Cover Image: Her Night with the Duke

Her Night with the Duke

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Member Reviews

3.5 stars

I received an ARC from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Her Night with the Duke has generated a fair amount of buzz in the romance community, and despite my general misgivings with trying new-to-me historical authors due to my complex feelings on the genre, not to mention my issues with most dukes, I decided to give it a chance. And I’m glad to say I was actually fairly charmed by this one. 

A lot of that has to do with the heroine. Leela is wonderful, from her compassionately written Arabic background (a welcome sight after much talk about bad rep in current and upcoming historical releases, both ownvoices and not) to her independent spirit. I love that she has her own mind and is determined to do things for herself, not depending on men in her present circumstances, especially since she previously married fairly advantageously. I also loved how she fought back both against society who demeaned her for her background and those who tried to impose roadblocks against her pursuing her career aspirations to the fullest extent just because she was a woman. 

And her relationship with her stepdaughter, Victoria, is another wonderful highlight. While this isn’t the first series to feature a fairly nice stepmother character, I don’t recall any at the moment that really focus on the bond of friendship between a stepmother and stepdaughter to this extent where it truly impacts the conflict in the same way it would in similar books where the two are sisters instead. 

I did find Hunt a bit less interesting…he’s the standard duke who is determined to shirk passion for duty, but finds it difficult due to the tempting heroine. I did come to like him over time, and he wasn’t offensive to me the way some others of his ilk are in other books with the “uptight aristocratic hero/free spirited heroine” setup. However, his arc held few surprises for me in terms of his character development. 

I also had mixed feelings about the pacing. In some ways I did like it, as it gave their relationship a unique trajectory, and didn’t prolong their angsting over one another through one event (ie man is betrothed to someone, but wants someone else), but around halfway through, it almost felt like the book was ending, because of what I had come to expect. So, on the one hand, I liked the unpredictability, but at the same time, it also felt a bit…odd…and as if their issues were a bit prolonged for the sake of it. 

However, this is still a delightful book, and I can’t wait to read more of Diana Quincy’s work. And if you love historicals and are looking for a book that provides a fresh twist on some familiar tropes, you’ll love this one.
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This was a richly authentic historical romance. Leela and Hunt are a hot combo!! This story had me getting pretty warm and loving every minute of it!!! This story has a strong lead heroine, racism, aristocracy, sexy scenes galore and I just adored it !!!!
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Rich in detail, love, and passion. Sooo good!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
From the very first page, I knew this was going to be something special. The author really made this a unique story with the lead female not being your standard character.

Not only that, but she also made her a Lady as well. She’s unique and hard-core and absolutely is in love with a one night stand. She just doesn’t know it, yet.

The book was just wonderful from the beginning. Quincey has amazing characters and such a fabulous way of telling her story that I simply couldn’t stop reading. I read the whole thing in one sitting and wanted more!

Classic historical romance with the spice and heat that we love today. Rich in detail, love, and passion!

Interesting and highly developed characters with wonderful supporting characters make this a stunning story that leaves you craving so much more! I will definitely look for more books from Quincy!
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I felt very conflicted about this book. I liked some parts of it but yet felt very frustrated with other parts. 
The hero, Hugh, a Duke, and  heroine, Leela a widowed countess,  are on again, off again  so many times you can't keep track. I felt their relationship to instantaneous and combustible. 
What I did like was the relationship  Leela had with her step daughter,Tori. Leela was a very strong determined young 
While I liked the characters themselves,  the storyline itself was something I just couldn't connect with.
3
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VERDICT Quincy (“Rebellious Brides” series) delivers a steamy Regency fraught with family discord as well as societal and racial prejudices. This gripping series starter ultimately triumphs with an honorable hero and a spirited Anglo-Arab heroine who fights for acceptance and love on her own terms.
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An enjoyable page turner.  This hot, sexy novel will have you fanning yourself.  Leela is not your typical Dowager Countess.  She is a published author, a woman ahead of her time. She falls in love with Hunt and he with her but there are many, many obstacles to any Happily Ever After.  It seems impossible.  But perhaps fate will find a way.  The author does a very good job of dealing with the racism of the era. We have a strong determined heroine in Leela and an equally determined Hero in Hunt.   This is a unique Historical Romance which touches on several deep emotions.
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This book has problematic racial representation. Narrative choices other the heroine, who is of Arab and English descent, in almost every scene. The heroine was born and raised in England, and is of an aristocratic family both by birth and marriage, and she has only within the previous few years sought out her Arabian ancestry/culture and learned Arabic. Despite this, her inner monologue includes Arabic words in italics, she's described as completely different and separate in body and spirit from English women, and is perceived by others to be completely foreign.

In the first scene, she arrives at an inn during a rainstorm and several men in the inn threaten to physically assault and "share her," aka rape her, both because she's a woman alone and because they identify her as not being a white woman and therefore they don't feel bound by social constructs to protect her. Although she is shown to be able to defend herself with a knife, she accepts the male MC's protection and offer to eat dinner in his rooms. This scene is incredibly disturbing, but is shrugged off by both MCs within moments.

They quickly give in to physical attraction and have sex, but the hero's descriptions of the female MC are often extremely problematic: he compares her to a skittish Arabian mare and he repeatedly notes how her skin color and body are unlike the white English women he's bedded before. In his thoughts: she's just so "different." Even when this idea of difference is considered complimentary, the subtext (and text!) is that she is wild/animalistic and sensuous and uncivilized compared to the sedate, civilized, sexually repressed English women he's known. 

The representation of the biracial heroine is extremely problematic within the context of how women of color have been portrayed in fiction. I know the author has identified this as an #ownvoices novel, but it's clear this would have benefitted from a sensitivity reader to identify these really major issues.
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5/5 stars 

I absolutely loved this book. This was the first book that I've read by Diana Quincy and now I want to read more. The writing was very good and kept me invested in the book, I never wanted to put it down. I also adored our main character, she was so much better than I thought she would be. Don't even get me started on the romance! Everytime I read an interaction between thoese too I was left swonning just a little,  and loved every second of it. I highly recommend everyone picking up a copy of this book.
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A few things I enjoyed about this book: the heroine's struggle of being caught between two worlds, her desire for independence, and the discussion of "marrying down" for love. However, for some reason I didn't buy the hero and heroine's insta-love. Insta-lust, maybe, although that also seemed a bit out of character for a woman who had only been with her late husband. I found the stepdaughter conflict to be a bit frustrating, especially because it was hard for me to believe that the duke and countess had actually developed a deep emotional connection after one night together. I did enjoy the story a lot more in the latter half.
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This was a fun read and had all the elements expected for this type of romance. I was invested in each of the characters and hoping they would find happiness. Our lovers in this novel fight their feelings and societal expectations to find a way to be together. There are also familial complications.

Overall, I enjoyed reading this novel. It kept my interest and the pacing was steady. I also liked that the main character was Arab and she embraced that cultural identity. I do wish I saw more growth from the male lead. Although he does change, I feel like it wasn't enough and he still said disparaging words at the end. But, I thought that the characters fit together. I also enjoyed the side characters and thought they rounded out the story.

Thank you NetGalley for a digital copy of this book for review.
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She was a widow, bound to no man, finally answerable to no one but herself. It was one night in the middle of nowhere. No one need ever know. 

First in the Clandestine Affairs series, Her Night With the Duke introduces us to widowed Delilah (Leela) and almost betrothed Elliot, the Duke of Huntington, as they both take shelter at an Inn. Due to her tawny skin color, the Innkeeper doesn't want to give her a room and the men act less than gentlemanly towards her. With her janbiya, she demonstrates she can take care of herself but Elliot still steps in to offer to share his meal and room with her. As the night goes on, these two can't fight their instant attraction anymore and they both agree to share one night together. However, when true identities get revealed, their one night has dire consequences, in more ways than one. 

There was no denying the truth any longer. She felt more than just a physical attraction for the Duke of Huntington. 

I am a frequent reader of the Regency sub-genre in romance and I think that hurt my enjoyment of this; characters and lines came off cardboard cut-out and cliche. The beginning conversation between Leela and Elliot felt stilted and with some cheesy lines, I never felt the heat and passion between the two that was supposed to lead to them jumping into the bed right away. Elliot was our Duke who likes strict schedules to prove he is not a wastrel like his late brother and would never want to do anything to cause a scandal; I could never pick him out of a romance genre Regency Duke line-up. Leela was by far the more interesting character. With her English Marquess father marrying an Arab merchant's daughter, she had a more complex background. Leela was raised completely English, her mother didn't want her to acknowledge her Arab side to try and help her fit in better, married at seventeen, and then widowed at twenty-four where she decides to travel in and around Jerusalem to meet her mother's side of the family. While Leela's penchant to use Arabic words and phrases added some much needed character freshness to this sub-genre, I struggled with how it came off forced at times because of how English she was raised and how little time she spent with her mother's family. Leela talks about her travel and we get one scene with her mother's family but I still felt like the fabric of the connection to her Arabic side was missing. 

“Some men enjoy flirting with danger.”

The angst in the story comes from Leela and Elliot discovering after their one night together that Leela's step-daughter Tori is who Elliot was planning on becoming betrothed to. Since I didn't feel the lust or heat between them in the beginning, I had trouble feeling the angst and struggle for them to keep apart. Without feeling the emotion between the two, this fell pretty flat for me. Leela and Tori had a good relationship but Tori's stuttered pauses whenever Elliot was in the scene made them drag and Leela's step-son character, from an attempted rapist super-villain to oh was just jealous calmly talking and working together made the character so uneven. Elliot's friend Griff does sound intriguing with society murmuring that he could have killed his parents, some tortured hero angst there. 

“Following the rules certainly hasn’t proven satisfactory. Maybe everything in life cannot be tied up into a neat little package.”

This read closer to an Avon Impulse as Leela and Elliot's interactions take place more in the bedroom than anywhere else.  About halfway through, Elliot makes a plea for Leela and him to be together but she refuses and the betrothal happens. Even at midway, this felt like a betrayal to the message of how strong the emotion between Leela and Elliot was supposed to be. However, at around 70% our couple gets together and then it feels like the ending was dragged out with some compulsory emotional obstacles that if they'd just sat and had a conversation could have been resolved. 

I wish we could have gotten scenes with Leela's brother Alexander (he shows up once), along with more scenes with her dragoman Hashem to explore those emotional connections. Unfortunately, the romance fell flat for me in this, I found myself wanting to read more about Leela on her travels in Arabia. I missed the emotional fabric of why the characters thought and acted like they did, they felt like paper dolls moving from point A to point B. As I mentioned though, new readers to this sub-genre could have a different experience and Leela was an admirable heroine.
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This is one romance that I am not quite sure how to rate.  I enjoyed reading it, but it was quite uneven.  Among the most major issues was the fact that the characters were very scattered in their behavior and motivations.  This was another book where it felt like many plot ideas had been thrown together (not uncommon in the genre) and didn't quite get stitched together properly leaving many moments feeling forced or misguided.  My biggest issue with it, however, was with the background given to Delilah, which I wanted to like much more than I did in its execution.  In the first scenes, the reader is introduced to her in a what unfortunately reads as an exoticized way and her background as a half-Arab English countess seems to shift as needed from that opening scene to the rest of the book as Delilah's, half-Arab raised English nobility, life is established and we learn more about her choice to travel and meet the family her mother had kept her from.  The main plot is a one-night stand that becomes complicated when it turns out the two people now have feelings and have been thrown back together and because of prior obligations can't act upon those feelings.  This was an excellent conflict set up, but the behavior of our romantic love even though called out for his behavior, didn't really make him seem like he was that much of a catch.
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Leelah, a widow, and Elliot, a duke, traveling incognito are stranded at an inn and have a night of passion. Imagine their shock when a few days later they turn up at the same house party for her stepdaughter, Tori.  Elliot is Tori’s soon to be arranged fiancé! Great story! I received an ARC from NetGalley and HarperCollins Publishers for my honest review.
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I read this book within a days time. That’s how good this book is. I was drawn towards the pull between Hunter and Leela. What ever they tried to do in order to avoid each other failed. They loved each other. Leela cared for her stepdaughter so much. Hunter couldn’t get past Leela to marry Tori. The writing by the author was a slow pace, but this helped to explain certain things for better understanding to the readers. This is a good romance book to read. I voluntary reviewed this ARC  after receiving  a free gifted copy. 
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Excellent! I thoroughly enjoyed every bit of this book from the heroine and hero, to the interesting look at different cultures in Regency England, to the "lovers separated" theme, to the secondary characters-everything! Given the current state of the world, I was thrilled that the heroine was part "Arabian" (their word) and part English. (The more the romance world normalizes "love overrides all", the better .)

Clearly, I have to go back and read Quincy's previous works and I'm _really_ looking forward to the next in this series!
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Heat - 3.5

Her Night With the Duke is the first in a new series by Diana Quincy. This book is about Lady Delilah Chambers who is on her way and gets stranded in an inn during a bad storm. When she’s attacked by some ruffians a handsome stranger comes to her aid and they spend a night in each other’s arms. Leela thinks it will all be a fond memory until the man she slept with is presented as the future husband of her beloved step-daughter. Her one night of indiscretion is now hard to forget as it stares her in the eye from across the table. What’s a dowager to do?

This is my first book by Quincy and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed this story. At first, I didn’t want to read it because some of the forbidden-ness of their love affair just didn’t seem like my cup of tea. I usually prefer to have less angst around the question of being together, but their first night at the inn was hot enough to make up for that worry. I especially loved that this push and pull happened at a house party, where you know anything can happen ;).

Leela is an independent intelligent biracial woman holding her own in regency England. She’s befriended her step-daughter, Victoria since they were close in age and is truly hurting inside as she realizes how much she’s attracted to Victoria’s fiance. Quincy does an excellent job of creating Leela’s character, she discusses the sense of being “other” and having to give up her Arabian culture just to fit in. On top of being biracial, she was also a young bride that failed to produce any heirs. Life in the ton has not been kind to Leela, but she’s persevered. 

My issues start with the character of Hunt. He felt like a cardboard cut-out of any old Duke. He was replaceable and forgettable and I had the hardest time believing that any woman would want him for more than his title. The best I can say for Hunt was that he was a very generous lover to Leela. My other issue is that Leela’s character did a lot of rather idiotic things to avoid love and marriage with Hunt. Even when he wants to throw over Victoria for Leela because of his feelings she puts up a fight. These roadblocks seemed contrived and easily settled with an honest conversation, which is why they really began to bother me. Victoria was a good friend to Leela, and I have no doubt that if the truth of her night with Hunt was shared earlier the girl would have been more than happy to call off the wedding for her friend.

However, this book still did have a lot going for it and I enjoyed reading it much more than some other historicals that were on my TBR. I think I’ll definitely be picking up more from this author and I would recommend her to people that enjoy the work of authors like Joana Shupe, Courtney Milan, or Cat Sebastian. 

Post live 9/30/20
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𝒐𝒏𝒆 𝒔𝒆𝒏𝒕𝒆𝒏𝒄𝒆 𝒔𝒖𝒎𝒎𝒂𝒓𝒚 — Half-Arab, half-English dowager countess makes a big blunder by sleeping with her step-daughter's betrothed... he wants to give up his English rose but she says "no way".

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—

I don't think I've read another historical romance where a main character (not a servant) was mixed race, or not white. We got a glimpse into the treatment her parents faced - the insults, the criticism, the fact that her mother was never accepted into the ton and her father was called "mad". 

Leela is a complex character. She's a young dowager countess, as she was married to a 40-something year old man when she was 17 (with a 19 year old step-son and an 11 year old step-daughter). She's the daughter of a marquess, and her mother was Arabian, though she tried to conform to fit in by changing her name from Maryam to Mary and giving up parts of her culture like speaking her language. Leela faces some of the same censure her parents received, and it's a reason why she seems to like to travel, and a reason why she's hesitant to remarry - especially to a member of the ton. I understood her character and motivations, and felt like I knew her much better than I did Elliot Townsend, the Duke of Huntington. I knew the Hunt didn't want to be like his wastrel brother, and he attempted to always be calm and rational... but that's about it. 

I think this book was really ambitious, and I appreciated that. But when the plot is, "I accidentally step with my step-daughters fiancé" - you kind of know where the book is going to go. Awkward situations... angst... and trying to deny feelings. I think my main gripe is that the "will they, won't they" happened so many times. I got tired and bored of the back and forth. Also I called that Tori would fall for his secretary as soon as he was introduced, and it was confirmed when they "emerged" from the forrest together breathless.

I'd definitely give this author and series another try, especially if Leela's brother gets a book.

*ARC provided by Netgalley
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With romances, I am used to reading about a virgin heroine and a passionate hero - this one was different and I loved it! Leela, is a young widow and her closest friend is her step daughter. After traveling abroad, she seeks refuge at an inn during a storm, where she meets Elliot - dashing, warm and kind - and after a passionate night together, where she finds pleasure for her first time, she later finds out he is courting Leela's step daughter! 

Shocked by this outcome, Elliot wants to break of courting Lady Victoria, as he feels for Tori's stepmother instead. Leela wants Tori happy but how does she avoid Elliot and the chemistry between them? 

Lots of surprises in this story and I really enjoyed it, I am looking forward to the next book!
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ElliotTownsend, the Duke of Huntington, the previous Duke his older brother was a wastrel, drunk, and a womanizer. His brother had died and Hunt was able to bring the estate up to snuff. But he was very conservative, hated scandal, and did not particularly care for the ton. He had chosen Lady Victoria Devon as his bride to be. This was his mindset when on a stormy night in an awful inn he met Leela a beautiful, intelligent, and sensual woman. They had an immediate attraction. Leela was actually Lady Delilah Devon. Her father was a marquess as was her brother. 
I Loved this story, watching them go back and forth. Should she marry him but she felt society would make their lives miserable, she could not do it to him. They were so in tune with each other, She was born in England but her
mother was born in the Middle East but the marquess, her father, adored her.  A well-written tale that flowed smoothly, easy to read, and keeps on the edge of your seat You never know which one is going to run this time.  I
hope there is another novel, this was very entertaining.
I received this ARC from Net Galley and voluntarily reviewed it.
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What a HOT MESS!  Leela/Lady Devon truly is “fierce, fiery and brilliant” as described in the synopsis!  She is true to herself and loyal to those she loves.  She is independent and strong in a way unlike most heroines. (Just ask her step-son)!

Elliott/Hunt/Duke of Huntington gets a crash course in women from Leela, Tori (his almost betrothed) and from his mistress.  I appreciated his loyalty once he met Leela, but he had a lot to learn along the road to his and Leela’s HEA.

I loved the way Leela and Hunt circled each other throughout the book as they tried to be loyal and not be together, but do as ‘society’ expected of them.  Ms. Quincy well explained Leela’s heritage and how it should keep them apart and almost did.  Great romance and very well written!
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