Every book is a new journey to embark on. I mainly read romances, but I dabble in other genres too.
Desperately Seeking a Duke (Heiress Brides #1)
by Celeste Bradley
Source: Bought used
First published: 2008
First words: I, Sir Hamish Pickering, being of sound mind but ailing body, do make my last will and testament.
Ended up being an average read for me, but there were some flashes here and there where I thought the book shined.
I thought Calder and Rafe's relationship was fascinating. Rafe is the brother that Phoebe is in love with while Calder is the other brother that Phoebe mistakenly chose to wed. Rafe and Calder aren't exactly buddy buddy, but they don't hate each other either. Rafe doesn't like how he's treated as not a part of the family while Calder never warmed up to Rafe since Rafe is his father's illegitimate son. I thought it was a poignant moment when Rafe sees Calder as the real bastard of Brookhaven since Calder wants to marry Phoebe not out of love but because she's simply suitable as a wife.
Calder himself was an interesting character. He's a cold person but not in a mean or vicious way. He just doesn't show much emotion at all. Heartless? It seems like it, but there seems to be more than what meets the eye with him. I'm very interested in learning more about him, getting inside his head. I think the next book is focused on him so hopefully there's some good character development there.
Sophie was another character I was intrigued by, more than Phoebe I admit, and Phoebe is the main heroine for this book. Sophie's the type of person who would rather be reading rather than fuss about getting married. Her mind always seems to be drifting off, because she rather be doing her own thing like translating a book. She doesn't care for high society or for being fashionable. I look forward to reading more about her.
There were some stereotypical characters like Tessa and Lementeur. Tessa, the stepmom of one of Phoebe's cousins, is shallow and superficial, always trying to look good in high society and is willing to do whatever it takes to get her stepdaughter married to a duke so her stepdaughter wins the inheritance. Lementeur is a small side character. He's a famous dressmaker and is ever so much the stock male fashion designer character. The only surprise was that he saved the day by finding Rafe, which was weird and felt out of place, because Lementeur is such a minor character. It was cool that he did that, but it came out of nowhere.
Some dumb villains were in a side plot to stop Phoebe from getting married. It looks like something that connects the books in the series since they didn't get caught in the end. Plus, they're in charge of the inheritance from the will. I'm not looking forward to seeing them again.
Ho hum ending. It fizzled out for me. I was hoping that Phoebe would actually rescue Rafe, but that wasn't the case. She basically sat and waited for Rafe to come back.
RATING: 3 out of 5