Release Date: Nov 10, 2020
Series: Awakened by a Kiss
Heat Level: Sensual
Imprint: Avon Books
A Duchess A Day is the first book in the Awakened by a Kiss series by Charis Michaels. This is a three- book series inspired by characters from fairy tales.
Lady Helena Lark is a desperate woman. Her parents have signed marriage contracts for her to marry the worst possible man, Bradley Girdleston the Duke of Lusk. She has tried for years to get out of this impending marriage but is now facing down the wedding day.
Declan Shaw is a desperate man. He is faced with a choice of either continuing to sit in New Gate prison, trying to prove his innocence for a crime he did not commit, or taking an offer of guarding a hesitant bride and insuring she makes it to the altar.
Declan Shaw and Lady Helena Lark are brought together by the circumstances and soon find themselves desperately in love. Together they work to circumvent the impending marriage.
In the beginning, the story seemed to have the potential to be pretty good. However, once the characters started to develop the problems quickly mounded up. I found that aspects which make a good historical romance is the use of time appropriate language, character behavior, and situations. This book failed to deliver on these elements. The lead characters’ behaviors were more like those in contemporary romance novels than those found in historical romance novels. I had problems with the male hero’s language and behaviors and the female lead character, supposedly an earl’s daughter and a virgin, showed no sign of decorum. The female lead character was far too aggressive in instigating sexual encounters with her groom/bodyguard, and while these primarily were kissing scenes (there is one mild sex scene in the book), she threw herself at her groom/bodyguard in the most unlikely and unbelievable places.
Another problem I had with the story was that the author’s use of references to Snow White and the Seven Dwarves missed the mark. Names of characters and objects from the fairy tale were used in the story but in no way did these relate to the original fairy tale. The author’s reference to the seven dwarves did not enhance the story.
A third problem I had was the over-use of characters’ repetitive internal dialog about their situations. As a reader I find this technique comes off as nothing more than page filler. It led me to want to skim ahead just to get through the repetition. Lastly, the author’s use of a dark cloaked stranger, was problematic. This character appears throughout the story, essentially at every place the lead characters went to outside of the home, and the explanation for this person’s spying did not make much sense. On a positive note, in the end there was a Happy Ever After.
I struggled to finish reading this book. The problems were too great to recommend it.