As the middle—and least marriageable—sister in a bevy of swans, Lavinia Wynnburn is quite content being the odd duck out. This way, she’s free to commit social faux pas without anyone much noticing. Until the Duke of Beaubrooke turns up the morning after a ball, asking for her hand in marriage.
Alexander Reddington doesn’t particularly care for social niceties, nor is he particularly good at them. But now that the spare has become the heir, he must marry…and soon. When he stumbles into the same corner as a socially awkward wallflower, he knows he’s found the perfect wife: one who won’t bother him to attend every simpering event of the season.
Only, Alexander’s shy and pretty new wife is finding her new position surprisingly exciting and keeps accepting every invitation that flutters past their door. And worse luck, he might even be falling for her. Now he must hide the truth about why he really proposed…before his unexpectedly happy marriage is dashed to pieces.
This is an adult 18+ story that may contain language, possible violence, and/or sexual situations geared to an adult audience.
Title: Four Weddings and a Duke
Series: -standalone title-
Author: Michelle McLean
Genre: Historical Romance
Published: May 23, 2023
Publisher: Entangled Publishing
My Rating: 4
I found Four Weddings and a Duke to be a fun romp, with likable main characters and a whole lot of miscommunications and expectations that got in the way of a happy ever after for Alexander and Lavinia until almost the end of their story. Their relationship may have started off as a marriage of convenience, but it certainly changed into something far different from what either had expected of their union.
Alexander never expected to become Duke, but circumstances often change, and now he’s the man who must find a wife and produce an heir to keep the Dukedom in the family, so to speak. Perhaps it helped that his father’s friend and neighbor already knew of the possible marriage between one of his daughters and Alexander’s brother. Now that task fell to Alexander who would much rather spend his time doing research on plants and discovering new and better medicinal purposes for them. Of the sisters, only one stood out who might do well as his companion for a lifetime. Lavinia is a shy young woman more content with sitting on the sidelines reading than being in the middle of the ballroom. Or so he thought. Alexander’s life is about to get disrupted in far more ways than he ever expected.
It turned out that Lavinia isn’t exactly shy, as she proves, once the wedding has taken place, that she’s just as happy as any other lady of society in answering every invitation that appears on the doorstep of her new home. Lavinia has dealt with the perception of not being seen for her worth by members of her family, which lead her to stick to the background and avoid being the center of attention. She left that up to her sister who loved having the spotlight centered on her at all times. Now that she is maintaining her own household, Lavinia can do all the things she longed to for so many years… and that includes parties and trying to convince her husband that attending a ball isn’t the worst thing to happen to him. Unfortunately, Alexander isn’t amused; in fact, he’s getting grumpier by the day, and his imagination is running away with him as far as Lavinia and her male best friend’s relationship goes.
While I enjoyed this story, there were also parts of it that, well, annoyed me. Mainly the constant bickering and fighting between Lavinia and Alexander. Each said some extremely mean and unkind things to the other… some to the point where I would have walked away to live in the country before residing with a boorish husband like Alexander was proving to be. There are misunderstandings galore in Four Weddings and a Duke, and they quickly became the norm not the exception for this couple. Although to be fair, the ending of their romance had Alexander doing some groveling (needed to be more) and some very touching moments as they finally got their act together as a couple in love. In all, I had fun, was entertained, and that’s the whole point.
*I received an e-ARC of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley, and I sincerely thank the author or publishing house for their trust. It is my choice to leave a review giving my personal opinion about this book.*
**I would consider this story more on the “modern” side of Historical or Regency Romances, in my opinion.
Available in print, audio, or for your favorite e-reader