Book: Nothing Like a Duke
Author: Jane Ashford
Status: Don’t bother.
This book was one in a series. It may have been better if I’d read the rest of the series, but I doubt it.
Premise: I’m sure there is a premise… Woman goes to a house party and the man she loves happens to be there, but she didn’t know he’d be there, and he didn’t know she’d be there. Yeah, I’m still not sure what the story was supposed to be about, and I read the book.
Plot: I couldn’t find one. The hero goes to a house party to forget the heroine for reasons. Didn’t read the other books, so I don’t know why. Heroine goes to the same house party for reasons. I never really figured out why she went. It’s not clear other than she wanted to see the ton, but why she does must’ve been in another book.
While nothing in this book was deep, the part that was very disturbing to me was the way the author treated PTSD. I don’t think she did any research on it, or if she did, it was very superficial.
- The heroine was apparently captured, tied up, and helpless at one point in an earlier book.
- We’re told this is a big deal toward the end of the book. We’re never shown her nightmares, her fear of men, her fear of being in tight places (which happens). Even her being caught in a brier bush is told to us from the hero rather than a very deep and dramatic scene for the heroine.
- The “cure” for this was for her to be attempted to be raped by another man and for the heroine to escape on her own.
I know very little about PTSD. Maybe this would work, or maybe it would deepen her fears. I don’t know. But the way it was handled was not believable to me.
Romance: The hero, Robert, already loves the heroine, Flora, from another book. Flora also loves Robert and has no real reason not to want the romance to happen. I’m not sure why this book wasn’t over in less than 50 pages rather than the 352 it took.
Steamy Scenes: There were none. Not one. So this isn’t where the filler came from to get to the 352 pages.
Imagery: Nothing was ever really brought alive for me. Nothing felt sumptuous or beautiful. So, this isn’t what filled the 352 pages, either.
Characters: There is no character development. Robert starts out as Robert and ends as Robert. We’re told he’s celebrated by the ton, what all gentleman aspire to be. Perhaps we were *shown* that in previous books, but not this one.
Flora learns all people in the ton are people rather than caricatures, but that’s really not a lot of growth, either. We’re told Flora is smart so freaking many times I was ready to scream. And she’s beautiful. And she’s smart. And she’s charitable. And she’s smart.
One of the things I hated most about this book is that so much of it focused on a rivalry between the heroine and another female character over the hero. It started to boarder on the absurd, and frankly, I am tired of the trope. I prefer to see female friendships rather than competition over a man. It was such a blatant competition, the one woman literally called the other her competitor. Yuck.
All in, I’d rather do the dishes or vacuum than read this novel a second time.