill in the gaps of their finishing school educations. Thus began The Debutante Diaries—and London will never be the same…
HE’S COME TO HER RESCUE
Miss Lily Hartley is the anonymous mastermind behind the ton’s latest obsession: The Debutante’s Revenge, a titillating advice column for ladies on the marriage mart. To keep her identity secret, Lily delivers her columns disguised as a chimney sweep—which is all well and good, until she unwittingly lands in the middle of an ugly tavern brawl. Fortunately, the devastatingly handsome Duke of Stonebridge sweeps in to rescue her.Unfortunately, Lily’s dressed as a boy—and holding rather incriminating evidence linking her to the scandalous column. Drat.
SHE’S LOST HER MEMORY
When Eric Nash, Duke of Stonebridge, sees a helpless lad receive a nasty blow to the head, he’s outraged. But when he discovers there’s a beautiful woman hiding beneath the chimney sweep’s cap, he’s positively stunned. Nash would happily escort her home, but she’s forgotten her name—leaving him little choice but to take her in himself until he can locate her family. But the closer he gets to finding them, the more he doesn’t want to let her go.
WILL THEY FIND LOVE?
Lily’s trying to figure out exactly who she is…in more ways than one. With so much at stake—her column, her reputation, and even her heart—she needs a plan, and she needs it fast. Before Nash finds her family. Before he learns who she is. Before they fall totally, completely, and utterly inconveniently in love.
Miss Lily Hartley plucked a silk pillow off the settee in her sister’s drawing room and hugged it to her chest.The Duke is But a Dream by Anna Bennett
I am not a huge fan of the amnesia/unlovable person troupes. I don’t see the appeal in falling in love with someone who has amnesia. When they recover their memory, they could be someone different. Like it was pointed out to Nash, Caroline/Lily could be a scullery maid. I also don’t like the unlovable person troupe. It rubs me the wrong way. So, when I saw that The Duke is But a Dream contained both, I sighed and mentally set myself up for a disappointment.
I am happy to report; this book didn’t disappoint me. The author did a fantastic job of building up the troupes and then shattering what I thought of them.
I liked Lily/Caroline. She was sweet but impulsive. That impulsiveness got her into trouble, and it continued throughout the book. I did feel awful that she had amnesia. I couldn’t imagine not remembering who I was or my family. I liked how she handled Delilah, Nash, and their issues too.
I wasn’t fond of Nash. His backstory took a while to come out. Meanwhile, he was keeping Delilah from meeting people (and suitors). When his backstory was revealed, I felt awful for him. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. I thought he would have gotten better after the reveal, but he didn’t.
The romance angle of the book was a bit hard for me to swallow. Mainly because I didn’t like the “hard to love” and “amnesia” troupe. But the author did a great job of building up Nash and Lily/Caroline’s relationship. By the end of the book, their relationship felt natural.
That incredible sexual tension leads to some fantastic sex scenes. Lily/Caroline was progressive for a young lady of that era. She enjoyed sex and doing sexual things.
The end of The Duke is But a Dream was typical. Lily/Caroline and Nash got their HEA. But, I do wish that there was an epilogue that was set in the future.
I would give The Duke is But a Dream an Adult rating. There is sex. There is language. There is violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.
I would reread The Duke is But a Dream I would recommend it to family and friends.
**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**