The Duke I Once Knew - Olivia Drake
Lovely second chance story. Abigail and Maxwell were such a joy to read as a couple and as independent characters. They were sweethearts when young but circumstances beyond their control made them part ways. Years later, Abigail is what could be considered long in the tooth. She didn’t even get to enjoy a season because of her love for her aging parents and now that they are dead she’s forced to face her reality of being a spinster with no life of her own. With that in mind, she concocts a plan that would allow her to take the reins of her life and live life on her own terms. Unfortunately for her, Max shows up and ruins all of her plans. I loved that they didn’t act as if the years hadn’t changed them or made them perfect strangers (that’s actually one of my pet peeves when it comes to this trope) but instead, their relationships builds over time. I mean, it was still kind of fast because it all happened in the span of a week, but I still found it feasible.
The story includes a pugilistic match and I always find that kind of scenes fascinating. I think it keeps the story interesting. I also loved the fact that even though there were more than just a few characters, the story didn’t feel convoluted, on the contrary, each one of them helped the story move forward and feel more real. There might have been a few clichés and the story might not be the most refreshing take on the trope but it was still enjoyable and entertaining.
*I received this book at no cost to me and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher**