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Thursday, August 17, 2017

Review: Addicted to the Duke by Bronwen Evans

This one frustrated me a little because it had such potential for a darker themed romance but it just didn't quite get there!

Format: .mobi (A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for the purpose of an honest review. )
Publisher: Loveswept
Release Date:

Alexander Sylvester Bracken, Duke of Bedford, has a mission: sail to the Mediterranean and track down Lady Hestia Cary’s missing father. It is a straightforward task, but for two rather vexing complications. First, the sea holds painful memories; second, for her own safety, Hestia is to accompany him. As Alex battles the demons of his past, he must also resist Hestia’s surprisingly skillful attempts at seduction. After all, Alex has sworn to leave her untouched, and he intends to honor that vow—until he can properly ask the Earl’s blessing.

Ever since His Grace rescued Hestia from the arms of a Turkish pirate six long years ago, her heart has belonged to Alex. So when he agrees to help find her father, Hestia is thrilled. Although Alex tries to hide it, there’s passion in his eyes—and a frisson of desire in the air—whenever they meet. On board ship, miles from home, Alex won’t be able to deny her any longer. But with scoundrels lying in wait, she may not live to tell the tale of her conquest.

What’s it About? Ever since Alexander, the Duke of Bedford rescued Lady Hestia Cary from a Turkish pirate six years ago, she’s been head over heels in love with him. She knows he is the only person who could help her find her missing father AND keep her safe. But she also wants him to see her as more than an obligation or a memory of a past he’s trying to forget. Alex has more than just his past to overcome though and he wants to make sure that he does so that when he finds Hestia’s father, he can ask him for his blessing to marry her. If their enemies don’t catch up to them first.

Overall reaction to the story? Addicted to the Duke had a great backdrop for a romance to happen. I liked the idea that Alex struggled with opium addiction due to his years as a slave and the darker theme of the plot BUT to me the execution of the story, the characters’ development, and even the romance fell a little flat. There was so much potential for a fleshed out story but instead it felt repetitive and the heroine felt more like a child than an adult woman. The story itself took awhile to really get going and there were too many moments of inner dialogue that could have been left out and made the story flow more smoothly.

Describe the hero in five words: Tortured. Desperate. Caring. Difficult. Survivor.
Did you like him? Yes.
Why? Alex survived being kept as a slave for 2 years but as a result he became addicted to opium. Throughout the book, he’s trying to beat that addiction and I felt he was going about it honestly. There were good days and there were bad. I liked that it wasn’t easy for him, addiction never is and I felt for the most part that Bronwen Evans was honest about that. Alex was easily the character who had the most growth throughout the story.

Describe the heroine in five words: Difficult. Childish. Naïve. Caring. Patient.
Did you like her? I should have, but I didn’t.
Why? I was never convinced that Hesita had more than a strong case of hero worship of Alex and that had to do a lot with the fact that she didn’t come off as an adult woman. At times I felt she was still the same 16 year old girl that Alex rescued years ago. Hestia wanted to be a strong character but she didn’t quite pull that off. Granted, she had her redeeming qualities: She was beyond patient with Alex which is what a struggling addict needs, and she was caring. Hestia was a nurturer at heart and that was something that Alex also needed. However, I felt that she wasn’t as fleshed out as she could have been.

Let’s talk about the romance: There was A LOT of inner monologue going on, particularly with Alex that it slowed down the romance and while I get that Alex had some huge obstacles to overcome, I felt that more time was spent on his and Hestia’s inner musings than on them actually working on their relationship. They didn’t lack in the physical chemistry area though but I felt their emotional connection need more than just the basics to be believable.

Click It or Skip It? Addicted to the Duke could have been much better than it was. I was all in with the darker tone and Alex’s demons being part of the conflict but Hestia fell too close to the annoying side and the abundance of unnecessary monologue and misplaced information stalled me time and time again and kept me from enjoying the story.

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