Release Date: Jun 25, 2019
Series: The Wildes of Lindow Castle
Heat Level: Sensual/Hot
Imprint: Avon Books
Say No to the Duke is the fourth book in The Wildes of Lindow Castle series which follows the famous Wilde family and the adventures of the many children. Think of this family as the Kardashians of their day – everyone knows them, they are good looking, they are scandalous, papers publish prints of them in various acts every day. Overall it is a great series that I would highly recommend for those who love historical romances. This specific book follows Lady Boadicea “Betsy” Wilde who is the belle of her season.
When Betsy was younger a schoolmate insulted her because of her mother’s background, and Betsy vowed to obtain the most number of suitors during her coming out year. She accomplished that and collected a number of proposals, all of which she rejected. As her family and close friends know, Betsy is a very rumbustious woman who is the opposite of the prim and proper lady she displays to society, and she longs to wear breeches and go on adventures rather than be just a pretty wife. When a prominent future duke proposes to her in the billiards room, Betsy initially refuses and then is taunted by her frenemy Lord Jeremy Roden. In order to prove Jeremy wrong, Betsy agrees to a small courtship with the duke to see if they are compatible. Of course, Jeremy is there every step of the way in turns annoying and amusing Betsy with his witty dialogue. The story follows the lives of Betsy and Jeremy over the course of just a few days as they navigate and come to terms with their desires and emotions.
I really enjoyed this novel, as with most of the Eloisa James novels that I have read, everything was natural. As a reader you could see the love between Betsy and Jeremy unfolding quickly, but the author really developed this more through their dialogues and let the characters come to the realizations naturally. I also enjoyed that this was a realistic historical novel, the conversations and the actions of the characters were perfectly in line with the realities of the time period. This is such a small nuisance but so crucial in the way that I enjoy historical romances.
The only reason I did not give this book a full 5 rating is because at times I though the conversations went on a little bit too long. There were a few moments when I wished that the pace of the novel would pick up a bit. But overall I enjoyed this book and had a smile on my face the whole time while reading.
P.S. The book can also be read as a standalone.