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Monday, April 9, 2018

Review: Duchess by Day, Mistress by Night by Stacy Reid

I liked this book but it felt like there was some fleshing out that needed to be done, including having a more believable and plausible conflict resolution.

Format: .mobi (A copy of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley for the purpose of an honest review. )
Publisher: Entangled
Release Date: November 5, 2017

Georgiana Rutherford, the Duchess of Hardcastle, seemingly has it all—wealth, pedigree, and the admiration of the ton, except her heart hungers for a passionate affair. She meets the enigmatic and ruthless Mr. Rhys Tremayne, a man known to low and high society as the Broker. The attraction between them is impossible to deny, but she cannot be feeling it for this man.

Rhys Tremayne has built his wealth and empire by dealing secrets on the black market of the London underworld. He is determined to take his sisters away from the depraved world they’ve known their entire lives, and the duchess is the perfect woman to help sponsor his sisters into society. The only problem is that he wants more from Georgiana, even if the social divide between them ensures she can only ever be his lover in secret.

What’s it About? Rhys Tremayne trades the secrets of the London elite for money and power, making him one of the wealthiest men around. His motivation? To take his sisters out of the raggedy, run down world they’ve grown up in. When he meets Georgiana Rutherford, the Duchess of Hardcastle he sees in her the perfect opportunity to help his sisters enter into society. The only problem is that all the time he spends around Georgiana is making him want more than just a business arrangement with her. But he is not from Georgiana’s world and society’s rules dictate that they can only be lovers in secret.

Overall reaction to the story? I enjoyed Duchess by Day, Mistress by Night. Rhys and Georgiana’s forbidden romance was sexy, passionate, and fun. There were a few issues with the story but all in all it was a good introduction to a new-to-me-author.

The heroine in the story is a young widow which to me is one of the best kinds of heroines in historical romance. Georgiana’s need to be in control of her life after so many years of being dictated to by her husband was relatable and I cheered for her every time she stood her ground against someone trying to “protect” her from herself. However, I didn’t love her. I liked her well enough but I think she needed to show more growth as a character. If she had gotten her head out of her rear a lot sooner and realized what was important that probably would have helped a bit. But she didn’t, she waited until the last minute and by then she had done a number on Rhys’ emotions.

Now Rhys didn’t need to figure out who he was, he was confident, almost cocky, and he was determined to take care of his sisters in a way that he felt they deserved. His loyalty to his family kept him from being just another cold, ruthless blackmailer. I loved his darkness to Georgiana’s light because they complimented each other so well. Rhys made sure that anyone who was a threat to Georgiana and her loved ones was removed permanently, and she kept him from losing himself to the dark underworld he moved around in.

There’s plenty of heart in this novel too. Aside from Rhys and Georgiana’s romance there is the love Rhys has for his family. He is such a dangerous character but he loves his three sisters and mother deeply. His interactions with them, especially his sister Lydia, who has a handicap, showed a totally different, tender side of him. If I knew nothing else about him, that would have sold me on him as a hero. With his sisters he is not cold and calculating, he is an indulgent, encouraging, funny, and gentle brother. Their happiness makes him very happy.

My only complaint was how unfinished the book seemed, like it needed more fleshing out. Every circumstance in the story was meant to put Rhys and Georgiana within distance of one another which I get because it’s their story but there were a few side characters that served as little more than to draw every ounce of attention to them. Then these side characters had no more use. Then there were the conflicts. Yes, multiple conflicts that should have been big deals but were essentially swatted away like flies and then forgotten. Um, what? You have a duchess who is having an affair with a commoner who trades favors for favors and you don’t take advantage of the major conflicts that could have? Hmm. And then the last conflict was wrapped up so quickly it made my head spin. Now I’m not a history major but I KNOW that particular solution wasn’t quick to obtain in real life.

Click It or Skip It? Duchess by Day, Mistress by Night has its ups and downs. It wasn’t a terrible book but it did feel like it wasn’t completely finished. I would however, read more from this author.

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