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A Duke Too Far

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Peter Rathbone, Duke of Compton, is still reeling from his younger sister Delia’s tragic death and barely scraping by financially, trying to salvage the ducal lands with nearly no income.  He has nothing to lose, so when his late sister’s friends descend upon him unannounced, he has no choice but to host them in an impromptu house party that could change everything for him.

Miss Ada Grandison is haunted by dreams of her late friend and hopes a visit to her home, and her handsome brother, will help her overcome her grief.  As Peter, Ada, and her friends try to parse meaning from the cryptic note Delia left behind, Peter finds himself increasingly skeptical and afraid to hope for a change in his circumstances, especially when his burgeoning feelings for Ada make him long for that change more than ever before.

This was an ok book for me, but I wouldn’t precisely call it entertaining.  I was intrigued by the premise, but it seemed nothing really happened for much of the book.  I was rather bored for much of it and it started to feel like I was reading the same scenes over and over with Peter being awkward, but rather adorable, if cynical, and Ada being a bit vapid and immature, but also admirably determined.  I really didn’t enjoy the girl group shenanigans we got here; Ada and her friends just seemed rather immature much of the time and very rude to Peter.  Despite his reduced circumstances, he was still a duke and their host and deserved better treatment.  To that end, while his loneliness and cluelessness made him charming, Peter was also a bit too much of a beta hero and I wanted him to stand up for himself a bit more.

There was very little in the way of romance here.  In fact, I think there were more scenes featuring Ada and her friends than there were between Ada and Peter.  This combined with an utter lack of steam, not to mention the abject loneliness of Peter’s situation and the immaturity demonstrated by both himself and Ada, made this seem like a fleeting sort of puppy love more so than a lasting relationship with a true foundation.  The mystery aspect here started out intriguing, but it just fizzled out and there was no romantic chemistry to keep things going either.  Ada never tried to understand Peter or his worries, she was just determined to have her own way and it fortunately worked out, but there was never any real relationship development or attempts to get to know one another.  This combined with the extremely slow pacing had me losing interest rapidly.  There was a good set up for this to be a solid, gothic themed novel and it just didn’t pan out.  The most compelling characters here were Aunt Julia and the Earl of Macklin so I may read the next book for them, but I’m not sure at this point.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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This was a lacklustre read for me. There were too many characters and not enough action to keep me engaged. There was no chemistry between the characters, it felt like a first love relationship, not a life long love. I don't believe the characters would have remained happy together. This book would serve well for a young person who is only starting out with historicals as it features an 18-year-old and 24 years old and it's very chaste. 

I received an arc of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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A very strong start but fell flat towards the end for me. The first half or so of this book had me invested, I enjoyed the mystery well enough. Towards the middle it got kind of dull for me. I wanted more from the romance. This was a very clean romance and I think I was just expecting a little bit more than what I actually got, and that's my fault with my personal preferences. Overall an average read for me.
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Confession: I was late to the historical romance game. Do you want to know which author changed my mind and my life? Jane Ashford!! Four years ago, I picked up her novel Once Again a Bride, and I never looked back. She never disappoints. 

Y’all, this book is everything I look for when I sit down to read a romance. It’s fun, funny, engaging, endearing, clever, and mysterious, and yes, it’s also hot! I didn’t want the story to end. I wanted to crawl into the pages and live there for a while. 

If you’re looking for a compelling and romantic story with a hero and a heroine that you can root for, pick this up. Turn off the world, and escape into A Duke Too Far. It’s the cure for what ails ya!
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While I enjoyed the story line of Ashford's latest book, I didn't think it was as well written as her previous stories. I really enjoyed Ada and her friends (I'm guessing they might feature into future stories) and even liked Peter, but there was just something off about this story. Even Macklin just wasn't the same for me...this was just an ok read for me. Fingers are crossed that Ashford's next book is up to par with her other work.
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I will start by saying that I have read all of the books in The Way to a Lord's Heart series. I found the other 3 books to be quite enjoyable. With that being said, this book just didn't work for me. I found it to be depressing, not because of Delia's death, but because of the overall dilapidation of the estate, Peter's lack of money, and his isolation. There could not be an ending happy enough to save this book for me.
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I am an Alpha Male type of woman, so this is not favorite historical romance type of book. I do love mysteries though, unfortunately the person doing the chasing is an eighteen year old, not the twenty - four year old Duke! Peter Duke of Compton is in mourning over the loss of his sister, another Duke has invited himself to Peter's crumbling down estate, as have a carriage full of very young ladies, not behaving as that time period dictates. Boring through the middle, the ending was rushed.
Thank you Netgalley!
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I have not read the first three books in this series, while mostly not required to have read the previous books, there were some elements it would have made more sense if you had.

Peter Rathbone is an impoverished Duke whose ancestors have made terrible financial decisions and made very questionable choices when trying to earn it back. Peter’s sister, Delia, died tragically at Ada Grandison’s home. Now Ada is convinced that she has evidence of a mystery that needs to be solved at Peters home and Delia has left her a clue. She convinces her friend and Aunt to accompany her to his home to solve the mystery.

This book started off interesting enough, with some funny and charming scenes. Then it lost my interest entirely until about the 85% mark and everything got wrapped up very quickly. It felt like the author was wanting the story to be a gothic romance, but I didn’t really believe the attraction between Peter and Ada. I also was more interested in the secondary characters than the main ones.

3 stars for the good beginning and ending. Not much in between though.
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A Duke Too Far (The Way to a Lord’s Heart #4). By Jane Ashford. 2020. Sourcebooks Casablanca (ARC eBook).

Peter Rathbone, Duke of Compton, is mourning the loss of his sister, Delia, and trying to keep his family’s estate from crumbling apart, when he unexpectedly receives visitors. First is the Earl of Mackin, who is little more than a stranger. Next, Miss Ada Grandison, her three closest friends and her chaperoning aunt arrives. All of whom he has never met, but the four young ladies had known the eccentric Delia and he welcomes the reprieve from loneliness even though he wishes his money struggle was not so obvious.

Ada has come to the Duke’s estate with a mysterious note that had been written by Delia and which she believes holds the secret to a lost Rathbone fortune. She hopes that solving the mystery will bring closure for herself and Delia’s brother, and maybe a new hope for the future. 

This is an enjoyable read and I really liked the vivid descriptions of the Rathbone estate, but the romance felt a bit sidelined. I would have liked to have seen Peter and Ada together more, but I am interested in picking up the other three books in the series to see how Macklin helps the other men find their happily ever afters.
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Once again, Arthur Shelton, the Duke of Macklin and the ever-present, Tom appear to be up to their matchmaking schemes in A Duke Too Far, the story of the final man at that dinner in London. Although you might be tempted to believe this is the last story in The Way To A Lord’s Heart series, it appears there is one more book to come, Earl’s Well That Ends Well, and I’m hopeful for that story to wrap up everything quite nicely (time will tell).

Ada and Peter’s story felt very much like a slow burn romance. Peter is not only heartbroken by his sister’s death, but he’s also struggling to keep his rundown, dilapidated estate solvent… with not much luck. He has no time nor inclination for romance or company but has been descended upon by not only Ada and her group but by the Duke of Macklin as well. Ada was his sister’s friend, and she’s convinced that she has a vital clue in the documents that she hand-delivers to Peter that could change his estate’s future – and an attraction to the man who always seems lost in thought and standoffish to the world.

A Duke Too Far is not only a romance, but a bit of a treasure hunt as well as Ada, Peter, and Ada’s friends set out to find a hidden treasure that has always seemed more fantasy and legend than a possibility to Peter. I enjoyed myself back in this world, and I’m definitely looking forward to what the next, and perhaps final story holds for us.

*I received an e-ARC of this novel from Sourcebooks Casablanca via NetGalley. That does not change what I think of this story. It is my choice to leave a review giving my personal opinion about this book.*
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I felt really lost when I started this book, not having read the first few in the series, but I kept going and am glad I did. I liked it so much I went back and read the first books in the series. 

Many thanks to NetGalley, the publisher, and the author for my ARC. All opinions are my own.
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Lost treasures and love!

The demented fairy godfather (my words) Macklin (or is he Yoda?) is at his grief counselling again.  This time his sight falls on Peter Rathbone, the Duke of Compton, an impoverished lord whose sister Delia has died in a tragic cliff accident.
Of course Compton lives in a moldering ruin on the edge of the Welsh Marshes in far flung Shropshire, bordering Wales (well about as flung from London as you can get without actually crossing any borders.) 
Macklin has decided to call upon Compton's residence for a brief visit. "The place is rather like a dragon lying along the ridge. The head is the ruined Norman tower on the high point, and the tail is the modern wing ... with a mass of muddled masonry in between.” It is a rather daunting description and internally even more dismaying.
Meanwhile Delia's friend Miss Ada Grandison, after recurring dreams, has persuaded and beguiled her friends into accompanying her to Peter and Delia's home, Alberdene, supposedly to carry out a dying wish of Delia. Accompanied by her aunt as chaperone, the rather imposing Miss Julia Grandison, who it turns out is acquainted with Macklin. Mmm!
Apart from Peter's struggle with so many unlooked for guests and his lack of funds, some hilarious scenes, particularly ridding the cavernous dining room of bats during dinner are on the cards. And that opening scenes of Peter's problems with eel pie!
Macklin's valet and young Tom are in evidence, adding interest.
Mystery and love are of course on the cards! Lost treasure becomes a siren's call, along with Ada's determination to discover the secret to Delia's strange note. And that energy that crackles between Ada and Peter!
A pleasing read with some enlivening moments. Tom makes an interesting decision.
p.s. I'm awaiting Macklin to receive his comeuppance (if he ever does).

A Sourcebooks Casablanca ARC via NetGalley
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This book started out a little weird but intriguing. We follow the main hero as he's ventured into a morbid dinner invitation turned matchmaking session. 

It completely took me in as I HAD to know what in the world was going on here.

While I love reading historical romances, the genre itself can be a hit or miss for me. Usually the writing style either captures me or is just too blah to continue. While this book did grab my attention right away, there were moments throughout the book that I felt a little left in the dust. 

I ended up giving this one 3 out of 5 stars. The romance itself was OK, nothing too surprising. I wish the characters didn't feel a little cut and dry.
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An engaging story filled with a mystery and the journey to find the answers of the death of a young woman and much more. Plus as in the other stories, the Earl of Macklin arriving to have dinner with four men, Peter being one of them to help them with their grief.
The loss of his sister combined with his crumbling estate was overwhelming to Peter, the Duke of Compton. But it gets more interesting when Ada, who was a close friend of his sisters, arrives with a clue that may help the estate. She also brings some of her friends as they are an amateur sleuthing group and they set out to find the clues that Peter's sister had talked about and left behind.
Great characters and I really like seeing Ada, attracted to Peter and determined to help him. The banter, reasoning to solve the mystery and the friendships pulled this story together..
Such a well written series that I have truly enjoy and urge you not to miss!
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I really enjoyed the plot and the characters, but the writing just wasn't right for me. This also felt a little too insta-romance to me. Peter was great, but he let his family history get in the way and he wasn't willing to fight for what he wanted until the very end.  Lastly, I wish there was just a little bit more at the end.
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Peter has lost his sister and Ada has lost her friend. These two young people are brought together on a journey to solve a mystery left behind by Delia. They are connected by her but also by love. The story has many warm and funny moments as the group of young girls, young Duke, and the chaperones each play their parts in their hunt for the treasure. It has the hint of a fairytale of the broken castle, hunt for treasure that saves the day, and the couple in love that gets their happily ever after.
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Peter Rathbone, the Duke of Compton, age 24, is heading to have dinner at White’s with Arthur Shelton, the Duke of Macklin and three other titled men.  Macklin has invited them there as all of them have recently lost a family member.  Peter lost his sister, Delia, when she fell from a cliff.

Peter’s home is called Albendene and is located in Shropshire.  It is a crumbling place and Peter is trying to make as many repairs as he can.  When Macklin happens to visit Peter's home unexpectedly, he sees what bad shape the place is in.

Ada Grandison, age 18, is still grieving the death of her good friend, Delia.  She and her aunt, Julia and three other friends are heading to Albendene to visit where Delia had grown up.  When they all arrive at the same time as Macklin and his group, Peter is scurrying to find suitable rooms to house all of them.  Thankfully, he has a wonderful cook who pleases them all.

As Peter shows them all around his huge castle and explaining the history of it, Ada wants to be able to privately ask him to see Delia’s bedroom.  It appears she found a document written in a language she did recognize and remembering that Delia saying that she had discovered something that would bring wealth to Peter.  Will they truly find something that could be a savior to him?

I have read many of Jane Ashford’s books and know that they tend to get somewhat muddled at times.  However, this one just seemed to flutter about almost as much as the dining room bat.  Sorry to say that it is not a favorite of mine.  I would like to see this talented author get a good editor to edit her work.

Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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Ashford has built a refreshing plot with a power shift, of sorts: it’s Ada who pursues Peter. Their courtship is unhurried, and it’s a bit like stepping through the wardrobe to Narnia. The bulk of the action takes place on the downtrodden estate, which is basically the physical embodiment of poor Peter’s general lot in life. He could use a little sunshine, and Ada could use a little reality. 

A DUKE TOO FAR has all the hallmarks of a fun, flirty Regency romance, including drama, heartbreak, and hardship, and the characters face them head on with modern-day sensibilities. But this is not your mother’s Regency romance, because a lot of the drama is driven by Ada, who is young, and her emotions and reactions are a reflection of her burgeoning maturity. If you’re new to the genre, or perhaps have younger readers in your life, this is a great starting point because this could easily be considered a YA Regency.
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3 1/2 stars

Peter Rathbone, the Duke of Compton, is in crisis after the death of his sister Delia and with respect to his significant financial woes. He is fighting a losing battle as the mismanagement of the estate by the previous dukes over the generations has begun to show in the disrepair of his home and the state of his bank account.  And now, as if that is not enough, a group of Delia's friends come to visit. 

Miss Ada Grandison was the one who found her friend Delia at the bottom of a cliff, but Delia left her a puzzle that she intends to solve. Falling in love with the duke wasn't in the plan. Can she help Peter learn to love again and let her into his heart? Will she be able to help him restore his estate to its former glory? And will she solve the riddle left behind by his beloved sister?

This story started out a little slow, though it did pick up, and the mystery aspect was entertaining for sure. I felt like the chemistry between the 2 was forced as it didn't seem to evolve organically as I tend to prefer. But overall, a good read.
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A Duke Too Far by Jane Ashford is book 4 in The Way to a Lord's Heart Series. This is the story of Ada Grandison and Peter Rathbone, Duke of Compton. I haven't yet read the previous book, so for me this was a standalone book.  Ada good friend Delia has died but has left a letter and clues to a possible treasure.  So Ada arrives at Peter's door with her other friends to look for this hidden treasure. Peter is morning the lost of his sister but also fighting to keep the run down Estes that are in much need of money to fix up.  Peter isn't so quick to believe the tale of the treasure but ends up going along.  This of course brings Peter and Ada to be around each other which brings out their feelings for each other.  This was a good romance mystery read.
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