Title: A Duke Never Yields
Series: Affairs by Moonlight, Book 3
Author: Juliana Gray
Genre: Historical Romance
Sensuality Rating: Steamy
Source: review copy from publisher via NetGalley
Published: February 5, 2013 by Berkley Sensation
Impatient with the strictures of polite British society, Miss Abigail Harewood has decided to live life on her own terms—and the first thing she requires is a lover. When the commanding Duke of Wallingford arrives on the doorstep of her leased holiday castle, she thinks she’s found the perfect candidate: handsome, dashing, and experienced in the art of love.
But tempting Wallingford into her bed proves more difficult than she imagined. Restless and dissatisfied with his debauched life in London, the formerly rakish duke is determined to spend a year chaste. But as Abigail tries her best to seduce him, Wallingford finds his resolve crumbling in the face of her irresistible charm…and her alluring secrets.
Reviewed By: J9
In a Nutshell: Very fun romance with plenty of heart and heat and capped with a touch of supernatural.
The Set Up: Abigail thinks it’s time to take her first lover and when the handsome Duke of Wallingford shows up at her leased holiday castle in Italy, she decides it’s going to be him. Arthur Wallingford is in self-exile in Italy to prove to his grandfather that he’s more than a selfish brat who sleeps with women without regard. But his year long quest to be celibate is sorely tested when he meets the free-spirited Abigail.
Why I Read this Book: Love a historical romance with an unconventional spinster heroine and this synopsis sucked me in.
What I Liked: Abigail is a charming character who I adored. She’s opinionated, unpretentious, warm and self-aware. The book opens with her on a quest to gather kisses from men to determine if they’ll make good lovers and from this moment on I loved Abigail. Arthur on the other hand, I detested at first. As Abigail says of him, “he had simply carried on in his usual selfish ducal way.” Arthur has lived a privileged life with every whim of his indulged and no one to call him on his selfish, arrogant manners. But darling Abigail changes all this, not because she changes Arthur but because she makes Arthur want to change into a better person. Abigail doesn’t have expectations that Arthur will be a better person and in accepting him for what he appears to be, it makes Arthur want to be more than just a duke. But this is a fun romance, not angsty and dark. I love that Abigail and Arthur’s sexual intimacy mirrors their fumbling emotional romance as well. Arthur’s selfish ways extend into the bedroom but Abigail is no doormat and calls him on his selfish lovemaking. This scene is hysterically funny and had me cheering for Abigail. I won’t spoil how this part of their romance works out but I was so well satisfied with its conclusion and think other readers will love it too.
What I Also Liked: The Italian castle that Abigail rents is simultaneously rented by Arthur and the castle is cursed. How the curse manifests and how Abigail and Arthur’s romance is involved in the curse is a fun aspect of this book. This isn’t a typical historical novel because of the Italian setting and this supernatural, ghostly aspect but I loved the book for this uniqueness. The secondary characters of Abigail’s sister and cousin and their love interests of Arthur’s brother and illegitimate uncle are wonderful characters and their romances interest me so much that I’m going to read their stories too.
What I Didn’t Like: This is a fun, light romance and I wouldn’t change anything about it.
IMO: Historical fans looking for something different should absolutely read this fun sexy romance with a hint of supernatural.