Tuesday, 30 April 2019

Release Day Spotlight & Review: Anything But A Duke by Christy Carlyle

Avon Books | On Sale: 4/30/19
Mass Market | ISBN:  9780062853974 |$7.99
Also available in E-Book | E-Book ISBN:  9780062854001

Self-made man Aidan Iverson has seen more closed doors in his thirty years than he’s ever cared to count. As a member of the elite Duke’s Den, he has all the money he could possibly need. However, the one thing he can’t purchase is true power. If roguish Aidan can’t buy his way into society’s hallowed halls, he’ll resort to a more extreme measure: marriage.
Brought up to be a proper lady, the only thing Diana Ashby desires is to be left alone. Knowing his desire to enter her world, Diana strikes a deal to arrange Aidan’s marriage to the perfect lady—as long as that lady isn’t her. As Diana and Aidan set out to find him an aristocratic match, neither are prepared for the passion that ignites between them or the love they can’t ignore.

* Publishers Weekly: “Fans of historical romance with strong, intelligent heroines will adore this novel, in which emotionally vulnerable, highly motivated characters complete the sensuous story.” Full Review
* Kirkus Reviews: “Mature, interesting, and romantic protagonists elevate a familiar story.” Full review

Anything But A Duke is the second novel in the Duke's Den series and a standalone. 

Aiden Iverson has achieved much during his life, despite his poor upbringing. He's rich and successful, however, without a title, he's unable to achieve the social status he needs to further his business ambitions. So, when it's suggested to him to find a wife from a noble family, he decides the idea has merit. If only, he could get the young woman who saved his life, out of his mind! 

Diana Ashby has had a charmed life and upbringing and privileged education. She's inherited her late father's enthusiasm for inventions and she's determined to follow her dreams to become a renowned inventor. However, with family funds at a critically low level, she agrees to marry if she fails to secure an investor for her latest invention. With a coveted invitation to the Duke's Den to present her current idea to them, she comes face to face with the gentleman she saved...the one she can't get out of her mind. Her bid fails, but after a proposition, she can't refuse, the result far exceeds her wildest dreams. 

Slow burn romances are a favourite of mine and Diana and Aiden spend most of their time trying to ignore their desires for each other. Both hope to gain what they want as they work together, but the result is the opposite either expected...or was it? 

Set during the early years of Queen Victoria's reign, I particularly enjoyed getting to know Diana Ashby. A woman who enjoyed creating inventions rather pursue activities more associated with young ladies of the time. Within the novel, the author mentions in passing, a Lady Lovelace, a woman acquainted with Aiden Iverson. Even without the mention of this name, I have wondered if this pioneering woman (presuming it's a reference to Lady Ada Lovelace) was the inspiration for the character of Diana. Their work and interests differ, but both were actively working and researching in a world dominated by men. Truly inspirational and an added dimension to this story I appreciated. 

Overall, a well thought out and enticing narrative with a sizzling undercurrent of romance. This is my first novel by this author and I definitely need to read more in this series. 

***arc received courtesy of Avon via Edelweiss+***

Fueled by Pacific Northwest coffee and inspired by multiple viewings of every British costume drama she can get her hands on, USA Today bestselling author Christy Carlyle writes sensual historical romance set in the Victorian era. She loves heroes who struggle against all odds and heroines who are ahead of their time. A former teacher with a degree in history, she finds there’s nothing better than being able to combine her love of the past with a die-hard belief in happy endings. For information please visit: http://christycarlyle.com/