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Thursday, March 31, 2016

Throwback Thursday Reviews: Dukes are Forever by Anna Harrington

Throwback Thursday Reviews is dedicated to those books that have been around for awhile but you’ve only recently discovered. They’re the “New but Old” reads that are just too good NOT to talk about! Why not share them anyway? They may end up being a “New Read” for someone else too! After all, there’s no such thing as “Too Many Books!”

This Week’s Throwback Thursday Book is:Dukes are Forever by Anna Harrington

Format: Paperback (Library Checkout)
Publisher: Forever
Release Date: November 24, 2015

Battlefields and barrooms hold much more interest for Edward Westover, Duke of Strathmore, than a little girl's fondness for dolls and lace. When he takes possession of his enemy's estate, everything that villain held dear-including his daughter-belongs to Edward. Hire a governess, arrange a dowry, give a few reassurances, and be off on his way-that's Edward's plan. But he's in for the shock of his life. For his new ward is a beautiful, impetuous, and utterly irresistible woman . . .

. . . AND WAR
Kate Benton is stunned. Who is this arrogant, infuriating man who's invited himself into her home and taken over her life? Her vow: to do everything in her power to convince him to leave her-and Brambly House-alone. Yet as chilly days melt into sultry nights, Kate sees glimpses of kindness underneath Edward's cool façade . . . and a passionate nature that takes her breath away. There's so much she doesn't know about this man. But does she dare trust this devilish duke with her heart?

After taking control of an enemy’s estate and his daughter, the reluctant Duke of Strathmore, Edward Westover intends on meeting the girl, providing her with a dowry for when she grows up, hiring a governess and then leaving her to the care of others. However he’s in for the shock of his life when he arrives at Brambly House with a doll for the girl he’s responsible for and finds that Kate Benton isn’t a little girl but a full grown woman with her own mind and her own ideas of just what Edward can do with his newly acquired guardianship.

When I read Along Came a Rogue not too long ago I knew I just had to read the first book and I was lucky enough to find it at my local library (30 minutes away from me but it still counts).

I might be the only one but I really enjoyed Edward’s shock when he found out that Kate was not a little girl but I also found it so sweet that he brought a toy for the ward he thought was a child. Even though that child belonged to someone he hated more than anything. It really set the tone for the story and gave such a positive, strong impression of Edward’s overall character. With that scene in mind it was easy to forgive this character for the less than charming (aka “stupid”) decisions he made as the book progressed.

Kate recovered quickly from her shock at being “given” to a stranger and I loved that she didn’t let Edward bully or intimidate her. She wasn’t afraid to challenge Edward and a big bonus is that she was intelligent and daring enough to act as a doctor to the nearby village. Her situation should have made her beyond terrified and easy to manipulate but Kate was not a wilting flower waiting around to be saved by a man like Edward or by anyone else even though she secretly hoped that her father would come back and be the man she hoped he could be. I liked her well enough but there was one big flaw in her character that just irked me to no end and that was her over the top devotion and defense of her father. Call me crazy but a father like hers deserved her hatred, he was just AWFUL and yet at every turn, no matter what the evidence Kate still defended him. I was starting to question her sanity and logic until the conflict was resolved.

As for the romance it was both sweet and sexy. Edward and Kate were both tossed into situations they weren’t prepared for and they managed to gain control and learn about themselves in the process. Anna Harrington knew how to balance out a sexy physical chemistry with some emotional heart to heart conversations and a sort of competitiveness that didn’t always have Edward as the victor. That really made things interesting to me as I love a heroine who can catch a hero off guard and keep him on his toes. Anna Harrington kept things relatively simple for the couple, making their only real obstacle Kate’s being the daughter of Edward’s most hated enemy. It was a love story that needed to add trust to it in order to work and I thought Harrington did a great job of making Edward and Kate work towards trusting each other.

Final Verdict: Edward and Kate were an impressive couple and readers really got to know them individually and as a couple. They’re both passionate characters so that made Dukes are Forever a book I didn’t want to put down. It’s official, I’m a big fan.

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