Cover Image: A Duke Too Far

A Duke Too Far

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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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I've had a hit or miss relationship with historical romances.  Recently I've begun to enjoy the change of pace from the blatant in your face sexual encounters of contemporary romance.  So long as there is emotion and connection and an interesting story the time period does not matter.  I feel that this story just did not capture my imagination or my emotions. 
Peter is a duke but a very impoverished one with a long line of ancestors having depleted the family coffers.  Wearing threadbare clothes and actually working all the trades as necessary to hold his ramshackle estate together he's surprised by a series of visitors.  First in line is the Earl of Macklin quickly followed by his recently deceased sister's friends.  
Suddenly his crumbling ancestral home is populated with genteel company and he has to think twice about wielding the stout stick he keeps under his chair in the dining room to scare of roaming bats. The ladies are on a quest to find a lost treasure reputed to be hidden by an ancestor that supposedly his sister was close to finding before she fell off a cliff on a nocturnal walk. Ada has another quest. She's in love with the handsome Duke and is determined om a relationship with him. Fortunately Peter feels the same way but knows that given his current financial circumstances despite his title he is hardly an ideal match for a society lady. 
I do like how it all comes together in the end for an exciting finish but unfortunately for me it was pretty heavy going.
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The death of Peter's sister Delia eventually sets off a turn of events that change his life. Her three friends show up at his impoverished estate bringing a note left by Delia in a language no one understands. Treasure and the possibility of hope are something Peter didn't expect to have in his life, especially from a young lady determined to make the impossible happen.  Entertaining, with humor (bats, cats and a dog) and hope for an HEA. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book.
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I felt the author did a good job of depicting the dire financial situation the hero finds himself in and his loneliness. He diligently works to keep his estate from totally falling apart. He's also quite thrifty and pragmatic in his use of old clothing he regularly retrieves from the attics. The hero is certainly not to be envied and had my sympathy.
The young ladies coming to visit mean well, however, I felt it rather assuming of them to thrust their presence on him, when he can so ill afford the housing and feeding of guests.
The search for the treasure kept this story moving.
The history behind the earl and his young protege (?) Tom were total mysteries to me. 
I read an advance copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley; the thoughts expressed are my own.
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Thanks goes to the publisher and Net-Galley for the complimentary copy of A Duke Too Far by Jane Ashford for the purpose of reading and reviewing prior to publication. A Regency romance book 4 in The Way to a Lord’s Heart. My opinions are my own and no one has influenced me in any way.

A Duke Too Far is well-written, but there are several problems. The pacing is extremely slow, which made it difficult to remain engaged and become vested in the characters. The best part of the book is the mystery involving the hidden treasure. I enjoyed that aspect of the novel. I also enjoyed the characters’ struggle with grief.

Ada Grandison is the heroine. She was close friends with the hero’s late sister. She arrives unannounced at the duke’s home accompanied by her chaperone and three school friends. They want to help the duke discover the treasure, but he has no faith in the rumors that his late father and sister insisted existed.

Peter Rathbone, the Duke of Compton is our hero. He’s inherited the title, along with a broken-down estate and no funds to improve his prospects or properties. The last thing he needs is a gaggle of women showing up on his doorstep. I did like his character but would have enjoyed more depth.

The romance between the hero and heroine is sweet, but minimal, more like what high school teenagers would have. Both the hero and heroine are immature. There isn’t much sexual chemistry between the couple at all.

If you enjoy mysteries and not that into romance, then A duke Too Far by Jane Ashford my work for you. I did like the premise for this book, but the execution fell short for me. Happy reading!
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3.5 Stars
Peter Rathbone, Duke of Compton, is mourning the loss of his sister Delia, but the work of keeping his family's deteriorating estate afloat is never done. When Miss Ada Grandison, a close friend of his sister, arrives with a mysterious letter that she claims holds the secret to saving the family home, Peter is skeptical to say the least...his life is about to get even more complicated. Ada is eager to do whatever she can to help the Rathbones. She brings clues that Delia claimed would change everything for the family and that lead Ada and Peter on a hunt to unravel the past.
This is the fourth book in the series & Arthur the Earl of Macklin is again meddling in the nicest possible way. I found it to be a fun, entertaining read that made me smile. The pace is good & held my interest all the way through, I liked both Peter & Ada but did feel that there wasn’t much chemistry between them & I was more caught up in the hunt than in the romance. I believe this is the last in the series & would have liked to have some conclusion for Macklin & Tom & hope we meet them again
My honest review is for a special copy I voluntarily read
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With this book I went in with the mindset of historical romance kind of similar to most of the others I have read.  Please take my advice and do not go into this with that same mindset because this book is quite different than most of them around this time period.

Nevertheless, it was a fun and enjoyable read.  There was a lot of mystery and intrigue in it.  There was a lot between Peter and Ada that was just strictly friendship and nothing more.  I felt like the romance part was a bit of a stretch because it seemed they had a lot linking them together as friends but in my personal opinion I don't think the romance part was there for me.

It was hard to invest in some of the characters as they played smaller roles that tended to lead to something more eventful down the line.  

This book is an excellent book if you are looking to get a good mystery/friendship/slight romance feel.  I mean who couldn't use a good msytery?
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I unfortunately struggled to finish this. Nothing was going on and neither character was interesting. It’s a shame, because I’ve enjoyed several of Jane Ashford’s books in the past.
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Peter Rathbone, Duke of Compton is struggling. Both financially and with the recent death of his sister. His estate is literally crumbling around him. He can't seem to get ahead and he is always alone since his father died. He did what repairs be could around the mansion. But it would never be enough. It had been six months since he had met Lord Macklin in London. He had been invited to dinner with him at White's. 
Ada Grandison had found Peter's sister at the end of a deep embankment. She had been dead, now Ada was haunted by dreams. She and three of her other friends had met Delia while they were at school. They had all become fast friends and would do anything for each other. They were taking a trip to Alberdene, Peter's estate. 
Ada had found a paper in a foreign language that she had found under the mattress in Delia's room. She felt it was important and might help her brother. 
This story started out a little slow but soon picked up. It was a great mystery. I enjoy the banter between the four girls and Peter. They were use to working on mysteries where he wasn't. The characters were engaging and at times funny. The tale was compelling  I found that it was difficult to put down, it was very entertaining. I do recommend this book to all.
I received this ARC from Net Galley and voluntarily reviewed it.
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I have a mix review here. I liked the plot. I did not feel the chemistry between leads. The book had so much potential, but because I did not feel the connection... It was just 🆗
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This is my fair and honest review, voluntarily and in my own words, for this ARC.  This is one part of a series of sorts.  A lonely meddling old gentleman going around and leaving a mark on all those he interacts with.  Makes for good reading.
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I loved this delightful romance and mystery!

Peter is a nearly-destitute duke whose late sister's friends descend upon his dilapidated ancestral home with a mysterious note and a whole host of ways to upset his desolate life.  Ada was closest to Peter's sister, Delia, and is seeking some solace from visiting her friend's home.  Accompanying Ada and her three friends is her formidable aunt, Julia, acting as chaperone, and their visit coincides with that of the Earl of Macklin, a friend of Peter's, who has a reputation for surreptitious matchmaking.

Peter is a man weighted down by his responsibilities and still grieving for his sister.  While he welcomes her friends, he doesn't welcome the questions and possibilities that their visit brings.  But he can't help being attracted to Ada, even though there's no way he would ever be considered an acceptable match for her, and barely holds onto his proprieties as she weaves her magic around his heart.  

Ada is thrilled to discover that Delia, before her passing, was very close to finding a secret treasure trove hidden by her ancestors centuries before.  All four of the young ladies work together, with and sometimes without Peter's cooperation, to piece together all the clues of what Peter is convinced is just another flight of fancy that wasted his father's and his sister's time.  

The writing is especially clever, poignant, humorous, and insightful.  The author beautifully brings out each character's heart and soul, making these characters come alive and leave an unforgettable imprint.  Each character is developed fully, even those on the periphery, and I was thoroughly enraptured right from the start.  

The HEA was so sweet and tender, though I would have loved for it to have been drawn out just a little bit longer.  This is a clean romance, with our characters sharing only a few steamy kisses.  I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this book.
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A Duke too Far, is book 4 in The Way to a Lord's Heart series and features Peter Rathbone, the Duke of Compton and Ada Grandison both whom have of course been featured in the previous books. Peter is still deeply mourning the loss of his sister and trying to keep the family’s ancestral home from falling upon him, almost literally when the Earl of Macklin arrives unannounced followed promptly by Ada and her friends. As Peter is already struggling with handling the responsibilities of his family’s crumbling home and his grief over his sister death, these visitors are not only un-welcomed, but a burden on his meager staff and his means. 

Ada however was a close friend of his sister’s and she is also grieving her lost. She tells him she felt compelled to come because of a letter that may hold the secret to saving his family’s fortune and his home. Peter has heard the legends of his family’s lost fortune and is skeptical that anything new can come to light of how they had come to lose it all. He literally doesn’t believe in it at all, but Ada is persuasive and hard to shake off. The letter written in another language sends Ada and Peter on a hunt to unravel the past and the more they explore the possibilities of his sister and father’s belief in the family hidden treasure, the closer they grow.
This book is a slow building, subtle romance. There is no fiery love scenes and lots of hands on encounters. What we have instead is a slow and steady growing of care between two people who see the possibilities of what may be if they dare to reach for it and perhaps not dwell so much on what’s expected by society and their peers. We get to revisit of course with Arthur, the Earl of Macklin and his subtle meddling and we see Tom in here as well as supporting character as in the other books. I admit  I have grown quite fond off these two. I am quite looking forward to seeing what happens with both of these supporting characters later on. Though this book as the others is a stand-alone book, there are snippets which in my opinion make it easier to follow if the other books in the series are read. Overall it is a great read, and a great addition to the series.
This review was given on the ARC copy received from Sourcebooks Casablanca via NetGallery in return for my honest opinion.
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Will his sister’s last quest bring love or one more deception in his life...

I wonder if this is the last book in this series as the four men invited to dine by the Earl of Macklin all got their second chance. It lives only the Earl and Tom, both alone.
I have only read the previous book, still, I liked Arthur, the Earl, in some way, he has decided to help those men, to smooth their grieving day and improve their future.
Peter Rathbone is his last project, yet I was dubious how he could help him, as he is nearly destitute and a bit of a recluse.
Still, the Earl is a kind of magic charm, where he goes, love follows him. And while he is not one to push over someone, he observes to determine the best road to assist.

My heart arched for Peter, he has lived quite a lonely life, loss after loss, disappointment after disappointment. But then he left bitterness cloud in some way his judgement.
After, having to scrape every coins he gets, doing himself his estate’s repairs, using his forefathers clothes to dress himself, he has every right to be dubious about a treasure tale when he lives in a shambles of a house.
Ada was attracted to her late friend’s bother since their first encounter, but very young to be able to act upon it. Yet, she is not one to let it pass before her, without a try. So in a way, to bring peace to her departed friend but also herself, she schemes a trip to meet the man she is attracted too. While she is young, she shows determination and a strong burgeoning personality.
I loved they were no beautiful people but while aware they were no hidden beauties, they become beautiful in the eyes of the other as their feelings move forward.

While the romance between Ada and Peter is the thread linking everything, this book was more a tale of the power of friendship with a side plot as the mystery indices by Peter’s sister, Delia, last words.
Ada is surrounded by her three friends, with Delia’s spirit between them. Together they plan, plot and have fun in this merry chase to solve a hundred old mystery if there were one. But there is also the relationship between the Earl with his protégé, Tom or with Peter or even Ada’s aunt, an old acquaintance of the Earl too.
I loved their many interactions, their banters, their reasoning. It was what infused life in this story.

4 stars for this fun read with many entertaining characters,  I do just hope it is not the ending of this series as I would love to see the earl of Macklin get his own HEA and learn more about Tom’s future.

I was granted an advance copy by the publisher Sourcebooks Casablanca. Here is my true and unbiased opinion.
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A Duke Too Far by Jane Ashford is the fourth (maybe last) book in the series of The Way to a Lord’s Heart.  The series is based on an older gentleman, Arthur Shelton, Earl of Macklin who is determined to help young men dealing with loss of family.  He is a secondary character in all the stories in this series.  

Peter Rathbone, Duke of Compton is in dire straits.  He is trying to keep his family’s land and people going, but he has nothing.  His house is crumbling, there is very little money, his land and people need help and he is grieving his sister, Delia’s death.

Ada Grandison found Delia’s body and has not been able to let the sight of her go.  Ada is determined to help Peter find a missing treasure that Delia was sure existed.  The treasure would help save his land, people and his house.  The problem is that Peter is not sure it even exists…  Peter however is quite sure he is in love with Ada, but there is no way to move forward without money.  He will not bring her to poverty and lack of safety.  

I love the character of Arthur and am sorry that this seems to be the last book in the series.  I want to believe there will be more.  A Duke Too Far by Jane Ashford was a good read.
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I love slow burns but this was just boring. Didn’t feel the love connection at all. I also wasn’t fond of the young age of Ada. I know this is typical of historical romance, but she still seemed really immature even as the more forward one of two main characters.
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I loved Ms Ashford’s previous series, but this one continues to leave me flat. I keep giving each new book in this series a try, hoping it will get better, but it’s not working for me. I do think this book got off to a stronger start than the previous books in the series. Peter is an interesting character, and his situation is different than that of your typical hero (especially a duke hero). Much of the “poverty” seen in romance novels isn’t really poverty, but Peter is truly poor, in spite of his dukedom.  I also appreciated the accurate depiction of grief and trauma. These were real strengths of the book. The major weakness for me was the pacing; the book moved very slowly and definitely felt like a slog.
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I received a copy of a Duke Too Far in exchange for an honest review.  Ada traveled to a dilapidated estate belonging to her deceased friend's family in search for hidden jewels that her friend had been looking for.  Ada traveled with a group of girlfriends, and her aunt where they met her friend's brother Peter.  Peter was a recluse, and even as a Duke he had very little interaction with outside people.  He hesitantly let Ada and her entourage stay at his estate not knowing Ada was on a crusade to find the hidden jewels.

Ada and Peter discovered they had feelings for each other.  Peter tried fighting his attraction because he couldn't offer her the lifestyle she deserved because he was broke. Ada wasn't willing to give up, and convinced Peter and her friends to search for the hidden jewels.

Most of the novel takes place inside of the estate.  For me, this story fell flat in action and relationship development.  There were too many characters and not enough action to keep me engaged.  

Peter and Ada
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A way to an Earls Heart book 4 I. Series.
No real drama between hero an heroine. Impoverished Duke, and young lady in love. Search for a treasure to save estate. Liked primary and secondary characters. Curious to know more about Tom.
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