Cover Image: What’s a Duke Got to Do With It

What’s a Duke Got to Do With It

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Have conspired to keep Katrina and Sebastian Thorne (best book name) apart for four years.
A dowward spiral for both. Sebastian abd Katrina were friends and flirted until Katrina's life imploded through no fault of hers (things happened to her). Sebastian was on the cusp of declaring himself when he had a rude awakening on responsibility and the dukedom he inherited from a gambling father (things happening to him). Now, four years later, he is going to take to wife a woman he he feels nothing for to secure his dukedom's financial security.

Katrina only wants happiness and security, both of which are eluding her again, with the same idiot dragging her unwittingly into his scandals. She has a lovely found family on the Isle of Syne and a job as companion to Lady Tesh,

Katrina and Sebastian both always want to do the right thing and to do their duty and what is best for others. I really like them together as they face many challenges.

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I have been in love with the Isle of Synne since the first book in the first series. Christina Britain has created an imaginary Island romance is their key export!

Katrina Denby is a scandalous spinster working as the companion for the formidable Lady Tesh, pretty much the matriarch of Isle of Synne. Her beauty and general kindness has attracted men that bring her scandal with no fault or provocation of her own. It’s not fair, but she’s ruined needs to face the consequences of other men’s actions.

Katrina is shocked to find that lady Tesh’s most recent houseguest has brought a friend, who she fell in love with during her come out season. They have not seen each other since her scandal, and unbeknownst to her, his scandal as well!

Sebastian Thorne, Duke of Ramsleigh needs to distract his future brother-in-law from an unwanted love match, and what better place to do it than on the remote Isle of Synne! Too bad when he arrives, he finds a ghost from his past, his former love interest… this does not bode well for his upcoming marriage of convenience that is set to save his dukedom!

This second chance romance was extremely compelling. The star crossed love interests in the forbidden of nature of their attraction and romance practically sizzled off the page! Both characters have been dealt tough cards and tried to do their duty to their respective families. I love seeing love triumphs over duty, and these to find a way to break the Dukes engagement, and create their own happily ever after!

I have loved the Synneful Spinsters series but this addition can easily be read as a standalone.

Visiting the Isle of Synne and What’s a Duke Got to Do With It definitely needs to be on your summer TBR!

Thanks to Forever Romance for my review copy. Opinions are my own.

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Four years ago Katrina was involved in a scandal that was not of her own making. Ostracized by society, she takes a position as the companion of Lady Tesh on the Isle of Synne. Sebastian, Duke of Ramsleigh, must marry for money so he agrees to help his future father-in-law by taking his future brother-in-law to the Isle of Synne to keep him from an actress. There he again runs into Katrina whom he has not forgotten after four years. The pair loved each other at a polite distance in the past, but now they are staying in the same house and can’t keep away from one another.

I always really enjoy Christina’s Isle of Synne books. This book works on its own but the characters from previous books do make appearances. Like all of Christina’s books this one is filled with heart, humor, and wonderful characters. I really liked Katrina and I loved Sebastian. My only issue with this book was how poorly Katrina was treated by her family and the town when literally none of the scandal was her fault. I wish the matter had been resolved a lot sooner than it was rather than have it linger throughout the book. That being said, I feel like Katrina and Sebastian really earned their HEA and all their troubles made the moment all the more powerful.

Thank you to NetGalley and Forever for the digital ARC and Forever for the gifted copy in exchange for an honest review.

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This was a pretty good read by one of my favorite authors. Ms Britton writes a good story about two loves who were separated though no fault of their own. Even though this in a series it can be read as a stand alone. The characters were fully developed with thoughts and feelings of their own.
Sebastian Thorne, the Duke of Ramsleigh was about to propose to Miss Katrina Denby when he was called away to see to his father's funeral. When Katrina found out she was devastated because she loved Sebastian. Then she is in a scandal when a man climbs in her bedroom window but accidentally falls to his death, but Katrina didn't know until she woke up. Then the vicar says that she is a sinful woman who should be shunned by folks, which they do.
A few years later Sebastian and Katrina meet again and the old feelings are stirred up again which they try to hold at bay. When the fates come to a knocking on each others heart, they know they were meant to be.
I appreciate Net Galley for this ARC title in which I gave an honest review.

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Tropes: Friends to lovers, Unrequited Love (both), Second Chance, Ruined Heroine, In Need of a Fortune (both), Close Proximity

Starring Miss Katrina Denby and Sebastian Thorne, Duke of Ramsleigh

My constant state when reading a Christina Britton story… smiles, sigh, then ugly cry af. It’s basically rinse, lather, and repeat with all the feels... and the reason I keep coming back for more.

I am so in love with Katrina and Sebastian’s wonderfully slow burn and angsty road to HEA. I was on pins and needles as they navigated through all the obstacles that could keep them apart… then cheered when they decided to risk it all for each other!! These two deserve all the love coming their way after Christina Britton put them (and us) through an emotional wringer.

I love Katrina’s dog, Mouse. He was a fun comic relief.

I was hopeful in the beginning that Katrina’s brother might have his own story, but I don’t like the way he treated Katrina at the end.

Anywho, fantastic read from Christina Britton… and I can’t wait to hear what’s next in the Isle of Synne.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. I voluntarily review it and the comments are 100% my own.

My Star Rating: 5 stars
Ugly cried AF. Major book hangover. Characters and storyline were freaken amazeballs. Made me wanna hug the author for writing a book that gave me all the feels!! Will definitely be reading this story over and over and over again!!

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Oh my this is one of the best books I've read this summer! I loved it. Be ready with the tissues.It is a rollercoaster of emotions. Believe me when I say you don't want to miss this story.

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There is nothing to reproach to Sebastian and Katrina, they are victims of other deeds and are still paying years later the price for them.
As what could have been never went further than ballroom flirtation.
Now both impoverished from his side and disowned by her remaining family, they are both in an impasse.
He needs funds only a wealthy bride could provide and she needs a husband to salvage what is left of her reputation.

So now, years later after their separate scandals, they meet again but what could have been a few years ago is now an impossibility as they both have an agenda that can not include the other.
Still it appears now in the same environment, fate plays many tricks and put them often on the same tracks.
Katrina was lucky in her exil as she found an amazon to shelter her, a woman determined to give her a safe place, but or because of this, it made of Katrina a mouse, a woman who seeks to blend in instead of fighting for her rights to be.
While Sebastian did the last thing but it brought him so low, he sees not other option than a marriage of convenience, his title for wealth.

I wonder whose father who has a duke eating in his hand would send him on a merry mission instead of quickly sealing the deed?
Still Sebastian sees again Katrina, no chuckled but close too, while fate has once again caught up with her and her name is once more on every wagging tongue.
So this is their tale as Katrina head for many poor choices as potential spouse and Sebastian is constantly in the vicinity to try to rescue her.
This is a cute story with some nasty onlookers and two too sweet main protagonists as they find the will and strength to go for what they want instead of following the “easier” path.
4 stars

𝗦𝘁𝗲𝗮𝗺 𝗹𝗲𝘃𝗲𝗹 onscreen lovemaking scenes

I have been granted an advance copy by the publisher, here is my true and unbiased opinion.

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What happens when the dreaded scandal actually happens in an historical romance novel? What are the consequences, and how can someone be redeemed? Well, What's a Duke Got to Do With It excellently explores this and let me tell you it tugged on my heart strings again and again!

Katrina and Sebastian were an excellent pairing. Their friends-to-lovers via second chance romance was so sweet. Each of them had their own struggles, but they tried to support one another as best they could - all while pining over one another. And when the slow burn turns up the heat? Absolute fireworks!

And if you love side characters with ~character~, you'll love this cast! We have sassy and assertive friends, an elderly dowager viscountess that sees and knows everything (loved her!), and a giant dog named Mouse who has the best timing for shenanigans.

With beautiful writing and emotional scenes, What's a Duke Got to Do With It is one of my favorite romances of the year!

Thanks, ForeverPub, for the advanced copy!

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4.5 stars!

Four years ago, Katrina and Sebastian were about to embark on the love of a lifetime. But scandal ripped them apart. Now, each of them has given up on happiness in an effort to repair the damage that was done. They've moved on as best they can, carving out lives that will suit their purposes but provide no chance at love. It is at this point, four years later, that Katrina and Sebastian meet again. They must fight the attraction that never died if they want to save themselves and the people who are counting on them. But the one thing they want is each other, and that's something they can never have.

This book is the second in the Synneful Spinsters series. Like the first book, it's set on the BEAUTIFUL Isle of Synne. I was thrilled to be back! Beach scenes abound, which was absolute perfection for the start of the summer season (as I'm writing this). Christina Britton is a gorgeous writer. I was thoroughly swept away by this novel. It made my heart ache and sing, which is absolutely what I'm looking for in a historical romance! Sebastian is the perfect man: caring, dashing, gorgeous. Katrina is a loving and compassionate person. The love that these two find in each other elevates each of them as individuals, which was beautiful. This book was chock-full of swoon-worthy scenes! The romance is absolutely top notch! I found the love scenes to be sweet and a bit spicy, which, in my opinion, is perfection. The angst relating to the "will they/won't they?" had me desperately turning pages for much of the book. It was SOOO good!

We did wind up covering the same ground a bit often when it came to reflecting on their obstacles. I also wondered if the last act was entirely realistic when it came to the resolution and the ways some of the less likable characters changed. However, this being a romance novel, and me being a reader who appreciates a Happily Ever After in which everything is tied up with a bow, I still appreciated it, and was willing to suspend a bit of belief.

Ultimately, this book gave me everything I wanted from a historical romance: an achingly beautiful love story with fantastic characters set on a charming little island. I will 100% be back for book three!

I'd like to thank Forever (Grand Central Publishing) and Netgalley for the e-ARC of this book. All opinions expressed are my own.

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Enjoyed this second chance romance. Well Katrina has had all the bad luck and I hate that society blames the woman for dumb men's decisions, still do really. A guy tries to enter her bedroom while she's sleeping so she's ruined. Like how can she prevent that. And so many additional events happened that she was blamed for cause she's uh a very attractive woman?
Luckily this has a hea and I tried so hard to figure out how the two that were stuck with the consequences of others actions could fix it. They had fallen for each other during her first season but circumstances had changed. But I didn't see it coming. Love those that I just can't figure out. So much bad luck and having to be polite through all the awful people. Sebastian is the best.

Thank you readforeverpub for the e-ARC for my honest and voluntary review.

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A decent timepass. I enjoyed the first book of this series a lot more though. I just wish there was more romance instead of the extended inner dialogues and the countless scenes between every character that wasn't the two main characters. A bit more character development and background information would have given this more depth as well. Though this didn't work for me, I do recommend giving it a try as it may work for someone else!

Thanks to NetGalley and Forever (Grand Central Publishing) for providing me with an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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Katrina has the worst luck. She was the diamond of her first season until a man (whom she didn't even like!) climbed into her bedroom to declare his love, and ended up dueling her brother. She's finally settled into a happy life as a spinster and lady's companion when the same man tries climbing into her bedroom again—only this time, he falls to his death. Her only chance of redeeming her reputation now is marriage—but not to the impoverished duke who once stole her heart. He's all but engaged to an heiress. So why does he keep driving all her other suitors away?

This is an entertaining and heartwarming Regency romp full of whimsical characters and heartwarming friendships. It's a joy to read.

Thanks, NetGalley, for the ARC I received. This is my honest and voluntary review.

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Playful, passionate, and charming!

What’s a Duke Got to Do With It is a heartwarming, enticing tale that sweeps you away to the Isle of Synne during 1821 and into the life of Katrina Denby, a kind young woman who, after having her reputation left in tatters due to the careless amorous actions of the Lord of Landon and having consigned herself to the role of companion to Lady Tesh, has her life turned upside down when after four years of absence she finds herself face-to-face with the only man she’s ever wanted more with, the dashingly handsome Duke of Ramsleigh, Sebastian Thorne, who unfortunately at present seems to be doing whatever he can to secure his engagement to a wealthy heiress in order to save his own dukedom from financial ruin.

The prose is sweet and light. The characters are loyal, supportive, and engaging. And the plot is an entertaining tale full of family, friendship, societal expectations, tricky situations, tender moments, desire, trust, steamy romance, and second chances.

Overall, What’s a Duke Got to Do With It is a swoon-worthy, uplifting, delightful read by Britton that I absolutely devoured and which is a fantastic addition to what is hands down another must-read series for me by one of my all-time favourite historical romance authors.

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Two people, scarred with rumors trapping them with soiled reputations, find themselves reunited after four years. Will the flame that started long ago flame to a full fledged fire?

The last thing Katrina Denby expected to find in her garden is the body of the man who ruined her three seasons ago. No matter that his death is a tragic accident, the rumors are enough to kill any woman’s prospects. With two scandals now hounding her, the best she can hope for is a hasty marriage of convenience—until her first love shows up in her drawing room, reminding her of all the reasons why she wanted a love match. If only he weren’t already engaged. . .

Sebastian Thorne, Duke of Ramsleigh, knows what he has to do to save the dukedom from the crushing debts and scandal his father left: marry and marry well. He’s picked the lady, too—a baron’s daughter who is pleasant, if a little boring. But seeing Katrina again makes him want to throw all those perfectly laid plans out the window. The first chance he had with her, he chose his duty over his heart. Doing so again might prove utterly impossible.

I enjoyed this book, however; I am unsure how realistic it would have been for the time. While a person this day and age can see that a man trying to get into an unmarried woman's window was NOT her fault, I do not think that would have happened oh so long ago. Sebastian, as much as I enjoyed him, I think he would have been more selfish. Don't get me wrong, I am delighted that he was not, but "uppercrust" people were not known to be selfless.

I would recommend this book to other historical romance readers.

Thank you for allowing me an advanced copy in return, I am providing an honest review.

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There's nothing better than staying up all night to finish a good story and that's just what I did with this book. From the moment I started it, I was drawn in by the two main characters and their immediate conflicts. We're given just a touch of a back story with two young characters, toying with flirtations, realizing a burgeoning love, before they are torn from each other and each faces an incredible struggle that leads them to never really believe they'll see each other again.

Then, by the same circumstances that tore them apart, they are brought together, and much fight the attractions that lay dormant within them for so long. All in the face of people who would disparage and manipulate them for the circumstances that were out of their control.

Sebastian, while described as rake, was really and truly just a cinnamon roll. He was a boy that was enjoying his youth and tell himself what he *thought* he was supposed to do, but in reality found himself falling for Katrina. Katrina herself was swept away by the season and enjoying being a diamond of the first water, until an unscrupulous man compromises her (on the outside) and she is forced to leave London.

There was a lot of angst right out the gate and Britton really didn't pull any punches when it came to reminding us just how awful Katrina had it and how hopeless Sebastian's solutions were. Especially once they found each other and had to fight their returning feelings. While the story has very low steam/spice, the fact that they were pining so much for each other sucked me in and held me there because I NEEDED to know how they were going to overcome everything.

While the ending was definitely satisfying, I will admit that it was all a bit wacky. Side characters popped up to save the day and previously nefarious villains suddenly understood the error of their ways. Not to mention the issue of money was easily resolved with a character that was mentioned only in passing during a single chapter. I felt a bit of whiplash by the end, lol. Yes, despite all of that, I found myself pleased with the ending and the HEA for Sebastian and Katrina.

I'm also intrigued to find out who will be in the next book! I have a couple of ideas...

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Years ago Katrina and Sebastian were on their way to becoming an adorable couple when two completely separate events tore them apart. Sebastian's father died and he inherited not only a broke dukedom but also a whole lot of debts. Katrina had some random Lord crawl into her window which ended up in a duel between said lord and Katrina's brother which ended in the brother losing an arm and Katrina being exiled to live with her Aunt, then coming to be a companion to Lady Tesh. Seems like a great beginning to a soap opera.

Fast forward a few years, Sebastian is engaged, and Katrina ends up in the middle of another scandal when the random Lord crawls into her window AGAIN!!, but this time ends up falling out the window and dying. Like hey dude, what's your deal?

Well when Katrina and Sebastian see each other again time stops, and all the feelings come rushing back. Every time they are on the page together sparks fly, and you can feel the yearning they have for each other, and when they finally come together it was deeply satisfying. There was also an adorable dog named Mouse who stole every scene he was in, and I loved the way Katrina loved him!

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What’s a Duke Got to Do With It? is the second book in The Synneful Spinsters series. What’s a Duke is an improvement over the first book. This is a second chance romance between two people who were at the center of the Ton and then scandals not of their making fell them both. Like the previous book, a lot of internal dialogue rehashing each of the MCs woes happens over and over. However, there is more external action moving the story forward as well as more enjoyable secondary characters, so the mental repetition doesn’t feel like it is bogging things down. I liked these MCs better and felt the whole story was better fleshed out. It is an enjoyable couple of hours with a little angst and a lot of pining.

Thank you to the author, Forever (Grand Central Publishing) and NetGalley for the ARC. My opinions are strictly my own.

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Christina Britton is quickly becoming a fave historical romance author for me. There is something about how she writes her characters that just feels so good. They are so vulnerable and care for each other so much, I just can’t get enough!

I loved how Britton built the backstory for these characters, and you could feel the chemistry when they first met (again). I couldn’t stop reading because I was dying for them to reach their happy ending, because it seemed like they couldn’t find a way to be together. The angst was incredible, and Sebastian was a truly fantastic MMC. He was so sweet to Katrina even though sometimes he was a bit overbearing or overprotective.

And now I have to eagerly wait for the next one!!

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I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley and am voluntarily posting a review. All opinions are my own.
What’s a Duke Got to Do With It is the second in Christina Britton’s Synneful Spinsters series. It can be read as a standalone, but I recommend the prior book (as well as the related Isle of Synne series) for its colorful cast of characters, namely the delightful dowager Lady Tesh, who remains a constant presence from book to book.
I liked the concept of this one. Both Katrina and Sebastian are solid, decent people to whom life hasn’t been kind. Katrina in particular is tainted by scandal in her past, having been abducted, and it leads people to snub her (and worse). Meanwhile, Sebastian, who was interested in Katrina back then, is dealing with the impoverished dukedom he inherited, the result of a fraudulent investment scheme on his father’s part.
The burn was a bit slower than I expected, and I did feel like Sebastian spent a lot of time waffling between doing what was “right” for the dukedom and marrying for convenience and following his heart. It worked for a while, but it did get a little tired after a while. I was happy when he was willing to make some sacrifices in order to be with her, and while there were some things that were a bit neat and tidy on her end to make things right, I feel like she deserved some compensation for what she went through.
This is a solid read, and I’d recommend it to anyone who enjoys historical romance, especially if you enjoy the second chance romance trope!

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3.5 stars, rounded up.

Years ago Miss Katrina Denby had the ton at her feet and the interest of Sebastian Thorne, Marquess of Marsten, heir to the Duke of Ramsleigh. It seems like their flirtation might be heading toward HEA when everything falls apart. Sebastian is called away to attend his father and Katrina is embroiled in a scandal when a suitor climbs in her window and ends up in a duel with her brother. Katrina is ruined and takes a job as a companion to the dowager Viscountess Tesh on the Isle of Synne. Things appear to be going well for her, she has gainful employment, her precious dog Mouse, and a dear group of friends, known to all as the oddments, but then the unthinkable happens, the cretin that ruined her life has tracked her down and attempts to climb in her window again, but this time he falls to his death and the local vicar declares Katrina a fallen woman and just like that, she is ruined all over again. And if all that isn’t enough to make you cry, Sebastian comes to Synne, practically betrothed to another and staying with his soon-to-be brother-in-law at Viscountess Tesh’s house. It is clear that their feelings haven’t changed, but it would appear that fate is taunting them with a love that can never be.

Sebastian was on the verge of declaring himself to Katrina when he is called home to learn that his father has died and that the estate is penniless and debt-ridden. For years Sebastian has tried to dig the dukedom out of the crushing debt his father’s gambling created, but it is no use, he will have to marry a heiress to save the estate. He has found the perfect candidate, Miss Diane Bridling, but before her father will give his consent, he wants Sebastian to take his son to the Isle of Synne to rusticate and hopefully forget about his inappropriate attachment to his mistress, Miss Mirabel Hutton, an actress. He and Harlow arrive to stay with Lady Tesh and Sebastian is floored to find the only woman he has ever loved is her companion. Sebastian knows that there can be nothing between them, but the heart wants what the heart wants. Bring on the angst…

This book was well-written and angsty, as are all of Ms. Britton’s books, but this one seemed to have even more angst than usual. Of course, Mouse and Lady Tesh provide comic relief to save the book from being completely depressing before the reader finally gets the happy ending we all know is coming. I loved the previous book and had high hopes for this one, but there was so much anguish and sorrow, that even with the antics of Mouse and Lady Tesh AND a happy ending, it still didn’t completely win me over. Overall, I liked the book and perhaps I set the bar too high after the previous book, therefore setting myself up for a letdown. This is the second book in the series and can easily be read as a standalone title.

*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that I requested and was provided to me by the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.*

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