The Trouble With Being A Duke is a historical romance with a Cinderella-esque twist. Reformed rake and Duke, Anthony has had to grow up and face his responsibilities following his father’s death. Convincing his mother to throw a ball for the first time in five years, he knows it’s time to find a bride.
Faced with marriage to a man she cannot abide in order to relieve her family’s financial troubles, Isabella wants one night of fabulousness. Sneaking into the Duke’s ball was meant to be one night just for herself before she enters into marriage with the immensely self centred and vain Mr. Roberts, but she didn’t expect to capture the attention of the Duke himself.
This is a lovely romance, I do like a rags to riches story and The Trouble With Being A Duke has every element of a rags to fairytale. It also has a sense of humour, the opening ball even has a Cinderella theme and as Isabella flees the scene of the ball I kind of half expected her to leave a shoe behind.
Anthony is immediately smitten, this is most definitely a love at first sight romance, and is determined to capture the heart and hand of his future bride. Isabella is a great heroine, but also kind of mad. Not a mad character, but completely determined to marry the rather hideous Mr. Roberts to save her parent’s reputation, it all gets a bit bonkers. I mean she has a Duke who wants to marry her. But it would seem her mother hates the gentry and is horrified by her daughter’s new suitor. And well it’s all a bit ridiculous really, with her parents refusing to let the Duke visit, Isabella determined not to fall for him and cue a rather silly plot, which is entertaining never the less and I couldn’t stop myself from turning the pages.
The romance itself is sweet, I loved that Anthony was so in love with Isabella from the first moment, what girl doesn’t want a fabulous rich man running after them and trying to woe them? He is dashing and courteous and rather irresistible. A true knight in shining armour.
There are some great additional characters that add to the story, from Isabella’s cheeky sister Jamie, Anthony’s rakish best friend and his rather sweet mother. As this is the beginning of a new series by Barnes this opens things up for plenty of further sub stories for different characters.
The ending is rather fab in true Cinderella style (are you sensing a theme? ) and of course the baddies get their due comeuppance. I ended up enjoying The Trouble With Being A Duke much more than I thought I would when I read the summary.
A great, fun read. There aren’t lots of twists and turns, it’s a simple romance about an ordinary girl capturing the heart of a Duke. Despite its simplicity and slight plot silliness I actually couldn’t put it down and finished the last page with a smile on my face.