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Review ❤️ Who Wants to Marry a Duke by Sabrina Jeffries

August 26, 2020


A past kiss with adorably bookish Miss Olivia Norley should be barely a memory for Marlowe Drake, the Duke of Thornstock. After all, there are countless debutantes for a handsome rakehell to charm beyond a young lady whose singular passion is chemistry—of the laboratory type. But Thorn has not forgotten—or forgiven—the shocking blackmail scheme sparked by that single kiss, or the damage caused to both their names. Now Thorn’s half-brother, Grey, has hired the brilliant Miss Norley for her scientific expertise in solving a troubling family mystery. And the once-burned Thorn, suspicious of her true motives, vows to follow her every move . . .
For Olivia, determining whether arsenic poisoning killed Grey’s father is the pioneering experiment that could make her career—and Thorn’s constant presence is merely a distraction. But someone has explosive plans to derail her search. Soon the most unexpected discovery is the caring nature of the reputed scoundrel beside her—and the electricity it ignites between them . . .

Release Date: Aug 25, 2020
Series: Duke Dynasty
Book: 3
Heat Level: Warm/Sensual
Publisher: Kensington
Imprint: Zebra
Price: $3.99

Who Wants to Marry a Duke is the third book in Sabrina Jeffries’ Duke Dynasty series. Just a warning at the start, this series has an overarching murder mystery that does begin in the previous two books. I had not read these books prior to picking this story up on NetGalley and that was a mistake.

The story is about Miss Olivia Norley, a chemist and a bit of a spinster. She has no interest in society, seasons, or husband hunting. She’s been hired by the family of her nemesis Marlowe Drake, the Duke of Thornstock to get down to the bottom of a family mystery. Thorn has not forgiven or forgotten the scandal nine years ago that almost ruined his life. Olivia was at the center of that scandal, and he’s not sure her motivations to help with the mystery are completely pure. So he decides to keep close tabs on her while she’s helping out.

I’m a fan of other books by Jefferies, but this one did not grab my attention as much as others have in the past. I loved the character of Olivia, she was the type of historical heroine I like to read. She’s smart, passionate about her work, and not at all spoiled or vain or vapid. Thorn was a bit of a blank page, he was just like many other romance Dukes. A bit of a rake ad bit full of himself, and not super inspiring.

What shone for me in this book was the mystery plot. In fact after finishing this book I went back to read the first two books so I had a better understanding of the entire story. I liked that these step-siblings were working together to figure out why their mother’s husbands seemed to keep turning up dead. There was enough of the mystery to keep me entertained but not too much to make it feel less of a romance and more of a who-done-it.

As a whole the series is pretty good, but not as good as her School for Heiresses series which is my personal favorite. I felt like the whole misunderstanding for nine years between Thorn and Olivia was a bit overblown and that clouded a lot of my enjoyment of their love story. But I loved the smart and capable chemist even if she ended up with a bit of a dull rake. This ended up being a middle of the road read for me, so if you have the time read it. But it’s not a must read in my opinion.

~ Lindsey

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