This was my first Christina Britton novel, and I am in LOVE. I’ve been on a reading high and these new authors I keep coming across are ruining my chance of going through my TBR pile! I an only too I started the series with the second book. I’ll need to go back and read the first of the series as well as the Isle of Synne novellas. This had a very Spindle Cove feel from Tessa Dare’s series, but different priorities in the storyline.
Katrina has gone through so much heartache and scandal, all from the hands of a dumb@$$ who thought himself in love with her. As if it wasn’t enough he ruined her season In London, four years later, he ruins her reputation while she’s living her quiet life on Synne. He deserved falling and breaking his neck to be honest. KARMA. Katrina is a kind heroine who is doing her best at staying quiet and not bringing attention to herself despite being the belle of the ball once upon a time. She is a likeable character with so much to offer if only she could show people her true potential.
Sebastian is a duke, albeit a very poor one who is trying to marry for funds because he’s trying to save his estate and all the people depending on him. He’s a kind-hearted, respectable hero who's reputation has been dragged through the mud because of his late father’s poor investment choices. He’s got his eye on an heiress, but is sent by her father to the Isle of Synne to get her fiancee’s brother distracted and far away from the actress he’s in love with. At Synne, he reacquaints himself with Katrina and all the feelings they had for each other four years before come crashing back to the surface.
These two start their internal battles as they try to fight the yearning and dreams they thought had vanished years ago. They were perfect for one another, and although there was obvious attraction between the two, their connection was based on a much more emotional level. Add in a lovable, hyper dog and a few meddling friends and just see how this story ends in a HEA.
Thank you the publisher and NetGalley for providing me a copy of this book!
This started out strong with a fun cast of characters, a sort-of second chance romance (they met and flirted years earlier), a reversal of fortunes x2, and $$ keeping them apart. However, while the blaming the woman for a man’s unhealthy obsession with them was period-accurate, it was so incredibly frustrating to read, particularly other characters’ verbal attacks against the main character, that I quickly lost interest and would have DNF-ed if I had not hoped it would get better. The final resolution was okay, but I wanted there to be more addressing those who had attacked the heroine and everything wrapped up too easily and too quickly. This conflict dragged out for 25 chapters, and yet it was resolved in a few paragraphs? Nope. That does not work for me.
I also did not appreciate how the love interest was so willing to have sex with the main character despite continuing to plan on marrying someone else, which she knew, but still. He didn’t change his mind until his fiancé basically broke up with him. Red flag.
Final Rating: 3.5
In the second book of the Synneful Spinsters series, Christina Britton introduces us to Katrina Denby, a young woman surrounded by scandal during her season after an unwanted advance by a suitor. and Sebastian Thorne, the sudden Duke of Ramsleigh.
I really enjoyed this fairly low-angst second-chance romance! I felt for both characters as they navigated their scandals while still having romantic feelings for each other. Christina has an enjoyable writing style that translates very well into historical romance. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a sweet romance.
Thank you to NetGalley and Forever Publishing for an eARC in exchange for an honest review.
What's a Duke Got to Do With It by Christina Britton is a historical romance and the second book in the Synneful Spinsters series. We alternate points of view between our two main characters.
After a scandal four years ago, Katrina Denby has worked as companion to the irascible Lady Tesh and is part of the strong friend group, the Oddments, on the isle of Synne. When the man responsible for her ruination comes back and this time dies from a fall from her bedroom window, scandal rears its ugly head again. Seeking a husband on the island to save her reputation, the only man Katrina ever loved--Sebastian Thorne--returns to Synne as well, but he is about to become engaged to someone else in order to save his dukedom.
An enjoyable read, and though it is the second book in a series, it could absolutely be read as a standalone. I forever love the ladies who make up The Oddments, and I'm excited to eventually read their books in this series as well. I also love Mouse, Katrina's pet doggo, and I did greatly enjoy Lady Tesh as she maneuvered people around on a chess board to help matchmake.
There's a wee bit of steam, with a handful of explicit scenes. They're not that long and there isn't much detail.
In the end, I definitely preferred the first book in this series, Some Dukes Have All the Luck to this one, mostly because that one had more of my favorite tropes (especially bluestocking, marriage of convenience, rebellious wards, and forced proximity). Second-chance romances are typically a harder sell for me personally.
We also didn't get to watch them really get to know one another here, as they had prior history that we got glimpses of in this installment. That pulls me out of their romance a bit, as I'm told they had a friendship that grew into love, but if I don't see it, it doesn't pull on my heartstrings as much as it could. Instead, we mostly see them pining over each other after having already fallen in love four years before.
Thankfully, they are pretty open to each other about their feelings, which I was happy to see. Typically the pining happens while feelings are concealed, so I liked that they had enough trust in each other to be honest.
Tropes in this book include: second-chance, friends to lovers
CW: sexual assault, toxic relationships, domestic abuse, grief, death, violence, gaslighting
This book hit me in the feels. And really fit the whole in my heart that historical romance has occupied for so long. Katrina has really received the short end of the stick. In the introduction, she and Sebastian are flirting and it seems, about to fall in love. However, she ends up compromised and separately, Sebastian leaves, putting their love story on hold. Now, her scandal was reignited (both of these with no fault from her) and suddenly Sebastian is back in her life too. But he’s broke and practically engaged to an heiress. Both are trying to do what’s right for the people important to them, Sebastian, his sisters, and Katrina, her friends who are being hurt by her scandal. In the midst of all of this, they start to fall in love again, even though both are trying to fight it. This book made and cry and multiple times I thought, “things aren’t going to work out for them”. Christina Britton has crafted a beautiful story and I honestly didn’t want to put this book down!
What’s A Duke Got To Do With It is the second novel in the Synneful Spinsters series by Christina Britton. I have fallen in love with the oddments, a group of best friend spinsters. This is Katrina’s story. Katrina Denby is a companion; she has escaped scandal, but it has followed her and ruined her life again. Sebastian Thorne, the Duke of Ramsleigh, has been regulated to a fortune hunter to save his failing Dukedom. Fate brings the couple who were besotted once a long time ago together again, yet fate is determined to keep them apart.
Poor Katrina! I felt so sorry for her. Her ruination was not her fault. It was maddening to witness how horribly her brother and the vicar treated her due to things out of her control. I usually detest a fortune hunter, but Sebastian had a heart of gold and was doing the only thing he could save the people dependent on him.
The secondary characters and Mouse, the dog, were wonderfully written. The struggle of wanting Katrina but not having her went on too long. Also, the ending felt too convenient; everything wrapped up quickly and easily. The writing was excellent, the dialogue sparkling, and the plot kept my interest. I loved the pure hearts of Sebastian and Katrina the most. These two amazing people in horrible circumstances deserve their happily ever after! This is a fantastic addition to an eye-catching series that is turning out to be outstanding.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advance copy of this book through Netgalley and the Publisher. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Well…alas. I knew going in that the “I love you but I must marry another to save my estates as they were ruined through no fault of my own” plot set up is definitely not my favorite, but I’ve loved her past books, so I was hoping Christina’s spin on it would work for me. I’ve said it before, but the self sacrifice really does me in! Does that make me a bad person? Yeah probably lol but 💁♀️
All of their getting to know each other happened before the book even began. The rest was them just pining for each other without much conversation different from “I must marry someone else, here’s why…” it got very repetitive and rather painful. Her prospects were terrible, he kept fretting that he couldn’t be the one to marry her, and then they both just looked mournful the entire time.
I wanted Katrina to show some more anger at the people who put her in this situation, rather than shouldering the blame. I understand her, but it just got to be a lot. And him! He kept saying “I just want you to be happy, Katrina” but my dude! how in the world do you think that’s possible. Just be quiet you just keep digging the knife in!
It’s a good book, and I think most readers will have a great time with it. For me, however, I don’t even think it was intensely angsty or dramatic even, it was just like 85% of two characters loving each other and thinking they couldn’t be together. Knowing that though, it may be a good choice for someone just getting into historical romance, as this would be a good introduction to forbidden love. When the two main characters are nice people, it makes the book a cozy time nonetheless.
Overall, seeing as I generally don’t like books along the same lines, this one did have many parts I liked: the charming Isle of Synne, the meddling Lady Tesh, some truly humorous moments (Mouse was the key factor in all of them lol), and a lovely friend group. I definitely still love Christina’s writing and I didn’t hate the book or the characters, it just wasn’t a plot I enjoyed. That said I’m definitely excited for winter 2024!
*2ish explicit scenes, but pretty short and low on detail.
Also what did that dude come back four years later to climb in her window again? Of course I know ~why~ but it was very random and felt kinda like a loose end.
Thanks to the publisher for an advanced and finished copy! All opinions are honest and my own.
Welcome back to Isle of Synne with the next installment in the Synneful Spinsters Series.
What's a Duke Got to Do With It finds an opportunity for rekindled love to reignite before one marries the wrong person to save themselves. On a night many years ago, Sebastin, the Duke, was about to declare his love for Katrina when he got an urgent message to return immediately to the family estate. He was not witness to the humiliation laid before Katrina after a series of unfortunate events that same evening.
Now four years later, they find themselves together on the Isle. Their feelings are still fierce, only he's about to ask another for their hand in marriage. The pull toward each other is overwhelming, and soon they find they can't hide their desires. Only Katrina knows what is at stake, and can't let him lose it ALL for her.
The Oddments, the ladies from book #1 and Lady Tesh help Katrina to understand what is love and longing to be wanted rather than banished. This regency romance is cozy, and filled with fun, decent characters.
Another winner from author, Britton and I look forward to the next installment.
Thank you Forever for the complimentary copy.
I absolutely love this author & this series! I was so happy to have given an advanced copy to read! Katerina was so sweet and has a big heart. She really deserved a happy ending! She came from a scandal, that she wasn’t really even involved in. Then it came all the way to Synne for another time! I adored how she always tries to hold her head high but never wanted anything to affect her friends. Sebastian, Duke of Ramsleigh, is in need of money. He’s a good guy. Sebastian did court Katrina in the past & was the only woman he could see himself marry but now he must for funds. They end up having to be around one another a lot as Sebastian is in Synne staying at Katrina’s employers home! I love that these two were given a second chance at love! The characters were so wonderful! I can’t wait for the next one!
There isn’t a succinct two-sentence summary I could give to truly encompass all of the drama and convoluted plots and relationships in this story, so just suffice to say, it’s all worth it. This book is so much fun, and the romance between Katrina and Sebastian so heartfelt, that it’s impossible to mind all the weird twists and turns of the rest of it.
Katrina and Sebastian were starting to fall for each other four years earlier, when they both suffered a bit of a personal scandal. Now, he’s a duke and she’s an outcast. He needs to marry an heiress, and she just wants to regain a little respect. But their chemistry is too strong to ignore, even when they both know it’s better if they keep their distance. I thought they were really sweet together, much better together than they are alone, and it was fun to see how they overcame their obstacles to realize that as well.
This is the second in a series, and once again, the tiny Isle of Synne makes for a wonderful setting. Katrina’s group of friends, who call themselves the Oddments, are so interesting and distinct, and I hope to see each of them get their own novel and their own happiness. So many romances are only strong during scenes of the lead couple together, but Britton does a fantastic job making sure every character plays exactly the role they should and nothing feels unnecessary. As a lover of supporting characters, I really appreciate that about this series.
I was totally into this story from the beginning. Who could imagine what happened to Katrina and how she made her way to the Isle. Let alone have the same thing happen to her twice. What reputation could ever recover from two mishaps. And you have to love Mouse. Such a devoted dog. The flirtation between Katrina and Sebastian was so much fun to read and they were a great couple together. Very enjoyable story which was hard to put down as each page got me more involved in their story. I would highly recommend this to others.
Katrina was once a sought after eligible bride but after scandal she is sent off to be a companion for the somewhat cantankerous Lady Tesh. She is hoping to earn her good name back when scandal strikes again leaving a permanent stain on her good name. This she could tolerate on its own but when her friends start being pulled under with her she becomes desperate to at least be somewhat respectable in the eyes of her peers. That’s when the last man she thought she would ever see again returns to her life except this time he’s engaged.
Sebastian has one goal and that is to marry rich to be able to restore his Dukedom to its former glory after his late father tanked their fortunes. What he doesn’t need is to see the one girl who got away. She isn’t what he needs but she’s what he has always wanted. And once he sees the dire straits she’s been left in his heart aches to solve all her problems even though he knows it would be at a cost to his own. Torn between heart and duty the Duke has to decide.
I loved the first book in the Synneful Spinsters series so when the publisher reached out with a copy of the second book I was excited to dive back into this world. This book did not disappoint in fact I may have enjoyed it even more than the first one.
My heart was shattered for Katrina as things went from bad to worse to downright unsalvageable. Just when it seemed like she might have found a way out another door slammed into her face. No one deserved an HEA more than her.
Sebastian was positively swoonworthy especially in the way he tried to protect and shield her while also respecting what she needed to do. His connection with mouse was adorable. He was meant to be mouse’s dad all along no matter what happened between him and Katrina.
If you love an angsty read that will make your heart hurt before putting it back together with all the forbidden love, found family vibes, a swoonworthy Duke, and an absolutely precious doggo then you need to make this your next read!
What’s a Duke Got to Do With It by Christina Britton was my first book by this author and I enjoyed reading it. This is the second book in the series, but the first I read and did not feel lost. Here we have Sebastian and Katrina and this is their second chance romance. Though they were meant to be together, life throws them off their path and troubles keep them apart. Years later they are face to face again, but again, they cannot be together. Even if their love is strong then ever. A charming and delightful read!
Katrina Denby, companion to Lady Tesh, finally gets her happily ever after in What’s a Duke Got to Do with It. Katrina came to the Isle of Synne already having suffered a scandal and now the same man whose actions ruined her name years ago is found dead trying yet again to climb into her window. Katrina’s reputation is in tatters and her only hope of not only salvaging her name but protecting those she loves from being hurt by association is to marry. Of course, that’s when the only man she ever wanted to wed comes through the door.
Sebastian, Duke of Ramsleigh, fell equally hard for Katrina years ago. But just as he was about to confess his feelings his father died, leaving him mired in debt and scandal. He’s still struggling to find enough money to support those who depend on him and the only way to do so is to marry for money. Which is when the penniless woman of his dreams comes back into his life…
What I liked best about What’s a Duke Got to Do with It is that Sebastian and Katrina are both such kind characters. They have good hearts and sweet natures; neither of them deserves what life has thrown at them. It was hard to see Katrina be hit over and over without cause, even knowing that author Christina Britton had to have the aforementioned happily ever after waiting for her at the end. It’s clear from the start that Sebastian and Katrina are meant to be, but love isn’t enough with the obstacles in their way. I adored them together and was rooting for them to find a way to make things work out so they could be together. Britton kept me guessing on how it would work but the end result was a satisfying one.
What’s a Duke Got to Do with It has a sweet romance, two protagonists who are easy to adore, and a host of supporting characters I enjoyed reading about. I love spending time on the Isle of Synne and I cannot wait to see what Britton has in store for Katrina’s fellow Oddments.
Katrina and Sebastian's story is a real heartstring tugger. I found these two super easy to like and I must say that they each made my heart ache. This sweet, sometimes funny, sometimes poignant romance definitely put my emotions through their paces and gave me plenty of feels.
What’s a Duke Got to Do With It by Christina Britton is book Two in the Synneful Spinsters Series. This is the story of Kristina Denby and Sebastian Thorne, the Duke of Ramsleigh. Kristina and Sebastian where on the edge of declaring their feelings but both had something happened to them that changed their world. Sebastian's father died where he learned the title is heavily in debit due to his father's gambling habits. Kristina was almost kidnapped but the town of course finds Kristina at fault which has impacted her brother too. Now about 4 years later they both find themselves at Lady Tess's house where their feelings are still there but both are still living with what happened to them. Enjoyed this book.
I absolutely adore the fictional island of Synne and the community that inhabits it. I look forward to each book that Ms Britton creates that inhabits this magical island. In What’s a Duke got To Do With It we finally get hear the backstory of Lady Tesh’s companion
Katrina Denby and her giant loping dog, Mouse. Katrina first appeared way back in book 1 of the Isle of Synne and has been one of my favorite side characters in every book since. What I wasn’t expecting was the heartbreaking reason why Katrina has been reduced to working for a living. We always hear about regency debutants being “ruined” by the smallest of infractions or by being “overcome ” by passion. But in the case of Katrina, she is the innocent victim of what seems to be an unstable Lord who was sort of a stalker. All this on the eve of what might have been a declaration between her and Sebastian who is now the Duke of Ramsleigh. Well it’s 4 years later and oh so much has happened to both of them and where our story picks up it seems that the current situation for both of them is somewhat hopeless. I really feel for them both as it seems that both of them did indeed hold a true affection for each other that never had time to blossom.
In what seems to be a fruitless 2nd chance love, how can these two find any happiness?
Ms Britton goes to battle for these two and finds a way for each of them to find the strength to stand up to the strictures of the day and what “society” thinks they should do. This book is a wonderful addition to the Synne series and we get a bit more insight to some of the other “Oddments” ladies as well. I was kindly given an ARC by NetGallery for my unbiased review.
I adored this sweet second chance romance! The hero is the perfect cinnamon roll with touch her and I’ll break every bone in your body energy and the heroine is both resourceful and vulnerable.
Full review to come on my blog soon!
London - 1817
Miss Katrina Denby admires Sebastian Thorne, Marquess of Marston, plus son and heir to the Duke of Ramsleigh. At a soiree, he has asked her for the supper dance which is something very special. She next dances with Lord Landon who is to soon marry. But Sebastian receives an urgent note sending him home. His father has died and left him with lots of debt. That night, Katrina is awakened by Lord Landon climbing into her bedroom window begging her to marry him. Her scream awakens her brother, Francis, who arrives and challenges him to a duel resulting in Francis losing an arm.
Isle of Synne - 1821
After the death of her parents, the loss of their money, and her brother’s subsequent depression at the loss of his arm, Katrina is now the companion to the irritable dowager Viscountess Tesh. She works hard to keep the woman happy. She has made many friends of the local young women who are all very close. One night, her dog, Mouse, awakens her barking and she looks outside to see a dead man on the ground. It turns out to be the spurned Lord Landon obviously again trying to clim in her window. Thinking she may now lose her job, the dowager and her friends gather closer around her saying they support her. Sebastian is now hoping to marry a wealthy young woman, but her father insists that he take his son away for awhile as he is in love with an actress. Lady Tesh says she has invited Sebastian and a young man to visit her. Katrina is so happy to see Sebastian again but knows that they could never be together as people blame her for Lord Landon coming after her. So unfair. But their time together brings back memories and they cannot deny their love for one another.
This was sad and shows how downtrodden this young woman was. The characters are well-written and the ending is good. Lady Tesh is a bit of a pill but Mouse the dog is adorable. I’m sure historical romance readers will enjoy this book.
Copy provided by NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Another cozy read from Christina Britton. What's a Duke Got to Do With It pairs two deeply kind and generous people together. There's no doubt that Sebastian and Katrina are right for one another, in much the same way Jane and Bingley are right in Pride and Prejudice. They're sweet, they're good friends, they have much in common. They've been driven apart only by circumstances beyond their control, and they give the reader plenty of mutual pining for the happiness they believe is out of reach. I got frustrated with them on occasion, as they are both self-sacrificing to a fault, and that's really what's keeping them apart. But they do grow stronger by the end. The denizens of Synne are as delightful as ever, Mouse the dog is hilarious, and Lady Tesh is absolutely the best. Recommended for fans of lighthearted historical romance.