Title: Accidentally Compromising the Duke
Author: Stacy Reid
This was another pleasant read.
I liked the characters. The heroine, Adeline, is considered plain at best by current standards of beauty. Combine this with her meager dowry and she is not at all what her social climbing step-mother wants. Those of us who aren’t raging beauties or super rich get this.
As the story progresses, we see her kindness with the duke’s children. Her understanding of their loss, and her attempt to be there for them. Losing her own mother has well-prepared her and makes all of it believable.
I also like that she’s willing to fight for the duke’s love. She is not some shy meek miss. She tries to tempt him, both in heart and body. I also like that she isn’t shy about her sexuality and the steamy scenes, which are quite good, aren’t the same sweet missionary style. There is real passion.
The Duke of Wolverton, Edmond, is considered mad because he loved his wife and grieved desperately for her when she died. I liked that about him. He’s no fop, loves his children, and does a fine job managing his considerable estates. He is also very active in politics and is shown upholding his ideals on his own lands.
He upholds his honor and that of Adel. All he asks in return is that she be unfailingly honest with him.
I loved that he said screw it to society and spent the social events with his wife. Danced only with his wife. Showed her kindness, and helped her with her new role as a duchess.
The other supporting characters, such as Edmond’s mother, were all well done. They felt believable but stayed in the background. The unpleasant step-mother trope worked and wasn’t overdone.
There was a plot at the beginning of the book, but it is easily solved with the rest of the story needing something more than the author gave us.
The storyvstarts with Adel ready to be happy with a comfortable friendship marriage to Mr. Atwood. When she receives an offer for marriage from a cruel and lascivious earl, her step-mother pounces. A terrific match for Adeline, a jump up the social ladder, a way to improve the step-mother’s daughters’ marriage prospects.
I like that Adel is smart enough to see this for what it is. And see her stepmother for what she is. And that she’s willing to take matters into her own hands.
So, Adel plans to be caught in a compromising situation with Mr. Atwood without telling him first so that she must marry him.
In the meantime, her best friend and co-conspirator is told she is to marry the Mad Duke. Desperate to change her lot, she sends Adel to the wrong room.
Hijinks commence, and Adel has compromised the Duke and herself. The Duke is looking for a mother for his two girls, and while he had decided on her friend, honor forces him to marry Adel. I liked this about the Duke. He could’ve left her to fight off the cutting remarks and be a social pariah. As a rich and powerful duke second only in social prestige to royalty, he clearly had the upper hand. I also like that the only thing he asks of her is honesty.
When everyone, even Mr. Atwood, rejects Adel, the only one left is Edmond. And even when he could slight her, he doesn’t. And he offers for her again. Which she accepts.
Now married, the rest of the plot revolves around his absolute fear of impregnating his new wife as his first wife died in childbirth. Frankly, this is where the plot falls apart for me.
This felt more than a bit stretched to me, but having never lost a wife to having my child, I give it a pass. Just know this is the extent of the plot.
- Steamy scenes are well done
- Romance progresses believably
- I love that he holds to his promises to his daughters
Nice, easy read. I liked the characters and I wanted to see them get together in the end. Not memorable, nothing spectacular, but fills a quiet evening comfortably.