After her third fiancé leaves her at the altar, Lenora Hartley is beginning to think she's cursed. One thing's for certain: she needs to escape London and her father's tyrannical attempts to find her yet another suitor. The Isle of Synne, an isolated and idyllic retreat off Britain's northern coast, is blessedly far from society's gossip, but it also carries haunting reminders of her first fiancé. Letting go of the past to find happiness seems impossible—until Lenora is thrown in the path of a gruff, mysterious blue-eyed man who makes her pulse race.
Next in line for a dukedom he doesn't want to inherit, Peter Ashford is only on the isle to exact revenge on the man who is responsible for his mother's death. Once he's completed the task, he'll return to America where his life can finally be his own. Yet when he meets the beautiful and kind Miss Hartley, he can't help but be drawn to her. Can Peter put aside his plans for vengeance for the woman who has come to mean everything to him?
Christina Britton developed a passion for writing romance novels shortly after buying her first at the tender age of thirteen. Though for several years she turned to art and put brush instead of pen to paper, she has returned to her first love and is now writing full time. She spends her days dreaming of corsets and cravats and noblemen with tortured souls.
She lives with her husband and two children in the San Francisco Bay Area. A member of Romance Writers of America, she also belongs to her local chapter, Silicon Valley RWA, and is a 2017 RWA® Golden Heart® Winner. You can find her on the web at www.christinabritton.com, Twitter as @cbrittonauthor, or facebook.com/ChristinaBrittonAuthor
I was utterly delighted with this new series from Britton! A vengeful, yet sad young man who is now the presumptive heir of the Duke of the Isle of Synne returns only to exact his revenge (NO HEIRS FOR YOU). He isn't expecting to find the beautiful and also sad society miss who's been jilted three times living with the woman who helped him and his dead mother all those years ago.
Fun Norse inspired mythology paired with a gorgeous setting I felt MUST be like the Isle of Skye, this was so much fun. Stay tuned for my full review on Library Journal.
Series: Isle of Synne #1 Publication Date: 6/30/20 Number of Pages: 384 *** 3.5 Stars Rounded Up ***
Lenora Hartley’s journey to her HEA has been a tough one. She’s been left at the altar three times in as many years. None of them was her fault – one died in an accident, one eloped with someone else, and one left for the continent after a duel. Then, there is her father to contend with. He’s dead-set on marrying her off to his advantage – believe me, the man makes Simon Legree look like a saint. The poor woman deserves a summer break on the Isle of Synne to recover from the latest wedding debacle and her friend Margery is just the one to see that she gets there. The Isle is also where she hopes to confront and make peace with her guilt over her first fiancé.
I like a grumpy, curmudgeonly hero on occasion, but Peter Ashford really put that to the test. He wasn’t just grumpy, he was rude, hurtful, and bent on revenge no matter who it hurt – and I think he hung on to that way, way too long. When Peter was thirteen, he went to the Duke of Dane for help in saving his mother. When the duke turned him away and his mother subsequently died, Peter blamed the duke and vowed revenge. It has taken him thirteen years in America to make his fortune and return to England to exact vengeance upon the duke. The duke’s only son and heir died three years ago in an accident, the duke is gravely ill, and now Peter is the heir to the dukedom. Oh! Yes! He’ll get his pound of flesh now.
I liked the story well enough, but revenge is never my favorite trope – mostly because the person seeking revenge usually plans to hurt some innocent person in order to get back at the person they really want to hurt. I’ve never gotten how that is supposed to make sense. I thought it was well-written (though a bit draggy in spots), and I really liked the secondary characters – especially Quinton (Peter’s best friend), and Lady Tesh. I thought it had a lot of emotions and it was interesting to watch Peter try to figure out how to deal with those and come up with a HEA for himself and Lenora. I liked Quincy much better than Peter, so I’m really looking forward to the next book which will feature him.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Let’s begin with the obvious: the cover. It’s so beautiful and glorious and seriously resplendent. Plus, the spine on my copy is wonderfully cracked from just one read which makes my heart happy.
This one had me hooked from hello and I didn’t put it down until I reached the halfway mark—done begrudgingly I might add but sleep was necessary. But then I picked up my knitting for a day and had errands to run the next. So it goes, that little break dimmed some of the shine and I wasn’t itching to get back to it.
Then, when I did start up again, I was right in the throes of miscommunication and pigheadedness that is a man in love. Said man, Peter, was also just not completely my cup of tea—or lemonade. I liked him well enough but he seemed pretty surface level to me. However, I do admit that when the hero isn’t a “rake” I always find him lacking so maybe that is why. I loved him and Lenora together, but I wouldn’t want him for myself if that makes sense. Quincy is more my style.
I am also just not a fan of the revenge trope and the I’m-not-going-to-get-married-to-spite-some-wrinkly-ancestor-even-when-a-luscious-woman-lets-me-French-her-on-a-balcony-and-wants-me-for-more-than-just-my-hot-and-sweaty-Viking-body state of mind. Seems oddly specific but I’ve definitely come across all that jazz a few times and always get frustrated. I simply cannot understand the reasoning that even for a moment revenge would be chosen over love and happiness. To get a dukedom and the girl or not to get a dukedom and the girl—the horror of an easy choice!
But overall, I really did enjoy Lenora and Peter and loved their ending. I was definitely teary when Peter got some sense and decided he did like midnight canoodling and morning breakfast in bed (forevermore) better than duty and honor and the allure of being mopey on a misty cliffside. I was definitely sad about Dane but happy how it all shook out. The sex scene was rather lackluster but the story was strong enough to hold its own without scorching hot chemistry.
2.5 stars. This was just okay for me, but I did enjoy the last half somewhat more. I liked the setting on the Isle of Synne--always nice to have settings other than London for variety. The characters were fine, but I didn't have strong feelings for either one. Peter annoyed me a good deal in the beginning, but of course he had reformed by the end! I have no complaints about the writing style, so I think what made this one not stick out to me was that there really wasn't much of a plot. It did pick up a bit in the last half--once the fiance that Lenora's father picked for her showed up. But the story is driven much more by the characters' emotional journeys (Lenora getting past her guilt about her first engagement, Peter getting over his thirst for vengeance) than by much of an external plot. I like a bit more robust plot with more action, so this was a bit too quiet for me, but if you like a more emotion-driven story you might enjoy this one. I may or may not read the second book in the series, since I did enjoy the writing style and it appears to involve a fake engagement, which I always love!
*I received a free ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Three fiancés in as many years had left her.
Lenora is at the church ready to make her way up the aisle when she notices that her fiancé is not at the end to greet her. When she sees the look on her bestfriend Margery's face, Lenora knows that she is not getting married today. The scandal of losing another fiancé and the unforgiving nature of her father have Lenora escaping to the Isle of Synne with Margery to stay with Margery's grandmother and the place Lenora spent her summers. Her father tells her she has the summer to wait out the scandal and then he will betroth her again and she will marry his choice or he will disown her.
“You cannot go, Peter.” she called after him. “Your mother, she wanted me to care for you.”
Peter is back in England for the first time in thirteen years. He left after his mother died, he blames the Duke of Dane for not helping when he and his mother went to him for help. He goes to the Isle of Synne to pay back, with interest, the money the Duke's sister gave him and to show that he made something of himself. When he gets there though, he learns the Duke is gravely ill and the Duke's sister guilt trips him to staying at least a month based on a promise he made to his dying mother.
With a low oath, he stepped back. For a devastating moment, she felt the loss of his closeness down to the very marrow of her bones.
A Good Duke is Hard to Find is first in the Isle of Synne series and as I have already read the other two in the series, it was nice to see how it all began. I remember complaining how the setting of the Isle wasn't utilized enough in the other two, here I was happy to venture around to some sites with the characters and learn about the local lore of a maiden and her Viking lord. This provided some setting and while it's obvious that Lenora's friend Margery, Peter's friend Quincy, and the Duke of Dane's daughters will be future leads, their characters helped fill out the world. There's some tease for a secret Lenora is keeping about her first fiancé, who was Margery's cousin but it was fairly obvious and because of that, it dragged on a smidgen too long, especially when there wasn't really an impact about it. I would have liked to have a little more about how Peter made something of himself in America, we get a bare bones outline but I think that would have flushed his character out more.
He never imagined that anyone could breach the walls he had put about himself. Until Lenora.
Together, Lenora and Peter had a lukewarm romance for me, it was pleasant but didn't particularly wow me. They had an instant physical attraction, kiss a little before the halfway point, and then are in love. I did like how they spent time together and talked but it was more told they're instantly attracted, instead of me reading and following along as it was developed. Since they're already thinking about love by the middle, what keeps them apart is the promise Peter made to the Duke of Dane to never marry so that his line will die with him and his property and fields will go fallow and, yeah, historical romance readers have been here before.
And he saw that what he had thought to be delicate and in need of protection was, in fact, enduring and strong. Like Lenora. Like his love for her.
This actually turned out to be my favorite from the series and I think it was because of something that I usually complain about, setting up the foundation for the series. This is a little longer than usual historical romances and its due to spending time exploring the island (setting), introducing the world's characters (world building), and the romance between the leads. It made the pace a little slower but I liked the adding and spending some time with the first two components. The romance didn't end up giving me the development and emotional building that I personally like between romantic leads, for two characters that had instant attraction there was a decidedly lack of bedroom scenes; I think there ended up just being two(?) quick ones. The later half has Peter still being stubborn about his “never marry!” and Lenora's father comes in with some betrothal villainy that works to shake and wake-up Peter to deliver our happily ever after. I liked some of the time given for certain story components but the romance, unfortunately, fell flat for me.
A Good Duke is Hard to Find features a wonderful romance between a woman cursed in love and a duke’s heir out for revenge.
After being jilted by her third fiancé, Lenora Hartley decides to take a break from London and her father’s attempts to find her another match. The Isle of Synne, an isolated island off Britain’s northern coast, is exactly the right place to avoid the gossip. But soon after arriving, she runs into a mysterious man who attracts her far more than she expected. Peter Ashford is set to inherit a dukedom he doesn’t want, but his only thoughts are of getting revenge on the man who let his mother die. Determined to ruin the man and his legacy, he heads to the Isle of Synne to set his revenge in motion. But once there, he meets Miss Hartley who has him questioning all of his plans.
Lenora was an intriguing character and one I was interested to learn more about after seeing she had three failed engagements. It quickly becomes clear Lenora’s father plans to use a marriage to Lenora to further his own political career and Lenora has had very little input on her betrothals. It was easy to feel for Lenora in her situation and I think my one complaint about her character was how long it took for her to stand up for herself. Peter left England thirteen years ago after the death of his mother and it is only his own sense of debt to the woman who helped his mother that has him returning now. Peter’s situation as a child was heartbreaking and it definitely made it easier to understand why he was so hell-bent on revenge.
Lenora and Peter’s relationship was very much an opposites attract romance with the added bit of forced proximity due to the small isle they’re on. Peter is definitely a pessimistic person compared to Lenora, but as a fan of the grumpy-sunshine trope, that worked for me. Both Lenora and Peter have issues opening up to others which meant it took a while for their romance to progress. Plus, with Lenora’s father arranging another betrothal for her, she knows she’s not entirely free to follow her heart and Peter’s quest for revenge means he has no plans to marry. My one issue with their romance was how long it took for both of them to admit that their relationship was something they wanted. They definitely admitted their attraction to each other right away, but it took much longer for them to admit they wanted more.
Overall A Good Duke is Hard to Find was a very enjoyable read and I will definitely be picking up the second book in the series, Someday My Duke Will Come, when it releases next year.
**I received an advance copy of this book from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.**
After her third fiancé left her in the altar – yes, that’s THREE failed engagements – Lenora Hartley decides to escape London to The Isle of Synne, an isolated and idyllic retreat off Britain's northern coast where she spends a lot of her girlhood there. An island that also carries the memory of her first fiancé (now deceased).
Meanwhile, Peter Ashford comes to Synne to pay long time debts as well as ensure his revenge to Duke of Dane, whom Peter thinks solely responsible to the death of her mother thirteen years previous. Before Peter ran away to America and makes his own success story. He has no intention to stay in the island, but he is rather manipulated by his great-aunt, Lady Tesh, to spend a month. And when Peter meets Lenora, who is Lady Tesh’s guest, he starts to wonder if he should forego his plan of revenge.
This is my first Christina Britton’s and I think it’s successfully making me eagerly wait for book #2 coming next year. I liked the set-up; Lenora with her failed engagements, Peter who wants nothing of dukedom that will fall into his responsibility… and well these are just two wonderful people!
Lenora has been living under her tyrannical father, one who controls almost every aspect of her live, including who to marry. With Peter, Lenora learns that someone can appreciate her for who she is, including how she choose NOT to drink tea *smile*. I think, for the first time, Lenora feels that she can be loved.
While Peter learns to let old hate go by being with Lenora. If we take out his need for revenge out of the equation, Peter is a kind and pretty stand-up guy. Sure, he is roped to stay at Synne, but he doesn’t back down from his promise. I found it very entertaining to see Peter – who live as “common” people in America, dealing with dinners and balls in England *laugh*. This book also brings me a teary-eyes moment, in regards to Peter and the Duke of Dane.
I like the romance – and well, Peter makes a fine grand gesture to apologize to Lenora in the end. The epilogue is lovely. I also enjoy the secondary characters, most notably Lady Tesh. She’s a great matriarch character for sure, and not at all annoying *grin*.
So yes, I look forward to the next book about Peter’s best friend, Quincy, and Lady Clara…
The third time is definitely not the charm for Lenora. She has been engaged three times and still, she remains unmarried. With her father furious at her for putting him in this situation... again, she decided to escape London with her dear friend and go back to the Isle of Synne. She has always felt at peace on the Isle. Lenora must wait for her father to save her reputation and match her with someone else that will aid his career and pocketbook. She knows she can never have a love match, but maybe for a small-time, she might find a little joy revisiting her past. When her friend's cousin shows up, the tall wild Viking makes her feel like maybe
Peter is hell-bent on getting revenge on his uncle for the crime he committed. He has plotted against the man since the day he sent him off without aiding Peter's dying mother. Now, he can only think of one thing... inheriting the man's dukedom and destroying it so it returns to the crown. Nothing will get in way of his plan. But, when he is forced to make good on an old promise, everything he has used to fuel his revenge starts to unravel. Can he let go of the driving force that has held him together for so long?
While I thought the main characters in this book were good, there was just something a little lacking for me. It was still an enjoyable read. This was book one in the new Isle of Synne series by Christina Britton. I'm interested to see how this series continues. I am A Good Duke Is Hard To Find a 3.5/5 stars
A huge thank you to NetGalley and Forever (Grand Central Publishing) for letting me read an advance copy. All opinions expressed are my own.
When I saw this book is the first in a historical romance series, I immediately requested the ARC with the hope of finding a new series I could continue to follow. Plus, the red-orange hues on the cover are gorgeous!
I loved the opening chapters of this book as Lenora’s heartwarming friendship with Margary is established, a contrast to her tense relationship with her cruel father. I admired Lenora’s resilience and grace as she struggles not only with the shame of three failed engagements, but also with a dark secret she’s never told anyone that she will have to face upon her return to the isle.
Peter, on the other hand, was a lot more difficult to like. His grumpiness went from potentially endearing to completely exasperating. He is stubborn to the point of being pigheaded, insists on vengeance even when it’s clear better options are available, and is unnecessarily rude to our heroine and side characters on multiple occasions. Aside from a couple of scenes here and there, I had a difficult time rooting for Peter and Lenora to end up together. In my opinion, she was too good for him.
Our cast of side characters helped make this book shine and definitely piqued my interest regarding the upcoming books in this series. I grew fond of the tenacious Lady Tesh and her canine companion, Freya, and was excited to learn the next book will be about Peter’s charismatic friend, Mr. Quincy Nesbitt. I’m also hoping sweet Margery will get a book of her own because she deserves a happy ending (2021 update—she did!).
Regarding the conflict, most of it is based on internal struggles – vengeance vs. forgiveness, facing the past vs. running from it – that made the stakes seem pretty low. Many of the issues could have been resolved with better communication between characters. Any additional conflict, from a terrible storm hitting the isle to the arrival of a new suitor for Lenora, always seemed temporary rather than insurmountable.
The setting on the Isle of Synne is absolutely magical, and I enjoyed exploring its picturesque cliffs and serene forests, wondering why the characters would want to live anywhere else. The author also tries to weave a tale about the isle’s past into the story, but unfortunately it falls flat. Clearly meant to parallel Lenora’s and Peter’s relationship, the legend tells the story of a young woman named Synne falling in love with a viking. Like Peter, this viking is a jerk; and like Lenora, Synne forgives him. Lenora may call Peter her “viking” throughout the book, but otherwise the legend of Synne didn’t add much to the story.
Overall I wouldn’t say I loved this book, but I’m definitely intrigued enough by its characters and setting to come back for more. Christina Britton is truly a talented writer, and I can’t wait to see what this series has next!
Thank you to Forever (Grand Central Publishing) via Netgalley for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.
A Good Duke is Hard to Find was a great read with an original concept that brought something new to the historical romance and Regency romance genres.
Miss Lenora Hartley, despite her beauty and gentle breeding, has suffered the embarrassment of being left at the alter (or well before it) no less than three times - three times too many for her coldly distant father. To avoid yet another scandal, Lenora and her lifelong friend, Margery, return to the Isle of Synne to await her newest suitor per her father’s edict. Lenora intends to spend her time on the Isle reconnecting with Margery’s high-spirited grandmother, Lady Tesh, and making peace with the memories of her first fiancé who met an untimely death there. She has no reason to suspect that this visit would go anything less than according to plan, however, fate has other things in store.
Enter Mr. Peter Ashford, reluctant heir to the man who turned himself and his sick mother away at the tender age of thirteen. After spending the last thirteen years in America bitterly swearing revenge for his mother’s death, Peter has returned to the Isle to see his debts paid and his vengeance come to fruition. He never expected to meet his match in Lenora and certainly never thought that his head could be turned from the course he’d been pursuing for over a decade. As their longing grows for one another, Lenora and Peter must decide whether to linger in the past or look forward to the future.
I loved Lenora and Peter together. Theirs was an instant attraction, although they both denied it. But once they got together – fireworks. Both characters suffered their own tragedies and heartaches. Both characters had to learn how to live again. I enjoyed seeing them get their happily ever after. Definitely recommend!
*ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
Lenora has now had 3 broken engagements. She needs to escape London and the humiliation. She visits the Isle of Synne with her best friend. Its not the peaceful retreat she needs, as it holds the most memories of her now dead first fiance, but she still finds distraction in a visitor from America.
Peter is in line for the Dukedom in charge of the Isle of Synne, but he has no desire to take up the mantle. He is only here to take revenge against the duke that wronged him and his mother so many years ago. He keeps letting his plans for vengeance slip because of Lenora's distracting presence.
This is my first Christina Britton. I love the cover. The writing had me laughing in some parts. I really should have loved most everything about this book. They are together pretty much the whole book spending time together. There's no crazy active plot to take me away from the romance. The hero is a bit grumpy. The heroine has had multiple failed engagements (I don't know why I love that but I do haha!) Perhaps it's just the world right now getting to me and I'm in a bad mood. I don't know. But I didn't love this book.
I liked Lenora for the most part. But I didn't like Peter. He was too focused on his revenge and held on to it for too long. Lenora too had her secrets. I think between both of them with their secrets and plots, it was just going on too long. They were also very awkward together. The awkwardness seemed to last through most of the book too. They didn't seem to know each other at all and I felt like they felt 'love' too soon. Especially Lenora. I didn't see how she got there, really.
I didn't feel much tension between the two of the them past the beginning quarter of the book. I guess I was hoping for more steam too, though it's not a deal breaker for me. I also thought the ending, instead of pulling them closer together which I really thought it needed, seemed to go on and on about all the drama coming to a close. Lenora's secrets, a returned fiance, Peter's revenge. I just didn't care about any of it, sadly.
I did smile and laugh at a few parts and I was VERY interested in the side character Quincy Nesbitt. What a name, huh?? But still, I will definitely give that book a try when it comes out.
Thank you NetGalley for the ARC. All feelings and opinions about this book are my own.
Starring Miss Lenora Hartley and Peter Ashford, heir to the Duke of Dane. Revenge trope.
This was my first Christina Britton experience and I absolutely loved it. This story was an emotional roller coaster and I enjoyed every second of the ride. I will definitely be looking for more of Christina Britton’s books.
Peter is the ultimate moody and broody hero. He’s got a lot on his plate... death bed promise... revenge... so the last thing he needs is to fall in love. But there’s something about Lenora that’s making his heart crack and open up to her. Suddenly he’s feeling protective, possessive... and this slip of a girl is constantly making him blush. I love that!! Peter may come out a little rude and standoffish in the beginning... but he’s a worthy hero. I was cheering for him!!
Lenora has bad luck when it comes to fiancés... one died and 2 jilted her. She thinks she doesn’t deserve to find love and so she’s closed off her heart. But the minute she bumps into Peter she’s fascinated and curious... and wants to rescue him at every turn. Lenora broke my heart a little. I was so happy that she came into her own at the end of the book. This heroine has a backbone and I was also rooting for her.
Lenora and Peter are a wonderful couple who gave me all the wonderful feels. They’re pretty happening on the sexual tension level. I was so happy that they got their HEA.
This is the first book in the Isle of Synne series and it’s starting strong. Can’t wait to see who else is getting a story.
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 re-reading this story over and over and over again!!
I thought this was such a beautiful read, very heartwarming and proof that there's always hope of love, even when you're not looking for it or think you don't deserve it.
Lenora escapes London to the Isle of Synne, where she spent lovely times growing up, to get away from yet another scandal. Being left at the altar is nothing new for Lenora and it's a good thing her heart wasn't affected since they were marriages arranged by her father. Being back on the Isle of Synne brings back a lot of good memories but also some heartbreaking ones which she is keeping secret.
Peter is man bent on revenge and has spent the last 13 years plotting to ruin the man who refused to help his mother when she lay dying. Back on the Isle of Synne to pay off a debt, he meets Lenora and finds himself fighting his attraction to her. He should only be concentrating on his planned revenge and anyway, he's vowed never to marry or have a family.
Some angst and heartbreak will occur before these two find their HEA. Secrets will be revealed. Standing up for oneself will occur. Forgiveness will occur. True love and peace will finally be in their hands.
I received an ARC of this book via NetGalley and am voluntarily leaving an honest review.
I don’t think this is a bad book, I just think it’s not for me. I was ridiculously bored after the first third; it wouldn’t be fair to the book if I continued forcing myself to read until the end. The writing style is decent, but I felt no emotional connection to the characters or their romantic relationship.
I get it, the hero must pursue his revenge at all costs even though it’s glaringly obvious from page 20 that his hatred is unwarranted and he’ll eventually forgive his “enemy” at the behest of the heroine/after learning something the reader predicted (I didn’t guess the exact details but I came close. At the very least, you’ll know that his vengeance is unfair/misguided from the beginning). I skimmed ahead and, yep, that is in fact what happens. YMMV, so read other reviews and a sample to see if this would be a better read for you.
Disclaimer: I received a free e-ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for an honest review. Lenora has had it rough, three times left at the altar much to her fathers demise. She just wants peace away from society's gossip. So she goes to the Isle of Synne with her friend Margary. While there with friends she runs into Peter who has agreed to stay at the Isle of Synne for one month. This was an enjoyable read, I loved these characters and seeing their happily ever after through.
This was my first book by this author but definitely won’t be my last!! I loved the characters and their love story. I’m so glad that I read this because it just made me happy. Very low angst and not as steamy as other romances but that didn’t bother me at all.
After her third broken engagement, Lenora Hartley leaves London for the Isle of Synne for a one-month reprieve in the hopes of avoiding the scandal and rumors. Knowing that upon her return Lenora will be wed to someone of her father’s choosing, Lenora is glad to get away. So, she flees to the Isle of Synne, a place she spent her summers when she was a child. Here Lenora must face the secrets of her past and figure out what she wants for her future.
Peter Ashford has returned to the Isle of Synne after thirteen years in America to exact revenge on the man who didn’t help his mother when she was dying. Peter is next in line to a dukedom that he doesn’t want, and he is fueled by his hatred and need for revenge. However, when he meets Lenora, Peter’s singular focus begins to change. Lenore touches him in a way no one has before. Will Peter put his plan for revenge aside and convince Lenora that they have a future together?
Lenora is a wonderful character. She is so kind and appreciative, and she has an easy way about her that endears her to others. She is so helpful and appreciative, and I enjoyed the complexities of her character. Burdened by guilt, shame, disappointing her father, and more, Lenora has closed herself off emotionally. She no longer paints, though it was her passion because it brings up too many feelings. She and Peter are similar in that they both struggle with their feelings, especially feelings of loss, guilt, and grief. However, they deal with their feelings and experiences in different ways.
Peter is a bit more difficult to like. He is angry and jaded, a cynical man seeking vengeance for something that happened to him and his mother over a decade ago. So intent is he on revenge that he is often cutting and rude to the people who stand in his way. Like Lenora, he has closed himself off from others. However, his single-mindedness pushes people away. He’s so unlikeable in so many ways, especially when he speaks in anger, but there’s also a vulnerable side to him that makes him unbelievably appealing. He also shows a lot of growth throughout the story, and he learned to let go of a lot of his hatred. Now, I might be a sucker for a brooding hero, but when Peter realizes and expresses his feelings for Lenora, I totally swooned!
The romance between Lenora and Peter is slow-building and explosive. They both want to be loved so badly, yet they have closed their hearts to love. However, they can’t deny their feelings for each other. One of my favorite scenes in the story is when Lenora teaches Peter how to dance. It is such a magical and swoon-worthy moment in their love story, and it showed how frightened, exhilarated, consumed, and confused each felt about their ever-growing feelings. Their chemistry is filled with sexual tension and angst, and it’s fantastic.
The side characters really shine in this story as well. Lady Tesh is an intelligent, kind, and astute woman, and her dog Freya is adorable. Lenora’s best friend Margery and Peter’s best friend Quincy are both interesting, dynamic characters, and they have larger roles in future books in the series, which is fabulous. Quincy is the focus of book two and Margery book three, and their love stories are both beautiful and poignant. What I love is that these characters are all supportive, loyal, friends who are there for each other no matter what.
This is a great start to a wonderful series, and it will definitely appeal to readers of swoon-worthy historical and regency romance. The beautiful and immersive setting, the messages of redemption, opening yourself up to love, and forgiveness, are compelling, and the love story is fantastic. Thanks so much to Christina Britton, NetGalley, and Forever for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review.
DNF at 50% mark. Kisses-only when I stopped reading. The author saw a good duke, but he was MIA to me.
London 1817. The author recounted that Peter 13 years prior @ age 13 stowed away on a ship bound for Boston. He'd left England after his indigent mother had died there. Peter met Quinn & they eventually created Boston businesses together. Peter became heir to a duke, but that was not the life for him. Quinn's humor made him more interesting than the grumpy hero.
Beautiful Lenora recently had a 3rd canceled wedding, not of her choice. She became fixated on her first intended Hillram who died a few yrs back. We felt her guilt. She & bestie, widowed Margaret, traveled to the Isle of Synne to visit Margery's Grandma, Lady Tesh. Lenora's harsh sire gave her till the end of summer to find a mate or he'd find one for her.
Peter visited Lady T first, then the 2 besties did. The MCs literally ran into each other. Peter acted abrasive, rude & angry. He didn't think the 2 persons he targeted w/ his hate, capable of change. Was Peter capable of change? Peter wanted revenge-readers received this message loud & clear & too often. Lenora, in her mind, called tall, blonde of hair & beard, Peter "the Viking" over and over.
This book had possibilities, with a tighter story and less repetition. Lenora was a pleasant peacemaker but allowed too much guff from Peter. Lenora found goodness under all the hero's negativity & immaturity? Quinn had a diplomatic approach and was the better man, even when too flirty.
*Large Viking like man returns to the Ilse of Synne to enact revenge on the family that denied him years ago. Could you be the one to help me bring down my vengeance?
*Three time fiancee is looking for a new groom who will choose her for her… not what her father can give them. Fourth times the charm!
What interesting characters! An Americanized Brit with viking ancestry is our delicious hero, Peter Ashford. He has arrived not heIsle to pay a debt to his aunt and inform his uncle of his plans for vengeance. Our Heroine, Lenora Hartley has lost three fiancees and has come to the Isle to lick her wounds, while her father attempts to find her another groom. She bumps into Peter upon her arrival and he takes up much of her time and thoughts onward.
This first book in Christina Brittion’s new series starts off great; captivating characters, intriguing landscapes, plenty of sparks! Revenge and redemption play a heavy role in the plot of this book and motivates our heroine and hero’s choices. Their honest banter, in a time where superficial relationships are the norm and the obvious chemistry was fun to read.
I really enjoyed this book and the pages just disappeared as I read late into the night, not willing to put it down! This was a perfect start to a new series and I am already looking forward to seeing some of these characters again in the next instalment.
A Good Duke Is Hard to Find by Christina Britton is scheduled to release June 30th, 2020.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Forever (Grand Central Publishing) through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
I saw that this book was available on read now during the lockdown, and I’m always on the lookout for more historical romances, so thought this would be one for me. I really enjoyed the setting of the Isle of Synne, and the historical aspect of the origins of the island were wonderfully woven into the story of Lenora and Peter.
Peter Ashford is the heir to the Dukedom of Dane, and actively despises the current duke, so is happy to allow the dukedom to fall into ruin on the duke’s death. However, he’s fulfilling a promise to his late mother to spend time with his great aunt, Lady Tesh, and while there, he meets his cousin, Mrs Kitteridge, and her friend, Miss Lenora Hartley. Lenora is fleeing after her third failed engagement, and trying to bide time until her father foists another fiancé on her. Her and Peter clash from the get go, but soon realise that with one another, they bring out the best in each other, and it’s only when a new suitor appears for Lenora that both are willing to own up to their feelings properly. All in all, this was a really great historical romance, and I look forward to more from this author.
After three failed engagements, Miss Lenora Hartley leaves London and visits her godmother on The Isle of Synne, hoping to escape her coldhearted father's attempts to find her yet another fiancé. Peter Ashford is also on the Isle, with revenge plans against the man responsible for his mother's death. When Peter meets Lenora, he has to decide whether he can love ahead of vengeance.
This is the first book in the Isle of Synne series. I read book one and two out of order, and this is one case where I'm glad I did. I loved book two and it made me want to come back to this one. While I enjoyed this story, it took a long time for me to become invested. If I didn't already care about these characters, I might have put the book down and moved on.
For me, it took a little over a third of the book - and a conversation about a clothing - for more than just attraction to develop between Peter and Lenora. Lenora hadn't been able to be herself, always tamping down her feelings to appease others. When Peter tells her to pick out a dress that *she* likes, the characters start connecting and the reader gets a better sense of who they are. 3.5 stars, but not quite enough for 4.
This was an interesting story but the title isn't accurate. The hero in the story is not a duke. He wasn't raised a duke or to be a duke. He is the last heir in a line if heirs that have died and he has been living in America the last 13 years. He came back to tell the dying duke that he will let dukedom fall to pieces and neglect the duke's family because the duke didn't help him when he was 13 and his mother was dying. The heroine is a lady who has been engaged 3 times and 1 engagement ended in a jilting at the altar. Since the hero was not raised to be a duke, he doesn't act like one, nor does he act like an heir. He acts like the working man he is. This plot is odd, but the rest of the story is very good. It is well written, although there seems to be too much antagonism and unnecessary angst between the characters. They need to communicate better. The characters are likeable; the heroine is in a bad situation and she overcomes with grace and dignity. The hero. What can I say but that he is a man who lets his pride get in the way. But not to the point that he loses everything. The grammar and spelling were correct and the speech patterns seemed correct for the time period, formal and exact. While I feel that the title wasn't correct, the rest of the book fell in line, with a smooth read and enjoyable description of the area. The heroine was a party girl ( fashion, dancing, balls), but she has to dig deep at the end to survive where most ladies of the time period ould not have done. This story is a recommended read with 4.5 stars.
A Good Duke is Hard to Find is set on the idyllic Isle of Synne during 1817 and features the handsome, bitter Peter Ashford, the heir to the Dane dukedom, who is bound and determined to revenge the man he holds responsible for his mother’s death until he meets the kind, disheartened Lenora Hartley, a young woman with heartache and troubles of her own.
The prose is light and authentic. The characters are intelligent, unsettled, and warm. And the plot is a push-pull blend of Regency lifestyle, familial expectations, palpable attraction, undeniable chemistry, desire, friendship, heartbreak, and steamy romance.
Overall, A Good Duke is Hard to Find is an entertaining, passionate, delightful read by Britton that may be the first novel I’ve read by this author but definitely won’t be my last.
Thank you to Forever & Grand Central Publishing for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.
I was excited for this synopsis and the promise of a new-to-me author and sadly I’m a bit disappointed.
I liked Lenora well enough. She’s spent so much of her time being the dutiful daughter that she doesn’t seem to have her own personality. Peter has a past hurt and is so blinded by revenge, he turns away from niceties. It took a while for the both of them to warm up to anything and open up. Of course Lady Tesh is delightful and Peter’s friend Quincy stole every scene.
Plot wise, it was tedious. There’s a lot of inner monologue and not much movement in the actual story. The second half of the book was stronger, but still very repetitive.
Overall, I was curious to see how it would end, but I could have easily set it down and left it unfinished.
**Huge thanks to Forever for providing the arc free of charge**
I enjoyed the characters and the unfolding story. I find it appealing that the hero is so self sufficient, confident, and successful as an adult, yet so incredibly insecure when it comes to the social graces. He is baffled by all the courses of a meal, all the utensils required for dining. He never learned to dance. His wardrobe lacks clothing suitable for social engagements. Of course, this is an area of his life he purposely neglected. The heroine is a kind soul who has had a run of bad luck fiance'wise. And the bad luck to have the controlling father she has. The two meet, clash, aid, abet, and go through all the emotions involved in love and misunderstanding.
This is the first book I’ve read by this author and although it wasn’t necessarily my cup of tea, I will give the next book in the series a shot.
I LOVE a grumpy hero and I liked Peter well enough but the revenge plot got old when it was obvious the Duke wasn’t as bad of a guy as he thought. Lenora’s hang up on her previous fiancé got a tad old, too.
The absolute best thing about this book was the side characters. I found them all to be very delightful and actually kind of wanted to read about them instead.
*I received an eARC from the publisher and NetGalley in exchanges for an honest review.
I received an ARC of "A Good Duke Is Hard to Find" by Christina Britton from Netgalley. Miss Lenora Hartley is left at the altar when her groom goes to fight a duel, her third fiancee to not marry her. Peter Ashford has taken 13 years to pay off debts he believes he owes his family. They both happen to be staying at LadyTesh's home, godmother to Lenora and grand aunt to Peter, who also now happens to be heir to the Duke. The story moves beautifully ss they learn to love and forgive.
After three failed engagements Lenora is desperate not to marry. She meets Peter who does not want to marry and is trying to bring down the dukedom he stands to inherit. Lenora manages to soften Peter as they both try to deny their feelings. This was a good story. I received an ARC from NetGalley for my honest review.
After being left at the alter by her third fiancé, Miss Lenora Hartley is at her wit’s end. She’s only sure of her need to escape London and her father’s obsessive determination to find her yet another suitor. She joins her best friend, Margery, and her grandmother, on the Isle of Synne, isolated off Britain’s northern coast. There Lenora can escape society’s judgments and her father’s threats, but she must also face the ghost of her first fiancé and the guilt she feels surrounding his death. Lenora certainly doesn’t expect happiness, but all that changes when she meets a mysterious stranger who causes flutters she’s never experienced before.
Returned to England as the heir to a dukedom he has no interest in, Peter Ashford is only focus on taking his revenge against the man who refused him the aide that could have saved his dying mother. As soon as that’s finished, he plans to return to America with all of his debts wiped clean. But when he inadvertently meets Miss Lenora Hartley, he can’t help his almost immediate attraction to her. He must determine if he can give up his need for revenge in exchange for the happiness that has continually eluded him with the woman he’s come to love.
This was a really sweet story. I loved that Peter was such a grumpy hero and that he showed so much development over the course of the book. I was happy Lenora finally learned to stand up for herself and make her own decisions. This was definitely a slow burn and I think Peter gave up too easily there for a while. I would’ve liked to see more of that tension between Peter and Lenora continue instead of stalling out and restarting later. I also wish Lenora had let go of her secrets and guilt sooner because this got a bit repetitive to read after a while. Similarly, Peter’s focus on his revenge got a bit old and perhaps went on too long. Nonetheless, I enjoyed the emotion in this book and the writing and scenery descriptions were lovely. I was very interested in the supporting characters here and will be continuing this series.
I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.