Cover Image: The Duke Knows Best

The Duke Knows Best

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Member Reviews

**The Duke Knows Best** was engaging, but not exceptional. Lord Randolph was endearing and multi-dimensional. He needs to find a wife and meets several good candidates, but is intrigued by the one young woman who seems to dislike him. Verity wants a life of adventure and Lord Randolph is a no more than a boring clergyman in her eyes … until they sing together. now, I love a good enemies to lovers plot, but this was not much of a conflict. The story was saved by the side characters. Lord Randolph’s family is fabulous and I would read the other books in this series to spend more time with them.

Although the novel was originally published several years ago, I believe the audio production is new. Naomi Frederick’s narration was wonderful and brought the scenes alive. I would definitely look for other books with her narration.

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Sheesh, I've gotten terrible about writing reviews in a decent amount of time. I finished this book nearly two months before I sat down to write this review. And I've read 13 books between this one and my last book read. All of that to say that I'm not remembering all that much about what happened in this book. Here's what I do remember:

Verity decides upon her first introduction to Randolph that he will not possibly suit. She is rude and walks away almost immediately. See, Randolph is from a country parish. He will return there after finding a wife, and Verity has no greater desire than to remain in town. She's completely uninterested in anyone who would remain in the country. And she's rude to him more times than that as well. She's rude so many times that I can't believe Randolph gave her the time of day. But Randolph is, of course, intrigued.

Verity has a wonderful singing voice, and so does Randolph. The two are accidentally paired up to sing at a party and what results is magic. They blend together so well and compliment each other vocally. So much so that the Prince Regent wants them to sing a duet together for a party he's hosting. They don't feel like they have a choice but to agree, and so they begin spending a lot of time together practicing.

If I'd seen a prior book cover for The Duke Knows Best, I wouldn't have given it the time of day. I don't seek to read strict romance novels, although I do want romantic relationships to drive the books I'm reading. Considering Randolph's profession, I thought this book might be exempt from the characters having premarital sex. I was wrong. Which is a little frustrating because this is one of the things I prefer about Regency historical fiction. Obviously, there's a whole genre of this period relegated to historical fiction romance. I'm rambling at this point. However, I don't mind as much in audiobooks because I often prefer audiobooks to be quick and easy reads. I can blow through them while doing something else and not taking up otherwise valuable reading time.

The audiobook narrator, Naomi Frederick, did a wonderful job, and I would listen to her narrate again for sure.

I thought the main conflict and secret that Verity's father had over Randolph was a bit stupid. I can't say it was completely unrealistic, but thankfully, again, in audiobooks, I don't always look at things like this too closely.

The Duke Knows Best gets 3.5 Stars. It was a fast and fun listen. I am glad I had this in the audio format because I think that enhanced my experience. I might have knocked it down to a 3 Star rating if I'd been reading the physical version. Have you read (or listened to)The Duke Knows Best? What did you think? Let me know!

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This is a great audiobook overall, I loved the narrator and the plot. It was not as predictable as I had expected reading this description. There were many times when I was listening and thought "how will it really turn out?" I did think some of the romance scenes were sudden, as in I had to rewind to make sure I heard it correctly. There was not a lot of lead up to them and I was surprised they actually happened. I did like the character development and that each character was their own narrator for parts of the book. I really enjoyed it.

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This book was just ok. I had to power through it and listen at a faster speed because I found it to be a bit slow. The side characters took up more than I would like of the book. The 'issues' were misunderstanding and miscommunication that did not add to the story, made it frustrating and just felt like easy obstacles to bulk up the book. Overall, I like Recency romance, but this book was not great and simply passible.

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I generally pick up historical romances for the longing and passionate yearning, but I felt like this book really lacked this. It was fine, but I was bored most of the time and tempted to dnf. There isn't too much interaction between the leads and when they are together, there aren't sparks, in my opinion. It didn't feel like there was any buildup of tension in their relationship, it fell flat. The jealousy scenes I adore in romance novels weren't really prevalent here, and overall I didn't feel like the the characters were in love. It was fine but didn't hit how I wanted it to. I did enjoy the narration, many historical romance audiobook narrators are just so solid and I think she did wonderfully!
If you're a historical romance reader, I'm sure this would be fine, but I've had others I loved and this just too slow without much payoff (emotional or romantic tension were both lacking).

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I haven't read an historical romance novel in a while and decided, as I jump into listening to audiobooks, I'd start with an old favorite genre.

Lord Randolph Gresham finds himself back in London for the season as he sets to the task of finding a wife. Verity Sinclair is in London, under the guise of finding a husband, but really looking for an adventure. They decide the other is unsuitable yet constantly are thrown together. Can this really be a love match?

I loved the narration of the story. The post English accent really set the tone of the story. But, sadly, that is all I loved about the story. I found I didn't really like either of the main characters much or care if they found their match.

I will definitely look for other audiobooks narrated by the same person. Her tone and reading of this story was delightful.

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I listened to audiobook of The Duke Knows Best by Jane Ashford, which was as entertaining historical romance. When I started listening to it, I didn’t realize that it was the 5th book in the Duke’s Sons series, but I don’t feel like I missed anything at all.

The Duke’s son in this book is Lord Randolph Gresham who is a vicar in a small country parish. Being the son of Duke also means he was highly educated in all things, including being in great physical shape and a top notch fencer. He also has an amazing singing voice. Needless to say, he is a great catch for any young female of the ton in search of a husband.

Verity Sinclair is the daughter of a pastor herself and dreams of escaping the confines of being a minister’s daughter (or wife), and she dreams of adventure in foreign locals. During her first season in London she runs into Lord Randolph at one of the season’s events and immediately turns her nose up at him - not because he is handsome, or sings like an angel, but merely because he is the minister at a small country parish. Due to circumstances beyond her control the two are thrown together constantly and eventually are forced to sing a duet together. The more they practice together, the more they learn about each other and respect each other, and inevitably fall in love.

This audiobook was narrated by the talenteed Naomi Frederick who provided varying voices for both male and female characters and inflected just the right amount of emotion in all the right places. I will immediately go search out other audiobooks in this lighthearted series!

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I wish I had liked this story more but I felt like too much of the book focused on side characters that I wasn't interested in. I also failed to see what the conflict at the end was. It seemed like there was nothing to overcome and that makes for a pretty boring story to me. I also failed to understand why the two characters liked each other beyond getting happy below the belt feelings when they sing together. Was that it?

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This audiobook is beautifully done. What a lovely speaking voice, pace, enunciation, and audio quality. The story is fun, interesting, and captivating while staying light and amusing. The author’s wit and wordplay are clever and hilarious. Some names are a bit similar but in the end it’s easy enough to keep everyone straight. Huge points for females who think and express strong opinions well without falling into the role of token bluestocking!

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Cute story, the 4th in the series. I like the authors writing style and storyline, and enjoy following the family as they meet their match. Lighthearted, easy read.

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A ram in a living nativity looking for love and attempting to find it with the Archbishop of Canterbury may be the one insurmountable impediment to Verity Sinclair and the Rev. Lord Randolph Gresham’s wedding. Verity’s father is a high level church official and he’s heard about the embarrassment that the Archbishop received when he visited Randolph parish 3 years ago….and the Archbishop carries a grudge. Although Verity is 24, her father still believes that he can prevent her from marrying Randolph. Randolph knows that, despite being the son of a Duke, he will never achieve higher office in the church because of the Archbishop’s opinion. Both Verity’s father and Randolph know that Verity longs for travel and adventure and not the life of a country rector’s wife. SO, although Verity and Randolph are deeply in love, their marriage and continued happiness, isn’t guaranteed. Will they or won’t they? It’s a fun ride with lots of romantic tension.

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The Duke Knows Best was just a good, easy read. I really enjoyed this book as an audiobook. While this book is part of a series, I have not read the rest of the series and did not loose anything because of it. I enjoyed the fact that the two MC's relationship grew over creating music together in a chamber ensemble setting. The book was a little long and drawn out which lost me a little bit, but overall this was an enjoyable read.

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If you loved the Bridgerton series check this series out! This is book #5 and I'm so glad I had the opportunity to read it! In this historical romance that's a love hate relationship! There's some 🔥 spice but it's not smutty.

Thank you to NetGallery and the publisher for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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I really enjoyed this audiobook! It did start out a little slow for my liking, but once it picked up it was pretty good!

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Thank You for the review copy, NetGalley.

The Duke Knows Best by Jane Ashford reminded me of the Jane Austen books.

The tension between the two main characters of Verity Sinclair and Lord Randolph Gresham, as it slowly blossoms into love reminds you slightly of Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy.

It is actually the 6th book in the series. I didn't know that going into the book and it didn't affect me enjoying this book.

So, definitely go for it. It is a very good listen.

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Thanks to a great author we have warmth, wisdom and emotional intelligence, this book was a huge pleasure to read! A fabulous, really enjoyable read.
I would highly recommend to family and friends. I love author’s that can describe a scene and you are immediately there, you close your eyes and you picture the scene. This author does that for me.

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This book was surprisingly delightful as the description did not do the plot line justice, as it had several surprising twists. The characters were enjoyable and the ending satisfying. The narration was superb/

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Narrated by Naomi Frederick ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Story by Jane Ashford ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Loved this but can't believe 1 - it's the first time I'm coming across this author and 2 - that I'm coming into this book at the end of the series. Thank God my library has them all so I can start from the beginning.

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Jane Ashford's "The Duke Knows Best," skillfully narrated by Naomi Frederick, unfolds as a delightful Regency romance. Frederick's narration brings the characters to life, enhancing the charm and allure of Ashford's storytelling.
The dynamic between Lord Randolph and Verity is both engaging and unpredictable. Ashford artfully blends the societal expectations of the time with the characters' desires, creating a narrative that keeps readers on the edge of their seats.
Verity's reluctance to engage with Lord Randolph sets the stage for a compelling romantic tension, and the progression from a single duet to subsequent encounters adds layers to their evolving relationship. Naomi Frederick's narration contributes to the audiobook's overall appeal, capturing the essence of the characters and the Regency setting. "The Duke Knows Best" is a delightful blend of romance, wit, and Regency charm, making it a recommended listen for those who enjoy a well-crafted historical romance.

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Not only was The Duke Know Best narrated well - but I TRULY loved these characters. There was so much growth, and felt very much Pride & Prejudice style with their misconceptions about each other. Such a fun and relaxed commuter listen!

**Thank you to Bolinda Audio & NetGalley for the advanced reader copy. I received this book for free, but all thoughts are my own. – SLR 🖤

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