“It was time someone stood beside he and fought the world on her behalf. Time someone kept her safe.” The protector vibes in this story were an absolute delight. From their very first interaction, he was already stating “she’s mine”! Not in a possessive manner, but in an entirely protective manner, like he sees pat her mask to her vulnerability. Vivian is the person everyone relies on, the one taking care of all in her life, but who is there for her? Clearly, Gabriel is. The chemistry between them is instant and undeniable. Their story is fraught with struggles and barriers trying to keep them apart. Both selfless in giving up their own desires to better the life of their siblings. These two social outcasts couldn’t be anymore right for each other. There are so many parallels in their character that make their love inevitable. The fact that Vivian is denied as unsuitable because of pedigree is laughable when she proves how calming an influence she can have on their household. I loved Gabriel & Vivian together and in their own merits. Their sibling connections were a love story in their own. The tender emotion that grows between Gabriel and his sisters near the end was beyond touching. I got misty eyed. A really beautiful story of love of all kinds, romantic and familial.
This was enjoyable and I liked the two leads and I wouldn't be upset if there were some more stories about this fmaily!
Gabriel Cadieux is the owner of a gambling club and the new Duke of Grantham. He inherited an estate in debt and six illegitimate sisters. Vivienne Tremeer lives on the edge of society with some scandalous whispers about her reputation. Her brother Will put his inheritance in jeopardy with his gambling and debt to the Cadieux Gambling Club. Vivienne's willingness to pay her brother's debt leads Gabriel to offer her the job of preparing his sisters for society, especially the oldest with her come out. Neither expected the attraction and to fall in love, but her past and his duty to the title and family makes it impossible to be together. Gabriel has lived most of his life without a title. Does the man still have a chance for happiness? Too many noses in their business, but his sisters are so sweet and funny. Mild open bedroom door.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book.
I've tried several times to get into this book but it just didn't work for me. I like the set up, but the pacing did not work for me. I found the random plot points taking too much attention away from the central romance. I want my historical romances to be swoony and this just wasn't that. Sara's books are new to me so I'm not sure how this one compares to her others.
An engaging story about a self-man man who suddenly learns that he was meant to be a duke. Left alone in the world after his mother passed, his father having abandoned them, Gabriel grew up in an orphanage. After his father died without any sons from his second marriage, Gabriel was found to be the legitimate heir. Shockingly, Gabriel learned that he had six half-sisters as well as a stiff dowager for a grandmother.
In Gabriel's previous existence, he was the successful owner of a gambling hell. He met Vivienne because of her younger brother's gambling addiction. While he was not going to let her brother off the hook, he did admire Vivienne's determination and family loyalty. Ultimately, he came to the realization that Vivienne would be an excellent guide for his sisters as they learned how to navigate the ton. They then made a deal to pay off the debt.
There was lots of storytelling in this book. Although, the romance of Gabriel and Vivienne was front and center, there were many other characters that could potentially get stories of their own at some point. Gabriel has two bachelor friends and Vivienne has a female cousin with a depressing love life. Of course, the six sisters also have lots of untapped potential. Vivienne's authoritarian aunt and ditzy mother were quite entertaining.
I really liked Gabriel and Vivienne as a couple and this book was enjoyable to read. I received a free ARC from NetGalley and this is my honest review.
This was a new author for me and I really enjoyed this historical romance! It was so sweet with all the fun of the enemies to lovers vibes! I loved how Gabriel and Vivienne don’t get along at first. These two have to go through a lot to get to an HEA. Both have a past they overcome as well. I adored Vivienne! She’s such a strong women who will do anything to protect her brother! Gabriel is a gambling club but is also a new Duke! He came from nothing but has worked hard! I think Gabriel and Vivienne are well match! It was such a great romance read! I’m looking forward to what’s next from the author!
Viviente and Gabriel’s story fell a bit short for me. It started out solidly, but then got a bit too complicated, like the author tried to fit too much in. It was well writtten, though, and I would consider reading more from this author.
I received an ARC from NetGalley. This is my honest review.
Dreaming of a Duke like you is a well written, slow burn romance by Sara Bennett. This novel starts on a high with lots of baggage as we ease into this story. If you are expecting a romance full of twists and turns then you might find this ultimately a bit disappointing. But if you are in the mood for a broad start with some big conflicts that morphs into something that slows down and truly explores the growth of a relationship between two opposites, then you are sure to have a lovely time. Bennett's writing is clear and engaging, making this novel an easy read to progress through. Bennett's characters are drawn with understanding and precision making their goals and motives easily understandable.
Sara Bennett is definitely an author who will attract a seasoned Historical Romance reader. I think if you adore this sub-genre then you are sure to find something about Bennett's work to savor. I ultimately found her tone to be very enjoyable and delightful to read, but the overall slow burn nature of the novel did not fully endear it to me as a new favorite historical.
I would still recommend this novel to the historical romance lover, and I will definitely continue to keep Sara Bennett on my radar.
(3.5 rounded up to a 4)
Dreaming of a Duke Like You by Sara Bennett is a Regency romance and the start of the Duke of Grantham series.
Gabriel Cadieux, once raised in a foundling home, has made a name for himself as the proprietor of a successful gaming hell. Being never welcomed by polite society, he is shocked to learn he is the legitimate heir to a dukedom. He opts to accept the debt-ridden title along with the six rebellious half-sisters he can't bear to abandon. Vivienne Tremeer has a scandalous past and intends to get the loathsome owner of Cadieux's club to discharge her brother's gambling debts. Gabriel offers her a trade: he'll do so if she helps train his sisters to adhere to polite society.
This was a fun read, and my first from this author. I stayed up way too late across several nights because the story was intriguing. The writing is good, but it didn't hook me overall as much as I wanted it to. There is a dual point-of-view that alternates between our two leads. The publisher did a great job with this cover, because the characters are exactly as I pictured them in my head.
I did enjoy the chemistry and sexual tension between our two leads that started from their first meeting. Another cute thing I liked was that Gabriel is a romance reader, including one that Vivienne wrote. Side characters are fairly well fleshed out, and I particularly enjoyed Gabriel's sisters and his two best friends.
If you're a fan of pining and angst due to scandal (or perceived scandal), this is definitely the book for you. In terms of spice, there are a few kissing scenes and a semi-closed-door "just one night" of sexytiems.
Tropes in this book include: unexpected inheritance, enemies to friends to lovers, forced proximity, slow burn, grumpy/sunshine
Sisters galore! I love a hist. Romance with a hero that built himself up all on his own and is out to prove he doesn’t need society to make his success, but eventually comes to accept some form of propriety through his love for the heroine and sets a new standard for his life without relinquishing his freedoms. Whew. Anyway, both sides of the couple are outsiders in society that prove the ton wrong and build a happy life for themselves. Would recommend!
Thank you to the team at Forever for a copy of this ARC!
Thank you to Forever and NG for a free review copy, all opinions are my own.
I have slowly been introducing myself to historical romance fiction, and this one was just absolutely lovely. I really loved the story, the slow burn of the romance, and all the characters - even Will, who was honestly annoying and kinda pathetic sometimes. (Like, seriously, get yourself in such debt and then sulk about it but continue to do the bad shit? Nah, ridiculous.) Vivienne and Gabriel has such good chemistry, even when they're standing against each other.
I think the only thing that kinda threw me off is Gabriel's sleepwalking, and how it was portrayed as a bad thing.
I really really loved this, and I am excited to see where this series may take us.
This was one of these books that while it wasn't my favorite, it will surely be the favorite of someone else.
One of the main issues I had with this one was with Gabriel himself. Here you have someone who pulled himself up from being raised in an orphanage to running one of the most successful gaming hells in London - when you first meet him he is very confident in who he is and what he wants.
Only suddenly, when he is informed that he is a legitimate duke with six half-sisters that now need to be launched into society his personality does a complete 180. He becomes absolutely cowed by his grandmother, giving in to her every demand, even going so far as to attempt to court someone his grandmother handpicked for him. Suddenly, that confident man who built an empire from nothing, is being told what to do and listening. I would have liked to have seen him stand up to her more throughout the book, not just suddenly grow a backbone once Vivienne was seemingly lost to him.
Another issue I had with this is that according to the Dowager Duchess, everything Gabriel does reflects on his sisters (which is true), but she seemed to act as though the fact that they were all illegitimate would mean nothing to society, when we all know these girls would have been shunned, and none of them would be making the "brilliant match" to a member of the ton like she claimed would happen if Gabriel would just fall in line.
Vivienne was little better, I understand that she was considered "ruined" due to a mistake, but even she was not what I expected. What made me warm to her character was the way she interacted with Gabriel's sisters, and then (at least tried) to bow out gracefully when she realized that he intended to marry someone else. Well at least until she did what she did, but I can understand her reasoning. After all, a lot of books such as this one give the heroine "one night to remember."
I was also expecting more from the villain of the story, from everything we were told about him and his plans to have Vivienne's father's will overturned, it seemed he was dealt with in a very anti-climatic way.
As I said before, while this one won't be sitting on my of my favorites lists, I do believe it will appeal to other readers who enjoy historical romances. I would read this author again if she continues with this series as I am curious about her plans for some of the other characters we were introduced to.
DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel from the publisher. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.
I will definitely say that this feels very reminiscent of the Bridgerton series (minus Lady Whistledown), but I wasn't mad at it. I loveee a good bodice-ripping regency romance, which I wish this had risen to the occasion of. The story was nice but lacking a bit of the edge necessary to keep the interest on the page. I would honestly have preferred a more contentious relationship between Vivienne and Gabriel, a la enemies-to-lovers, but they got too nice too fast. I'd have to say this book was just good, not great sadly.
I am a sucker for all things dukes. Sara Bennett never misses. I love her work so much! I cannot wait to read more of her work.
Vivienne Tremeer and her brother are in London, trying to make a go of things and hide from their stepfather while living on the suffrage of their aunt. Too bad Vivian’s brother gets in with the wrong crowd, precipitating her need to go to the gambling then her brother is in debt to an ask for leniency… obviously that doesn’t go as planned.
Gabriel Cadieux has become wealthy and successful by not backing down, so when the delectable spinster sister of one of his clients shows up, he is not swayed.
Lucky for Vivienne, Gabriel soon finds out that he is the legitimate heir to a dukedom that just so happens to have sex feisty, unmarried half sisters included with it!
Time to strike a deal! He calls Vivienne, the most proper lady he knows, and strikes a bargain to absolve her brothers death if she becomes his sisters governess and get them ready for society!
Are full of lots of a family drama on the side for both Vivienne and Gabriel, the story had a lot going on, and made it hard to focus on the growing attraction in relationship between these two.
I was also surprised with so many side characters, like the brother and the sisters and the dowager duchess, that I didn’t really get a good well rounded feeling any of these characters to help add personal touch to the story.
In the end, I was happy and contented with the HEA presented, but it was a long and sometimes arduous path to get there.
Thank you do you forever Romance for my arc review copy. Opinions are my own.
I was so excited to read this first book in the new Duke of Grantham series by a new-to-me author. I especially enjoy romance books with an enemies to lovers trope.
I really enjoyed the start of this book. The early scenes where Vivienne is teaching the Duke and his sisters etiquette and dancing was priceless. Vivienne's interaction with Gabriel’s sisters was also entertaining and fun.
Unfortunately, I didn’t feel much of the enemies to lovers or chemistry with this couple. There is too much backstory (and repeated backstory) that makes the plot clunky in the middle. I also had a problem with the ending because a conflict that kept the couple apart was resolved in a matter of pages.
This is my first read from Sara Bennett and the first in the series. I liked it enough to give another a try.
3.5 rounded up
Vivienne's younger brother has racked up a large gambling debt at Gabriel's club and she asks Gabriel to forgive the debt or let him pay in three years when her brother inherits his estate. Gabriel refuses but has to re-think his denial after finding out he is a Duke with six half-sisters. He was raised in a foundling home and the girls have no training in the manners expected of them in Society. He asks Vivienne to help guide them and he'll forgive the debt. There is so much opportunity for drama here but really there is little conflict. Now, as a Duke, Gabriel and his grandmother (who abandoned him), think he is too good for Vivienne. She has a slight scandal in her past and is now lower socially and financially. Everyone is just a little too nice making for a very mild story.
Sara has been on my radar for an author to try. I decided to try this latest release. I thought the beginning was really good. Gabriel won a gambling hell basically came from nothing (at least he thought he did) and after his real father died he became the next Duke. He also inherited his 6 half sisters (in which the girls mom's marriage to Gabriel's father was actually declared bigamy!) he didn't want them to grow up destitute. Just blame Gabriel's situation on his grandma. Vivienne wants her young brothers gambling debts dropped and Gabriel declines. He ends up needing her to help with his sisters and him to get in society standards.
This was only a sweet cute read for me. I would've like more scenes together with Gabriel and his sisters. It was too low angst for me in which we really didn't see any issue happening with Vivienne's step father. Just toward the last 30ish % was lack luster for me. I was just expecting more climatic plot. I'll still give Sara another read.
I received this book at my request and have voluntarily left this unbiased review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
I really enjoyed this book. It's my first by Sara Bennett and it left me eager to read more, hopefully featuring secondary characters from Dreaming of a Duke Like You.
Do you enjoy grumpy-sunshine romance? Rags to riches heroes? Fish out of water tropes? Slow-burn chemistry? A flock of younger sisters you didn't know existed? Bennett offers up all that and more in this new historical romance. I love a self-made man and Gabriel is certainly that. He's the ruler of his gambling club world, at home there, in charge, and immensely successful. But give him a dukedom he doesn't want, responsibilities he didn't ask for, and a grandmother he has every reason to despise and our uber-confident business owner is suddenly out of his element. It exposes his vulnerable side and I do love a confident man with a vulnerable core. Enter our heroine, the woman he doesn't want to want but can't seem to resist and the only one with the ability - and willingness - to help teach his half-feral half-sisters how to navigate society. Okay, not so much willingness but if doing this gets her scapegrace brother's debt to Gabriel's club wiped clean then she's all in, even if Gabriel's presence makes her heart race and her libido flutter. This should be fun.
I love how Gabriel and Vivienne go toe to toe, how she challenges him, and how the chemistry between them grows with every encounter. The relationship between Vivienne and Gabriel's sisters gave me Sister Maria vibes, especially the closeness that develops between Vivienne and the oldest sister, Olivia. That is second only to the melt-my-heart adorableness of youngest sister, Edwina. She captured Gabriel's heart and mine too. I also enjoyed Vivienne's complicated but loving relationship with her brother (four younger brothers: I understand) as well as her cousin. I'd like to see more of both of them in future books.
I do hope this is the beginning of a series. There are several secondary characters who interest me, such as Gabriel's two best friends. Together since childhood in the orphanage, these men already have me wanting to know more about them and, hopefully, their journeys to love. There are a few loose threads left hanging (Vivienne's step-father for one) that I'm hoping will be taken care of in a future book. The lack of comeuppance for both the step-father and Gabriel's grandmother were the only drawbacks for me in what was otherwise a very enjoyable book. I'll definitely be back for the next one.
ARC received from publisher via NetGalley. Fair and unbiased review.
Dreaming of a Duke Like You by Sara Bennett
Duke of Grantham series #1. Historical romance.
Gabriel Cadieux was abandoned to a foundling home as a very young boy. He now owns and runs a successful gambling club and doesn’t have much appreciation for the peerage other than the money it makes him. When he suddenly finds himself with the title of Duke, and six rebellious half sisters, he freely admits he needs help. Gabriel offers Vivienne Tremeer a trade. He will forgive her brother's debt if Vivienne will help teach his sisters to behave for society. Vivienne doesn’t exactly trust this new Duke but she doesn’t really have a choice. She will teach manners and deportment to his sisters. Dancing with him is certainly not a hardship. Now she just needs to keep her heart from falling into his hands.
Both Vivienne and Gabriel are outsiders and that’s partly the attraction to each other. They both have hard realities to learn. He is being pushed to wed the right woman while she is just trying to survive until her brother inherits the estate. Both have to deal with relatives that want what’s best for themselves and not necessarily the best for Vivienne or Gabriel emotionally. Do they make the decision of the heart or the one that is proper? The pressure of society is not a little thing.
Slow burn, tempting kisses. Wild and improper sisters make for a bit of fun in the tragedy of gambling debts and unwelcome family. A flirting glance while dancing can lead to much more.
Enjoyable, a bit steamy, and ultimate win with the power of money.
I received a copy of this from NetGalley.