The StoryGraph’s Onboarding Reading Challenge (read a book from your StoryGraph recommendations)—Beautiful Demons—Finished 3-10-2023
The StoryGraph Reads the World (Cuba)—Of Women and Salt—Finished 3-12-2023
The StoryGraph’s Genre Challenge (a sapphic romance)—She Who Became the Sun—Finished 3-22-2023
Beat the Backlist 2023 (about dragons or robots)—The Glow of the Dragon’s Heart—Finished 3-22-2023
Scavenger Hunt TBR Book Challenge (what is the most common letter in the title of the last book you read for this challenge. Find a book with a title that starts with that letter)—Even the Moon has Scars—Finished 3-23-2023
Scavenger Hunt (the prettiest book in your TBR)—The Watchmaker’s Daughter—Finished 3-23-2023
Popsugar Reading Challenge 2023 (A book about a vacation)—The Swap—Finished 3-24-2023
2023 TBR Toppler (the first book in a series)—The Last Artifact—Finished 3-26-23
2023 Monthly Themes (March of the Memoirs)—In the Dream House—Finished 3-1-23
2023 Reading Challenge (A book in a series you already started)—Catching Fire—Finished 3-27-23
Yours Truly, The Duke is the first novel in the historical romance Say I Do trilogy about dukes needing to wed to tap into their wealth by New York Times bestselling author Amelia Grey.
Fredericka Hale needs a husband, and fast. She’s been caring for her deceased sister’s three young children, and now a childless cousin has petitioned the court for custody. Fredericka is powerless to stop her, but having a husband might sway the ruling. The last thing Fredericka wants is a hurried-up marriage to a man she doesn’t know—much less love, but she’ll do it for the children. So when the handsome Duke of Wyatthaven shows up with a proposal, she accepts. He’ll help her, and in return, they’ll lead separate lives. But distance cannot keep them from their powerful attraction.
At the top of his game in London, the Duke of Wyatthaven has no interest in marriage. However, if Wyatt doesn’t marry by week’s end, he’ll lose a sizable inheritance from his grandmother. When Wyatt’s solicitor finds Miss Fredericka Hale, Wyatt considers this little hiccup solved. Miss Hale is lovely, and intelligent. Most importantly, she prefers country life to London, so he’s free to continue his life as usual. But when circumstances force Fredericka and the children to show up at the duke’s door, Wyatt can’t deny he’s always been under her spell. Will the duke give up his bachelor lifestyle and give into the fiery passion growing between them?
Bold lettering on the stiff paper in his hands blurred as the Duke of Wyatthaven tried to concentrate on the infuriating matter before him. Proposing marriage.
Yours Truly, The Duke by Amelia Grey
Miss Fredericka Hale needs to get married, and it needs to be fast. Being unmarried, she stands to lose custody of her sister’s three orphaned children to her married cousin. Wyatt, the Duke of Wyatthaven, is the answer to her prayers. Like her, he needs to be married as soon as possible to claim a sizable inheritance left to him by his late grandmother. They planned to marry and never see each other again, a marriage in name only. But the best-laid plans often don’t go their course. When Fredericka’s cousin threatens her, Fredericka does the only thing that comes to mind: go to her husband. But will Wyatt and Fredericka be able to overcome her cousin’s schemes? And will they be able to keep their distant but friendly relationship? Or will they fall in love?
I was super happy seeing that Amelia Grey had another series starting. Historical romances are one of my favorite genres to read. Having read her books previously, I knew what type of romance I would get. So, yes, I was thrilled that this book was out.
Before I get deeper into the review, I want to mention this book’s trigger warnings. They are domestic violence (off-page and alluded to), parental death (off-page and remembered), remembering of abuse by a school teacher, and a custody battle. The most graphic of the trigger warnings is the abuse that Wyatt remembers his schoolmates enduring (the teacher never touched him because of his status). If any of these triggers you, I recommend not reading this book.
Surprisingly, the love story between Fredericka and Wyatt was not the book’s main focus until maybe the last few chapters. Instead, the book focused on the children and who should have custody. I found it fascinating how custody worked back in Regency England. Unmarried women were not considered ideal guardians unless there was a male figure in the picture or said unmarried women had money/a title. But, if another relative (a marriedcouple or an unmarried man) pursued custody, the magistrate gave it to them. Marriage or being a man always trumped the woman. Surprisingly, if titles were involved in the custody dispute, the magistrate always deferred to the person with the higher title. So a marquis challenging a duke would not have a chance in court unless it could be proven that the children were being harmed. So, I understood why Fredericka was wound up so tight for 90% of the book. Those children could be taken away from her because of that, and when Wyatt showed up to propose (out of the blue), it was an answer to her prayers.
I agree with the consensus that Fredericka was too controlling during the book. But, saying that, I understand why (see above). She also dwelled too much on the past. She was insanely jealous of Jane and her sister’s relationship and let it color every interaction. I seriously wanted to grab Fredericka, shake her, and say (in thewords of Elsa): “Let. It. GO!!!”
I thought that Wyatt was the complete opposite of Fredericka. He was too easygoing. At one point, I thought Wyatt would have made a perfect modern-day surfer. He had the Regency “brah” attitude down pat. There was a reason why Wyatt was that way, and when the author revealed why, I wanted to swoop in and hug him. The guilt that he lived with was almost too much for me to read, and the scene with his friend who had the misshapen hand broke my heart.
The children were a massive part of this book, and I loved them. But, they were damaged by the domestic violence they saw and their parents’ deaths. I had tears when the oldest girl yelled at Wyatt not to hit Fredericka and the pain Wyatt had when Fredericka explained why she said that. But they also made me laugh. There is a significant scene with Jane and Fredericka when they walk in on the kids drinking brandy and smoking cheroots (like they saw Wyatt and his friends doing). I know I shouldn’t have, but I laughed. Why? Because it was a typical thing, a kid would do (excluding the smokes and booze). All they wanted was to act like Mr. Lord Duke (as the youngest called him); at the time, it seemed fun.
While Fredericka and Wyatt had sexual tension, the author chose to have them build their relationship. There were a few (well, more than a few) stolen kisses sprinkled throughout the book. I was disturbed that Fredericka could get utterly bamboozled by his kisses. What magic was Wyatt doing with his lips, and where can I find a man like that?
I also liked that this was a clean romance, and when Fredericka and Wyatt finally had sex, it was a fade-to-black scene. Listen, I like explicit sex scenes as much as the next woman, but they get boring (yes, I said it). Sometimes, you must let your imagination do what it does best and imagine things.
The end of Yours Truly, The Duke was cute, but I found certain things unbelievable. I thought havingJaneandFrederickatalk, and the past was laid to rest was not believable. Jane was such a dink to Fredericka throughout the book; people do not change like that.
I would recommend Yours Truly, The Duke, to anyone over 21. There is no language and mild violence. There are also very mild sexual situations. Also, see my trigger warning paragraph.
Many thanks to St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Paperbacks, NetGalley, and Amelia Grey for allowing me to read and review Yours Truly, The Duke. All opinions stated in this review are mine.
If you enjoyed reading this review of Yours Truly, The Duke, then you will enjoy these books:
In GREAT SCOT by Suzanne Enoch, Jane Bansil knows she will never have a fairy-tale life. But even at three-and-thirty and well past marriageable age, though, she has to admit that the architect the MacTaggerts have hired could turn even a confirmed spinster’s head.
In CHRISTMAS AT DEWBERRY HOLLOW by Amelia Grey, Isabelle Reed has no plans to ever fall in love. Certainly not with Gate, a man who doesn’t live in Dewberry Hollow. She will fulfill her duty and help him keep his promise to have his ill grandfather back in London in time for Christmas dinner. The last thing Isabelle wants is for Gate to take her heart with him when he goes.
In MY MISTLETOE BEAU by Anna Bennett, Miss Eva Tiding is determined to cheer her widowed father with the perfect Christmas gift. Even if it means breaking into the home of the rakish earl who swindled Papa out of his pocket watch and pretending to date the earl for the Christmas season.
Jane Basil threw the heavy blankets over her head and burrowed deeper beneath the covers.
great scott by suzanne enoch
Christmas at Dewberry Hollow
Who wanted a curmudgeon staying at their inn during Christmastide? Not Isabelle Reed.
Christmas at Dewberry hollow by Amelia grey
My Mistletoe Beau
Miss Eva Tiding’s hands were surprisingly steady, considering she was on the doorstep of London’s most disreputable rogue.
my mistletoe beau by anna bennett
I usually do not review anthologies. It’s not that I don’t like them (I do), but I find it hard to review each story. So, I surprised myself when I downloaded Kissing Under the Mistletoe. I decided to review because, honestly, I figured it was time to step outside my comfort zone (review-wise).
I enjoyed reading Kissing Under the Mistletoe. Each story was well written, with characters that left an impression on me. Plus, they were all Regency romances, which you all know that I love.
Great Scot made me smile. I had read the Wild Wicked Highlanders series, and the MacTaggert boys (and girl) had left me wanting to know what happened to them after the series ended. With this novella, I got that. I was thrilled that Jane could get her HEA with Brennan (eventhough it was Instalove). But what interested me more was the dynamics between Jane and the rest of the MacTaggert women. Because of Jane’s role in Amelia-Rose and Niall’s romance, I understood why she was hesitant to become close to Lady MacTaggert and the other women. But, as the saying says, it takes a village (this time all the MacTaggert women), and that village drew Jane out of her shell. In return, her blossoming caught Brennan’s eye, and that turned into a delightful romance.
Christmas at Dewberry Inn was another one that made me smile. I will admit, I was not too fond of Isabelle at first. She was rude to Gate right from the beginning. But, she grew on me, and when it was explained why she acted the way she did, I felt terrible for her. Again, this is another Instalove situation, but it was adorable how they fell in love. It was just a feel-good romance from the beginning to the end.
My Mistletoe Beau had me laughing right from the beginning. All Eva wanted to do was get her Papa’s watch from Jack’s possession. See, Jack hates her father and wants to hurt him any way he can. If that means winning his watch (which was given to him by Eva’s mother), then he’ll do it. But Eva isn’t one to play fair. She suggests a wager of her own: She pretends to be his fiancee, and she will get the watch by the end of the charade. Of course, you all know how this goes, and they both fail when they fall for each other. This wasn’t quite an Instalove story, but it was a great enemy-to-lovers romance.
The book itself was a quick read. Each story was only about 8-10 chapters long. Perfect length for an anthology!!
The sex scenes in each story were hot with significant buildup. I will admit that My MistletoeBeau was exceptional in that department. Eva and Jack’s chemistry and sexual attraction were through the roof. And when they had sex, it was incredible!!
I would recommend Kissing Under the Mistletoe for anyone over the age of 21. There is mild language, mild violence, and sex/sexual situations.
I can’t believe that it is already October. The month of September flew by!! I didn’t do that great reading and I am behind on almost every reading challenge that I’ve entered. I figure that I’ll try again in 2022 to do the challenges and read more.
What are you currently reading? What did you recently finish reading? What do you think you’ll read next?
As I mentioned last week, Miss B is getting her wisdom teeth removed next week. She is a combination of nervous/excited about it. What I didn’t mention in the post from last week is that we have to pay out of pocket for the surgery. Not going to say how much but it is sizable. I was a little pissed about that because hello, insurance. But, since her teeth are not impacted, insurance doesn’t cover the extraction or the anesthetic. BK says I shouldn’t be grumpy about it but why do we have insurance if all its good for is covering cleanings?
Miss B is getting my current laptop next month. Why, you ask? Well, she dumped soda on her laptop and it shorted out (this is on top of her Windexing her keys a couple of months back). So, after talking to BK, I went to Dell, got approved for financing, and ordered myself a new gaming desktop. The tower will not be here until the end of October, so she has to wait until then. She also learned a valuable lesson about drinks and laptops. With this laptop, she’s getting a stand, so at least I don’t have to worry about her spilling her drink on it (knock on wood).
She is doing well in school. She is running a booth at lunch for Beta Club on Friday (talking tofreshman and sophmores). She also earned her fatigues in ROTC and should be getting them within the next couple of weeks.
Mr. Z is having some issues adjusting to being back in school. Not behaviour wise but academically. He decided that his Math 1 teacher’s way of having them turn in homework is stupid and is refusing to do it. I know I mentioned this last week and I thought I had nipped it in the bud. Nope, he is still refusing to do it. I talked to him again last night about it and told him, again, that if he can’t turn his homework in, then he’s grounded. He didn’t like it and pushed back saying “Well Miss Blank’s way of doing it is stupid and takes up too much time.” While I agree, I told him he had to follow her rules.
Other than that, he’s doing pretty well. He is into anime (Seven Deadly Sins is his favorite), Minecraft, and Worldbox.
Miss R hurt herself over the weekend. She was attempting to do a headstand on my bed, fell, and pulled a muscle in her neck/upper back. She refuses to take pills (any sort of pills) so managing her pain was interesting. I ended cutting up an Ibuprofen into tiny pieces and had her take them individually.
She is doing very well in school. Her school work (sent home every Tuesday) are all S+’s and 100s. She did get 3 wrong on last week’s spelling test but they were words she had problems with. She got her 3 week progress report home and it was blank. I got a laugh out of that and she told me everyone in her class had blank papers. The teacher had an issue printing them. I figure if anything was wrong, the teacher would let me know.
Skittles, Snickers, Loki, Jesper, and Tincan
The girls are still not liking that the kittens are in the house and they do not hesitate to put the boys in their place. Mainly by smacking them on the head and hissing at them. You would think that the boys would leave them alone but nope, they don’t learn…smh.
Who is Tincan? Well, he is the stray kitten that I feed on my back porch. My girls have named him Tincan because he is the color of one. I am working on getting him close to me. He will now hide behind one of my pots and watch me put out his food and water. I want to get him used to me so I can get him to the vet (for vaccines and hopefully to get neutered). I strongly believe that he is Jesper and Loki’s brother and if that’s the case, then he was handled as a baby and he isn’t 100% feral.
Nothing has really changed from last week. I am almost to the end of season 2 in Cold Case. I watched an episode last night where I bawled. It took place in 1963 and it covered racism. There is a very graphic lynching scene at the end of the episode that shook me. The episode I am watching now is centered around The Rocky Horror Picture Show. It took me a few minutes to realize who the serial killer was and I got a little laugh over that.
I am still playing ESO. I am in Western Skyrim, trying to beat a coven and bad vampires….lol. And yes, it is as fun as it sounds.
I read 2 books since last week. I have been super busy this week (with BK being gone) and have been exhausted at night. I am hoping to read some of the book I am currently reading tonight.
What are you currently reading? What did you recently finish reading? What do you think you’ll read next?
Miss B is getting her wisdom teeth removed in a couple of weeks. She had the appointment with the oral surgeon earlier today (which is why this post is late). She is nervous but I think she is more nervous about taking the Valium than the surgery (go figure).
Mr. Z had a bumpy week at school last. He was caught not turning any of his math work/homework in, which resulted with him having a grade of 40 (F). Whelp, momma got involved and he turned everything in. That bumped his grade up to a 90 and he was told not to do it again or he would lose his phone/computer.
Miss R is doing good. She did get caught lying to me about her spelling words. But, a quick message to the teacher cleared everything up. When I asked her why she would lie about them, she told me “I don’t need to do them and they’re stupid.” She had library today and brought home The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein and What a Day It Was at School by Jack Prelutsky.
The kittens had their vet appointment today. Jesper weighs 7lbs and Loki weighs 6lbs. The vet also told me that they are older than what we thought. They are 5 months old (we figured 4 months). I got the go ahead to make the appointment through our local Humane Society to neuter them also.
Another week of not doing anything on the blog. But, in my defense, I did have a lot going on since last Wednesday. I am planning on updating posts this coming week.
I am out of my reading slump. I have read 4 books (almost 5 but I was exhausted last night and crashed) since last Wednesday. I have written zero reviews. When BK is home, I cannot sit and write reviews. He is very distracting….lol.
I am almost done with Season 2 of Cold Case. BK and I have also been watching Head and Miracle Workers (very funny) on HBO Max. The kids and I watched the live action Cinderella on Saturday (loved it btw).
I am still playing ESO. Right now, I am questing/leveling in Blackwood. Not sure where I am going to go from there.
It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a place to meet up and share what you have been, and are about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organize yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment and er… add to your groaning TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started on J Kaye’s blog and then was hosted by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at The Book Date.
Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! a kid-litfocus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle-grade novels, young adult novels, or anything in those genres – join them.