Cover Image: Portrait of the Duke

Portrait of the Duke

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This is book 1 of a new series, Suddenly a Duke, and I think it is off to a brilliant start. I have read a number of books by Ms. Aston and have enjoyed them all, and this is no different. Daniel was once a carefree rogue, but the early transition into his title as Duke of Westfield, has made him a sober man mindful of all his responsibilities. Now that his sisters are wed, it is now time for him to find his duchess. He met Margaret 10 years ago, and she left quite an impression on him and he never forgot her. When he sees her again after all that time, he is even more drawn to her. Because of her mother's illness, Margaret made a late debut into society. But she has no interest in marrying. She hopes to secure clients for her portrait painting business. When she see Daniel again, the sparks are certainly there, stronger than ever, but Margaret loves painting too  much to give it up for marriage. Daniel knows Margaret is the woman for him, and he must convince her that she can have both marriage and her painting. 
Daniel and Margaret were both wonderful characters and I enjoyed the witty banter between them. Their romance progressed at a nice pace and the chemistry between them was strong. This was a delightful start to what looks to be a captivating series, and I can't wait to read more!
I received a complimentary copy from Dragonblade Publishing via Netgalley and am voluntarily leaving my review.
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Thanks to NetGalley for a copy of this ebook and this is my freely given opinion.

Lady Margaret Townsend first met Daniel Judson years prior when she was just a young girl, and he was one of the young men attending to her debutante Diamond of a sister. She was outspoken, bold, and made a strong impression on the young man who was new about town. So much so that when he expected her to make her debut, he looked for her.

But years went by and Margaret spent many of them caring for her ill parents, missing her chance to debut until she was in her 20s. By then, she had determined she did not want to marry, but had set a goal to make some connections in society so she could progress with her goal on making a living with her art, as a portrait artist. At this point, she is living with her sister Dolly and her Marquess husband, and what she has seen of marriage between her sister and her parents has not endeared the state to Margaret. She is also not comfortable living with them, not being close to her rather narcissistic and selfish sister, and the Marquess. She just has a few more months to wait until she gains her majority and has access to her dowry, and can live independently.

In the meantime, it is still technically her debut and she has to join them in the social whirl. During a ball, she and Daniel finally have their second meeting, and Daniel comes away thinking that maybe he has finally found his duchess. But as he discovers her hopes and dreams, he is conflicted about if he can have a relationship with a woman with such definitive and independent goals as his duchess.

I loved how Daniel seemed so sure of his feelings for her from the beginning... though really the attraction may have started early on and I have some inkling of distaste in that it may have happened when she was so young... only 14-15 years old. However, I also liked how strong minded and focused she was on her path to seek independence; I quite liked the character of Margaret. The dynamic of her relationship with her sister was quite reminiscent of several Marion Chesney/M.C Beaton historicals I used to read as well, that I quite enjoyed way back when. Dolly and her husband were generally pretty flat and awful as secondary characters, but there were hints that they could be more, but I hated generally how Dolly treated Margaret - and people in general, and how it was implied how their mother treated Margaret as well. But I guess that was meant to contrast how Margaret was to her, and she was a good foil to highlight Margaret as a person of greater depth and character.

A historical romance with an interesting meet-cute.

3.75 stars out of 5
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I received an Advance Reader Copy from the publisher via NetGalley. This in no way impacted on my view.

Daniel Judson, the Duke of Westfield, became Duke too young, following the deaths of his parents, and his grandfather. He took responsibility for his sister's marriages, and has resigned himself to a life of commitment, with a future loveless marriage on the cards. A decade ago, as a young buck around town, he met Lady Margaret Townsend, and she left an impression he can't shake. When he doesn't see her on the marriage mart, he is surprised by her absence, so when she returns to society, at the ripe old age of 24, he is drawn to her like never before. Margaret has always known she was the unwanted daughter, and was forced to care for her uncaring mother through her illness, and later death. Relying on her older, and unkind, sister and her husband, Margaret only wants to join society to gain clients for her portraiture business. Coming face to face with Daniel again, and noting the sparks flying, Margaret needs to find a way to love, and be a business woman.

A new series from one of my favourite Regency authors, I enjoyed the way this book set the stage for the series. Daniel and Margaret's every interaction was filled with wit and humour, and chemistry too. I loved Margaret as a person who knew their own mind, and what they wanted. She had been beloved by her father, but hated by her sister and mother. Forced to care for her mother, and then be at her sister's side with the children, she was ready to escape. Approaching her 25th birthday, when she would reach her majority and come into her inheritance, Margaret was ready to forge her own path. Finding a wealthy patron to be her first client, she hopes that the value of her work will be appreciated, and sets her apart from others. Daniel was not someone she was expecting, and he made her feel things she never had before. Daniel's character was sweet, and I loved the way their romance progressed. A great Regency romance, and I look forward to the rest of the series.
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This is one of the most unique romances I’ve ever read. I loved it  I loved how she resolved the issue so they could be together. I loved what he was willing to do to be with her. To me it was sort of a Tarzan retelling. I absolutely loved him, but I love hard heroes
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Convincing His Duchess

They met when they were young, and there was a spark from the beginning. However, it was years before they saw each other again. Margaret wanted to be an independent artist, but Daniel wanted her to be his duchess. Could he convince her to marry him? First, he must accept her and her art. Could he be willing to have an artist for a duchess? 

I especially enjoyed Daniel's interaction with his grandmother, who was a feisty woman. She brought down Margaret's sister a peg or two, something that needed to happen. However, should Margaret become duchess, that would bring down her sister more than a peg or two. Why would that be a good thing, you ask? You would want to read the story and see how Margaret's sister treated her.

This is one of my favorite stories by this author. I recommend it to those who like historical romance with independent women.
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Alexa Aston is one of my favorite authors, and she writes the most amazing love stories.  Awesome characters with great passion and chemistry.  Lady Margaret doesn't want to marry, she would rather paint.  Daniel did not want to love, yet two dances (waltz) with Margaret changes Daniel's mind.
Great first book in a new series, looking forward to reading more in the series.
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This is the story of Margaret, the second daughter to an Earl who meets a young viscount, Lord Browning, as he comes to pay a call on her older sister, Dolley.  Margaret is 14 at the time and is not interested in the rituals that are necessary to go through as a member of the aristocracy.  She does not plan to marry and wastes no time telling Lord Browning that her sister, Dolley, will not be interested in him as he is only a viscount, and because of her beauty she would accept nothing less than a Marquess or preferably a duke.  Fast forward 10 years later, Margaret is unmarried and hasn't had her comeout due to taking care of her parents during their illnesses and then going through her mourning periods.  She meets Daniel, now the Duke of Westfield at a ball.  He is accompanied by his grandmother, who was at one time, best friends with Margaret's grandmother.  Daniel is on the hunt for a wife and he asks his grandmother to provide him the names of several debutantes who may be good candidates.  Both Daniel and his grandmother think Margaret would make him a great duchess but Margaret has no desire to marry.  She has plans to live independently and paint portraits of the people of the ton in order to supplement her dowry.  Daniel has to decide if he would be willing to allow Margaret to fulfill her dreams at the same time as serving as his duchess.  A great read from a fabulous author.  I am looking forward to her next installment in the series.
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Portrait of the Duke, by Alexa Aston. I love this book so much. The writing was exceptionally good. The writer uses her skill to write a story that plays out in your imagination like a movie, a really good romantic movie. This book sets itself for the perfect Valentines gift. I was lost in the romance world of two people who are so strong willed, that they did not realize what they have with each other, until it was threatened. 
I loved Margaret independence and her end goal of painting for the rest of her life. No matter if she was lonely for the rest of her life all Margaret wanted to do was paint. She just wanted to be happy. Daniel is a Duke who was on a mission to win over this fiery red haired lady that has stolen his heart. I enjoyed the word sparing that Daniel and Margaret had. Pesterfeild was an awesome nickname I thought. The romance relationship was exciting and seductive. 
The moments that our beautiful couple share was intimate and very passionate. Daniel and Margaret takes the lead of one of the best passionate romance couples in the Historical Romance world. I give this two snaps and a, “Older sisters. One minute you love them to death, and the next you’re ready to scratch their eyes out.” Until next time my fellow readers… read on!
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An absolute pleasure to read and very romantic. A duke who thinks he can have anything he wants, hits a brick wall when the lady he wants isn't afraid to physically show her displeasure over his demands. Lady Margaret Townsend only wants to be independent making her own money as an accomplished artist. Daniel Judson, Duke of Westfield, wants Margaret as his duchess. It will take a smart woman to lead him on the right path. Sexual encounters and passionate kisses. This book couldn't be rated anything else but 5 *STARS." An exciting start to a new series.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book.
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Portrait of the Duke by Alexa Aston. To say I’m a fan of Aston is a serious understatement, but I really loved this book. She hit the ball out of the park with her two characters: Lady Margaret Townsend and Daniel Judson, Duke of Westfield. Margaret had met the duke many years earlier when he had bee a simple viscount. At the time she advised him to drop his pursuit of her sister, Dolley, as his title would not be enough for her. He was handsome. She was outspoken. Now it was nearly ten years later and she was finally to make her come out at 24. She had stayed home to care for, first, her dying mother, then, her father. Then there was a year of mourning. Then, her cousin, who had inherited, asked her to leave his home, which had been her home all her life. So she joined her sister, Dolley, and Dolley’s husband in London. Neither of them were happy to have her. She was to have her first season. She was not looking for a husband, but rather contacts to use to launch her career as a portrait artist. At the first ball she met the duke, who was the young viscount she had met many years before. He had looked for her in the past, but of course, she had not been there. He signed her card for two dances-unheard of, and they were both waltzes. He fell in love fast. Well, she did, too, but there was that not-wanting-to-marry thing. Plus, she didn’t like being told what to do. 

Two great characters. They both know who they were and what they wanted, but that changed, as those things do. Fabulously written characters. The reader could feel the angst as Margaret fought her feelings. Her grandmother had married a man (her grandfather) who controlled all aspects of her life, including making her give up her art. She swore it would not happen to her. Another great character was Dolley who was self-centered and any hope of that changing was put to death by her husband, who neglected and disrespected  her. It was a terrific story, well-plotted. The flow of the story was perfect for the situation. It is truly one of the best stories I’ve read, including Aston’s previous tomes. 

I was invited to read a free e-ARC of Portrait of the Duke by Dragonblade, through Netgalley. All thoughts and opinions are mine. #Netgalley #Dragonblade #AlexaAston #PortraitOfTheDuke
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I received a free copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

This was a fun, sweet romance. The characters were all just a bit flawed, but grew and most importantly communicated with each other. She was the dutiful, ignored sister with a dream, and he the man she met many years ago who listened when she gave some advice. They both grew up, and we get to see where it went after that first meeting. Though there were definitely Cinderella vibes, it wasn’t cloying- definitely looking forward to future books in this series.
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I love Margaret and Daniel; they are such fun dynamic characters and I enjoyed their romance. This is such a fun, fascinating story, from begging to end. My attention was captured by the prologue and held until the epilogue – which I loved the bookends that they are. I was hoping that Dowager Duchess would be more meddlesome than she was, but enjoyed her none-the-less. Many of the secondary characters added to the fabric of the story. This is such a good start to a new series and I’m looking forward to the other books.

I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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Lady Margaret currently lives with her sister Dolley. She is about to get control of her dowry on her next birthday and wants to live on her own and become an artist. She paints a portrait for a dowager duchess whose grandson wants to make Margaret his duchess. The story was a pleasant read that I had no strong feelings about.   I liked Margaret's artistic dreams and the dowager. Margaret's sister Dolley is a little over-the-top with no redeeming qualities whatsoever, selfish in whatever she does. Her sister and her mother's cold attitude makes Margaret a bit of a Cinderella character. There is some sexual content. I received a netgalley copy and this is a voluntary review.
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Daniel Judson, Duke of Westfield is a typically arrogant Duke. He's used to getting his own way in everything. Now it's time to find his Duchess, that should be easy enough.
Lady Margaret Townsend is having her first season years older than most young ladies because of family tragedies. Our heroine is not interested in finding a husband, just making contacts among those who can afford to buy her work.
This historical romance gives us a wonderfully strong and interesting cast of characters. There is a lot of fun and it's a little steamy. This is the first in a new series and I'm sure the rest will be just as good. This author knows just how to catch our attention and keep it all the way through. I can't wait to read more.
Great fun.
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An excellent start to this series! As a first time reader of Alexa Aston, I was thoroughly impressed and engrossed with this book. Daniel is a duke on the lookout for a bride; Margaret is a young lady with a passion for painting. Their paths cross first when Margaret is 15, and Daniel comes calling to meet her sister Dolley. Thankfully, Dolley did not choose Daniel for her husband (she and her momma were after bigger fish). Years later, Daniel and Margaret reconnect, and sparks fly. It's fun watching their relationship unfold, and how much support Daniel's grandmother gives to Margaret and her art. Only 2 characters in the book will annoy you: Margaret's sister and mother (although she dies early - spoiler alert): the way they treated her & viewed her is reprehensible. It's the only unclear thing in the book - the reason for their poor treatment of her. What I deduced is a level of jealousy on the part of the sister, and resentment of some sort on the part of the mother. But it would have been nice to have a point where this is explained. All in all, a great read. I'm looking forward to the next book in this series.
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First book in a wonderful new and promising series from Alexa.
Full of passion, intrigue and brilliant characters that will make for some great stories to come.
I loved these characters, they fit so well together and had a lot of chemistry and depth to them.
I look forward to reading more soon. 
I received an Arc copy of this book and chose to post this review
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I really enjoy Alexa Aston, and Portrait of the Duke was a very enjoyable read!  It is the first in a new series, and I really could sense the invigorating vibe of the book.  I think the past series was a couple of books too long, and the writing in Portrait of the Duke felt fresher and more renewed.  
Our heroine, Lady Margaret/Red was really funny and snappy out the gate.  I love the instant connection when she is really young that they both notice, but then don't realize until they re-aquaint themselves 10 years later.  Daniel originally comes over to call on Margaret's older sister, and Margaret warns him off, and conversationally tells him that she is going to never marry and wants to devote herself to painting.  She paints his portrait that day, and tells no one else of it.  Daniel similarly feels a connection, and looks for Margaret for years at balls.  It's not until 10 years later he meets her again, and there is a spark for both!
I love how easy their relationship is, and also how not-easy it is.  I really enjoyed Margaret's independence, Daniel's pursuit of her, and the will they/won't they of it all.  The writing is smooth and straight-forward, and this was a fun read!  It's a very good first book in this series, and I can't wait to read the next one!
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I enjoy Ms. Aston's books and Portrait of the Duke was a delight to read. I loved Margaret's passion for sketching and painting and was glad that she stayed true to her dream of becoming a portrait artist for the ton even though it was highly frowned upon by Polite Society for a young woman to work for money. Daniel Judson, the Duke of Westfield, was finally ready to settle down and find a wife. He enlisted his beloved grandmother's help, and when she met Margaret, she was delighted to meet the granddaughter of her childhood friend. She was determined to bring the two of them together, but there's a problem--Margaret doesn't wish to marry.

I enjoyed the interaction that Daniel has with Margaret, and he's convinced she'll make the perfect duchess. Margaret's sister Dolley was a piece of work. She was so selfish and mean to Margaret unless it suited her purpose. I had wished she got a comeuppance for her cruelty, but that never happened. There's no real villain in the story--just Margaret's reluctance to marry and give up her art. Through some missteps, these two finally have their HEA. I'm looking forward to reading more of this series.
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If the cover does not draw you in, the story definately will!!

Having met years ago, a fated meeting years later has Daniel and Margaret feeling the pull of years ago.  But Margaret has set her sights to become a portrait painter and live her life as she wants.

Daniel knows he needs to choose his duchess and thinks she could be the one.  But it will take a journey of understanding that life can include happiness and her art to bring these two together!

Great start to a new series!
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I liked the start of the new series . Both the characters were well defined. I loved how determined Margaret was and that she had a plan. I was a little confused as to why this story is part of a series called "Suddenly Duke" as Daniel's grandfather was the Duke. I liked that he understood her passion and looked inwards to decide how he felt about that
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