To the Duke, With Love

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 05 Dec 2017

Member Reviews

I liked this installment of the Rakes of St. James, but I didn't love it.

The Duke of Hawksthorn "Hawk" wants to spare his sister, Lady Adele any heartache his past prank may cause her in the season by having her betrothed before it starts and he has found the perfect match for her, Mr. Paxton Quick, there is only one thing standing in his way........Paxton's sister Loretta.

Banished to the country after refusing to marry the man her uncle chose for her, Loretta is determined to make sure her beloved brother is not forced to marry against his will.

These two have an instant connection, but Hawk isn't looking for a match for himself and Loretta has taken a vow to never marry. But neither can deny the pull of attraction between them. Hawk finds ways to see Loretta and when he finally asks her to marry him, she refuses, holding fast to her vow.

Hawk will have to find a way to convince Loretta to set aside her vow or lose the only woman he has ever loved.

The book is well written, but it is very "put-downable", there is no real conflict, drama, angst or villain, and nothing keeping them apart save Loretta's insistence at adhering to a vow she was forced to make. There is a bittersweet side plot involving an orphaned boy and a host of charming secondary characters, a lot of sexual tension and one or two semi-steamy love scenes and finally a HEA. This is the second story in the series, but it could absolutely be read as a stand alone title with no problem. 

*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an Uncorrected eARC that was provided to me by NetGalley and the publisher.*
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I would love to recommend this book to other Historical reader lover. The story is surprisingly very light and easy to read, but it didn't forget its main contents. The courtship between the hero and heroine is so delightful it make me smile all the time reading it. I gave it 4 stars because the ending is a little bit weird (and too rushed in my opinion), but overall the story is very good. Love this series!
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Loved the snark! The plot was a bit slow but I really enjoyed the characters.
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Part 2 of  a trio of books about eligible and handsome dukes.  I did enjoy this book. I gave it a 4 star rating because I had a couple of moments where the lead female, Loretta, did not ring quite true to my picture of what her character was like.

I have voluntarily posted a review consisting of my honest opinions.
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Well written and an enjoyable story. I really enjoyed reading this book and look forward to reading more by this author.
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This is the second story in The Rakes of St. James series and I found this one very hard to finish reading it. The reason for it are not just anachronisms, because sometimes I’ll overlook them if the story is strong and characters relatable and likable. But in this story, I found the hero and heroine just a bit short of cartoonish.

Sorry to say that I’m not recommending this one.

Melanie for b2b
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To the Duke, With Love is the second sensuous installment of Amelia Grey’s red-hot new series The Rakes of St. James.

Sloane Knox, Duke of Hawksthorn, loathes the Season and the Ton. He has neither the time nor the inclination for the tedious social whirl, but as he is the guardian of his younger sister, he is charged with finding a suitable husband for his innocent sibling. Sloane is determined to avoid the Season at all costs, and as luck would have it, he thinks he has found the perfect man for his sister to marry. He thinks that he has solved his quandary without needing to once set foot in a ballroom or attend another tedious social occasion, however, he hadn’t counted on an unexpected, infuriating and very attractive obstacle standing in the way of achieving his objective: the groom’s own sister, Miss Loretta Quick, a woman who opposes the match and who will pull out all the stops to ensure that her brother does not marry the sibling of one of the infamous Rakes of St James!

Having narrowly escaped her own arranged marriage to a wholly unacceptable nobleman, Loretta will not allow her good-natured brother to spend the rest of his life saddled to a woman he does not love. Loretta wants her brother to marry for love and she will not let him be manipulated into matrimony by a man who wants to use him to further his  own gains and for his own advantage. Loretta will oppose her brother’s marriage to Sloane’s sister with everything she’s got – however, she hadn’t counted on clashing swords with the charming, charismatic and absolutely irresistible Duke of Hawksthorn or on the sizzling attraction that has ignited between the two of them!

Pretty soon, Loretta realises that it’s not her brother she needs to worry about, but losing her heart to an unsuitable man like Sloane. As their feelings for one another escalate, will Loretta and Sloane realise that they are perfect for each other? Or will they both end up losing this unexpected chance of happiness?

I love historical romances because I adore being swept back in time and being made to feel as if I am right there in the nineteenth century alongside the characters, but sadly, To the Duke, With Love, while competently written, lacked historical veracity and was riddled with so many jarring anachronisms and inaccuracies that it was a struggle to get through. From characters named Sloane to English aristocrats gambling with dollars, this wallpaper historical simply did not work for me.
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To the Duke, With Love is the second installment in the Rakes of St. James series. I am so excited to get to read Hawk’s story.

Sloane Knox, the Duke of Hawksthorn aka Hawk as he is known to family and friends finds himself with the duty of finding his sister a husband and quickly before something happens to ruin his sister as she comes to her first season. That is what takes Hawk to the door of the Mr. Paxton Quick, he has been keeping up this this young man and has decided he was the perfect match for his sister. What Hawk did not figure into his plan was meeting the stunning and quite witty Miss. Quick.

Lady Loretta Quick has some experience with an arranged marriage against one’s self. Lady Loretta is not about to see her brother suffer from the same fate, she has endured over the years. Loretta has no problem telling Hawk everything that is wrong with his plan. What surprised Loretta more than Mr. Hawk’s pushiness was her instant attraction to the man.

There is no doubt about the attraction Hawk and Loretta share, but there are a few moments that had me thinking it was rushed a bit. I would have liked to have seen them at a ball or two, maybe have Griffin and Rath meet her as they are his truest friends and confidantes. The other Rakes of St. James, you can find Griffin’s story in the first book of this series, Last Night with the Duke as Rath’s story will be out sometime in August. I do hope that we see another book involving Paxton and Lady Adele, I feel that something is missing of not really seeing their courtship.

Amelia Grey just keeps getting better and better. Her stylish fan fair in describing the time period she takes us too is truly delightful. I enjoyed the character development very much. Their personalities, their passions and sense of family. There were moments of laughter and fun as well as a distaste for I had for Loretta’s Uncle the Earl.

Rated 5 Stilettos by Deb!
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I really really enjoyed this. The writing was excellent and the hero and heroine were great. I liked that he wanted to help her escape from the life her Uncle had forced on her. To the Duke, with Love was an excellent continuation of the Rakes of St. James series with a delightful romance between an outspoken heroine and a charming, rakish hero.
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This is an lust-to-love kind of story. The romance is there, and I love the witty banter, but I absolutely could NOT get past the fact that it read like a modern romance with a few historical facts thrown in. It wasn't authentic, and I just couldn't get as engrossed into the story as I normally do with historical romances.
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I found this story quite pleasant. It's a sweet story about a strong-willed woman and one of society's known rakes. The descriptions of the setting are detailed and vivid. The dialogue matches the character's expected speaking patterns. Overall, the story is solid.
Unfortunately, the plot is flat and the pacing slow. I kept expecting a kidnap attempt or some active plot movement.
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I have always been a fan of historical romance and this book is another credit to the why. It is beautifully written, very intriguing, and a scandal for the ages. I have to say, I am quite curious as to who Honoria is though. I am so glad Loretta and Hawk found their happily ever after and he has given up his rakish ways. I think they will have a long and happy life together.
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To the Duke, with Love is the second book in The Rakes of St. James series from Amelia Grey, but the very first book I've read by Amelia Grey. I absolutely adored her voice, so I'm already looking at her backlist for when I'm caught up a bit more on my TBR list.

Loretta Quick might just be one of my favorite historical characters ever. She made no apologies for her choices in life and had pretty much decided her fate was to remain at her uncle's hunting home for the rest of her life as penance for ending her engagement right as the wedding was to begin. She also will protect anyone she cares for from being forced into an arranged marriage if at all possible.

Enter the Duke of Hawksthorn...and really all of Loretta's choices were going out the window. Seriously loved the banter between these two characters. They attraction was palpable and I impatiently waited for them to be together through much of the book. In fact, my only issue with the story was how long it took for Hawk and Loretta to actually make love.  I loved that Loretta continuously thought of the kisses she and Hawk shared, and Hawk wasn't really any different, as he worked to make it possible to see Loretta again as often as possible.

The romance between their siblings was a sweet romance, and it really seemed to be the polar opposite of the one between Loretta and Hawk, who had a hard time staying away from one another and keeping their hands off each other from the very beginning. I think seeing the two couples showed that both types of romances can work, though, I much preferred Loretta and Hawk's romance.

To the Duke, with Love was a very enjoyable historical romance. I really enjoyed Amelia Grey's voice and look forward to reading more books from her in the future. I highly recommend To the Duke, with Love to all readers who enjoy historical romance books.

Rating: 4 Stars (B)
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I have read this author before and enjoyed her just fine, but this is a DID NOT FINISH for me. It was very uncomfortable how the male lead character was written-his thoughts on the heroine and why he found her attractive were bordering on the creepy and not romantic at all. The writing was off and juvenile also. I'm not sure I would recommend this one to anyone.
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First of all this was absolutely adorable. I do not mean in a cheesy way like “oh how cute” when you think of tiny baby ducklings (don’t know why I thought of ducks but I did) but in a this makes my heart so happy kind of way. 
The beginning bickering and bantering between our soon to be love interests is vivid, imaginative, and entertaining. Loretta is feisty, strong willed, and courageous. The Duke of Hawksthorn is stubborn, sly, and boisterous. 
The ebb and flow is a romantic adventure full of life and quick witted fights of wills. I recommend this for pretty much anyone who likes historical romance.
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This is the second book in the Rakes of St. James series. I read the first book and enjoyed it quite a bit, so I was expecting so much from this next book. It fell flat for me. The obvious insta-lust was so strong, it didn't even read right in this historical romance setting. I did not get the feeling that the primary couple actually fell in love with one another. "I want you" is not the same as "I love you." Additionally, there was a great imbalance of financials, which rubs me the wrong way with that type of power play. 

Sloane Knox, Duke of Hawksthorn, is one of the three Rakes of St. James who played a prank on a dozen debutantes a decade ago. Following last year's season and a possible threat to the younger sister of one of the other Rakes of St. James, Sloane wants to bar any such threat happening to his younger sister, Adele, as she makes her debut. Arranging a secret engagement before the start of the season will ensure that Adele comes out successful with a suitor and free of any retribution. In efforts to arrange what Hawk believes is the perfect match, he travels to Mammoth House, set far in the countryside, remote and isolated. Eager to make arrangements with Paxton Quick, a handsome and kind man, Hawk is harshly surprised to find not Paxton, but his sister Loretta at Mammoth House. A confusing confrontation ensues, with lines drawn in the sand and Loretta firmly making her stance that she will do everything in her power to keep her brother from this marriage. 

Despite being a drastic act, Loretta was once set up in an arranged marriage herself. It was a business transaction more than a love match. In fact, she didn't feel anything for the man...and left him at the altar. Following her uncle's severe embarrassment and ensuing rage, Loretta has been banished to live at the remote Mammoth House, not even allowed to visit the village. She is required to remain at Mammoth House and not allowed to leave and sees her uncle but once a year at Christmastime. Having suffered the repercussions, Loretta only wants her brother to marry for love. 

Going against all etiquette, Hawk dines alone with Loretta that night as a massive storm blows in. Midway through, a young urchin is found at the backdoor. Hawk follows him into the storm and brings him back, while Loretta and the other staff nurse him back from the brink of death. Once he revives a little, he is feisty and foul-mouthed. 

Hawk is bent on ensuring the match between Adele and Paxton, inviting them to London for a meeting. Going to the lengths to visit the Earl of Switchingham and fatten him up to the idea, Hawk also persuades him to allow Loretta to make the journey. Considering the earl will not be out one penny for any of the travel and it will only be acceptable for both siblings to make the journey, the earl agrees. Getting the responsibility of his nephew off his shoulders will be a welcome change. 

Embarking to London, Loretta makes the last-minute decision to bring Farley with them. He needs to be seen by a doctor, but Hawk is cold to the idea and cold to Farley. He sees him as a street rat who will pilfer anything. The two males almost have a burning hatred in their eyes for one another. The boy is quick witted for sure and brings comedic relief and drama to the unfolding story.

The insta-lust is palpable even from the immediate start of the book, and continues on throughout the book. There are a few close calls where they are almost caught, and Hawk makes some pre-arranged tasks for others so that he and Loretta can be alone. Ironically, Adele and Paxton hit it off extremely well and their match seems inevitable. 

There were a couple of inaccuracies (dollars in England?) that showed the lesser planning for this second installment. I was looking forward to this second book in the Rakes of St. James series and the insta-love and some of the awkward wording dropped the book significantly from the momentum established with the first book. I'm not sure what to expect with the next in the series.
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Wanting to avoid potential gossip and ruination for his younger sister Adele, Sloane Knox finds what he feels is a perfect match for her in Paxton Quick. His sister Loretta, however, is determined to allow Paxton to marry for love. She had spurned a marriage to a nobleman years before rather than live without love, so trying to change her mind is a challenge that Sloane (better known as Hart throughout the novel) is only too willing to take up.

This is part of the Rakes of St. James trilogy, but it's not necessary to have read the others in the series to enjoy this one. There is the inclusion of London's underbelly in this one, though it's tangential to the romance and not exactly an integral part of the plot. Adding Finley does allow for some of the misunderstandings inherent in the genre, as well as a convenient way for them to get back together for a conversation. Having Adele and Paxton included in the matchmaking also allows for contrasts: they have more of a friendship and understanding that can in time blossom into love, while Loretta and Hart immediately have emotional sparks and butt heads.

I liked that Loretta was one to stick to her principles and that Hart respected that about her. Despite all of his frustration and lack of understanding, he never truly undermined her sense of self and didn't belittle her. He went out of his way to prove that he had principles as well and that his past as a Rake of St. James didn't dictate his present. Even Loretta's uncle is dealt with in a manner that she wanted, and Hart understood how to approach her so that they could both have happiness.
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Loretta was a kind soul that just did not want her brother to be subjected to the same fate that almost captured her and pushed her in to a vow that she felt trapped by. Loretta was very much faith based. Not so much that she was devout in her beliefs or action. She just took her vow very seriously. Even when love came her ways. She was willing to deny happiness because of her vow. She finds a man that she can match witts with and a challenge, Hawk. Hawk was a challenge to Loretta as she was to him. Hawk wanted Loretta's brother to become betrothed to his younger sister. He did not want fortune hunters to descend on her for her coming out season. 

This by far was not a steamy read, but it was full of much to turn the page for. Loretta and Hawk's first meeting. Their banter. Their first kiss. Their first true embrace. The hints of concern. The loving caresses. Hawk's need to protect and make Loretta happy. 

There were some good characters to love and some that you don't like so much and even one or two that were misunderstood. Coco was too cute. Adele was cute, sweet, a bit innocent, but smart at the same time. Paxton was a very sweet and gentle soul. He was also a stand up kind of guy. He loved his sister very much. Farley was an interesting person. Miss Honora Truth's were entertaining. Let me not forget the A Proper Gentleman's Gudie to Wooing the Perfect Lady, that was something. 

All-in-all the second rake of St. James has taken the plunge into matrimony.
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This one was like 2 love stories in one book. Though Hawk was looking for a marriage match for his sister he ends up finding one for himself as well as saving Loretta from the lifetime of loneliness that awaits her. I don't know what it is about these St. James Rakes, whether its the book that caused them to become the Rakes of St. James or how each of the Rakes themselves are is a mystery to me. But I look forward to find out what happens with the last one of the Rakes.
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I absolutely loved Sloane and Loretta's story!! I really love stories where the H/H meet in an unexpected way and are able to get to know each other without the watchful eye of the ton. In fact most of the story was away from anyone but family and that was a nice change of pace. I'm very excited for the last book in the Rakes of St. James series to come out in May, but I'm going to miss these 3 handsome rakes!
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