Title: Heir To The Duke
Series: The Duke’s Sons
Author: Jane Ashford
Genre: Regency Romance
Published: January 5, 2016
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
My Rating: 3 stars
Nathaniel Gresham, the handsome Viscount Hargove, lives a life devoted to familial duty. As his father’s eldest son, Nathaniel’s identity remains the “heir to the Duke of Langford.” But this quiet, restrained life changes the minute he marries sweet Lady Violet Devere.
Oppressed by her family all her life, Violet is longing for her marriage vows to be spoken. Though her arranged marriage to Nathaniel was not a match made for love, they’re both looking forward to the comparative freedom of married life. And Violet is determined to show Nathaniel how to enjoy it, both in and out of the bedroom.
Read on for my thoughts on Heir To The Duke. No true spoilers, promise.
I am rather torn about Heir To The Duke. While I liked the story of Nathaniel and Violet to a point – it didn’t capture me as I had hoped it would considering my enjoyment of the prequel to this series, The Bargain. Let’s be honest, any book that doesn’t end up on the DNF pile was a book worth reading. I simply liked it, but didn’t love it. I will certainly continue the series, but with a bit less expectations now. I don’t say that to be cruel, but hopeful actually – not every story in a series is going to be a favorite, so I’ll withhold judgement on the entire series until I’ve read them. I simply will wait until the book is in hand before I go into it expecting to love the story.
Nathaniel is the eldest son of the Duke of Langford. As the Duke’s heir, Nathaniel is a rather studious, serious man who takes on far, far too many responsibilities than the eldest son needs to. Nathaniel needs to learn how to delegate, in my opinion. His marriage to the quiet, demure Violet Devere opens the story. And perhaps that is one reason why I had no real sense of what Nathaniel was before his marriage – because we weren’t allowed a touch of his life before he became a married man in a marriage of convenience, arranged for him in a way but with his complete consent.
Violet has looked forward to her wedding day with great expectations, desires and the freedom that leaving her grandmother’s control will bring her. It matters little to her who she marries, as long as the man is not cruel, the goal for Violet is to get out from under the roof of her grandmother and finally live a life without constant belittling, scolding, no affection but duty. Her marriage to Nathaniel will bring her blessed freedom – and she cannot wait to begin to do all the things that have been denied her. She longs to spread her wings and fly, who cares if she stumbles along the way, she will be married and she can do as she pleases, finally.
Once in their own home, Nathaniel will be surprised at the woman who he now can claim as wife. She is charming, passionate and far different from the woman he thought he was going to live a life of convenience with. Violet will attempt to bring Nathaniel out of his studious personality and entice him to join her on her new adventures, surely together those things would be much more enjoyable. Eventually though Violet’s new found happiness and freedom will be threatened by knowledge – something that she never knew and may threaten her marriage and her blossoming love for Nathaniel. She never expected to love her husband, but now that she does there is nothing she wouldn’t do to keep him safe. Can her marriage survive this new found knowledge?
Heir To The Duke is a good story. While I did not connect with the characters as well as I had wished, I can say that it is a good story. For me, Violet was simply too immature, too over the top in her new found freedoms. I applauded her gumption at giving her maid her walking papers, and smiled at her enjoyment of bringing Nathaniel out of his seriousness. But… I couldn’t connect with her enough, and for that I am sorry as I had hoped to love her and Nathaniel. Instead I liked them and will now wait for the next story to make or break my enjoyment of this series.
*I received an e-ARC of Heir To The Duke from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. That does not change what I think of this novel.*
Available in paperback and for the Kindle