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Review & Giveaway ❤️ It’s Hard Out Here For a Duke by Maya Rodale

November 28, 2017

Today I’m giving away a print copy of It’s Hard Out Here for a Duke, the fourth book in Maya Rodale’s Keeping Up with the Cavendishes series to one lucky commenter. Entering is as easy as leaving a comment. Winner will be listed here this week. Good luck!

UPDATE: The winner is CYNTHIA N.

Congrats, Cynthia! Please email me at contact at smittenbybooks dot com with your snail mail address to collect your book. Also, don’t forget to include the title in your email. You have 3 weeks claim your prize.

**US residents only


Some Mistakes…

When American-born James Cavendish arrives in London tomorrow, he’ll become the Duke of Durham. Some might be ecstatic at the opportunity. Not James. He’s a simple man, fond of simple pleasures. And right now, nothing could be more pleasurable than spending his last night of freedom with a beautiful stranger.

Are Far Too Good…

One wild night, Meredith Green, companion to the dowager Duchess of Durham, said yes to a man she thought she’d never see again. Suddenly, they’re living under the same roof, where Meredith is expected to teach James how to be a duke—while trying not to surrender to temptation a second time.

To Be Forgotten

For a duke and a commoner, marriage would be pure scandal. Yet nothing has ever felt as right as having Meredith in his arms…and in his bed. Soon he must choose—between a duty he never desired, and a woman he longs for, body and soul…

Release Date: Nov 28, 2017
Series: Keeping Up with the Cavendishes
Book: 4
Heat Level: Sensual
Publisher: HarperCollins
Imprint: Avon Books
Price: $5.99

I have not had the pleasure of reading one of Ms. Rodale’s books so this was a new experience for me. I was enticed by the description and reviews I have seen on her other books in this series so I thought I would give it a shot. I would not say that I was overwhelmed by my love of this book or her writing style but the story was a nice one, just not my favourite. I have discovered that I am very much a traditionalist and enjoy books that stay true to the historical style of writing – like Eloisa James – without using too many modern analogies and that don’t project a very modern voice from the author. Ms. Rodale has a very contemporary writing style that felt out of place at times when I wanted to feel like I was reading a late regency-era novel not a modern retelling of a historical romance. Knowing her style now, I can approach her other books with a different expectation which might allow me to enjoy the story-telling more.

This is the final book in a series of four about the newly discovered Duke of Cavendish and his three mischievous sisters from the back country of Maryland. I was immediately attracted to Claire, Amelia and Bridget and was thrilled to see their stories play out simultaneously with this story about James. You get snippets of information and parts of the story line that are obviously expanded on in each of the girls’ own books and I look forward to catching up on their love stories shortly. I really wanted to love this story about James and Meredith but I found I just didn’t feel the instantaneous love they apparently felt for each other and spent the majority of the book trying to catch up.

James, the newly found Duke of Cavendish, is determined to spend one more night as just plain James before taking up the mantel of a Dukedom and all the responsibilities that go with it. Meredith Green has resigned herself to a life as a lady’s companion to the Dowager Duchess of Cavendish and longs for just one night of unrestrained passion and wonder. It must have been fate then that lead these two souls to be in the same coaching inn on the same night with similar intentions. After a night of sensuality that neither will ever forget, Meredith sneaks off into the night and back to her dull, uneventful life. Until the time comes to meet the new Duke who turns out to be her lover from the night before. The Duke must now find a wife and Meredith is absolutely unsuitable. How are they going to live under the same roof, eat at the same dining table each day when all they can think about is that one night of passion and how badly they want to repeat it….

As characters, I did like both James and Meredith but I didn’t love them. James is a strong, compassionate man with a sense of purpose that really endears him to the reader. I enjoyed the way he takes care of his sisters and how he wants what is best for his tenants. Meredith might be a simple lady’s companion but she is a smart, strong girl which is why it bothered me to no end that she went so far as to beg for James to pick her above the other ladies trying to win his attention. They both profess to have fallen in love with each other the night they met but I didn’t feel that affection as I read through the book nor did I feel a sense of passion between them. I wanted to ache for them, to feel the longing for each other that they expressed. But what I felt was more lukewarm and steady and there is nothing wrong with that at all. If you are looking for a book that will make you feel that joyous tingle all the way down to your toes, this one might not be it. But if you want a simple love story with a victorious ending then this is a book I would recommend that you enjoy at your leisure.

~ Danielle

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