At the Duke's Pleasure by Tracy Anne Warren
Series: The Byrons of Braebourne #3
Also in this series: Seduced by His Touch, At the Duke's Pleasure, Wicked Delights of a Bridal Bed, The Bed and the Bachelor, Tempted by His Kiss
Publisher: Avon, Harper Collins
Publication Date: January 12, 2010
Genres: Historical Romance
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All the Byrons are just as “mad, bad, and dangerous to know” as their famous non-relation . . . but now the time has come for the eldest son to marry . . . Edward Byron, Duke of Clybourne, has everything a man in Society needs . . . except a wife. Duty requires he wed, so he decides that a long-standing arranged marriage will do nicely. He knows his bride is beautiful, biddable, and bright enough to run his household and nursery. He expects his betrothed, Lady Claire Marsden, will be thrilled with his decision—unfortunately, she’s not! Claire has longed for Edward since she was sixteen, but how can he expect her to agree to his proposal when he barely knows her and doesn’t love her? Nothing will convince her to accept a loveless marriage. And so she begins a battle of outrageous resistance, forcing Edward to learn that he must lose his heart in order to win his bride.
Hero: Lord Edward Byron
Heroine: Lady Claire Marsden
There seems to be a theme to my reading right now. This is the third book that I’ve read with this kind of storyline and while I enjoyed the book, it wasn’t my favorite Byron book. I really enjoyed it though but while I enjoyed this book, Jack’s book holds a special place in my heart. I heart Jack.
However, I did enjoy Edward’s book as well. I’m a sucker for those unrequited love story lines and this was one of them. Edward and Clare have been betrothed ever since Edward was a young boy and Clare was a, well, a baby. There wasn’t a moment that Clare didn’t know where her future would take place and seeing who she was engaged to was easy as a young girl to paint white picket fences around her future. But when your groom takes his time coming to fetch his bride and when an overheard comment from that groom makes its way to you, it’s hard to get over that heart break.
Watching Clare try to manipulate Edward into breaking off their engagement and then seeing Edward try to make sense of everything and keep their engagement in tact, all the while fighting his attraction to the woman that his young fiance turned out to be was a delight to read. It wasn’t a very original plot (as I have stated, this is the third book with this storyline that I’ve read in the past few months) but Warren made the story work for both Edward and Clare. I thought she did a great job of keeping the reader entertained and she definitely made me want more from the Byrons.
Edward came off kind of stuffy at first but I thought he was a great match for Clare. Their chemistry was what had me coming back for more and I thought it was a good read. I loved watching Edward with his family, with the twins and then with his sister, even his mother. He was one of those honorable men who kept his word and he was smexy to boot. Watching him fall for Clare was a treat.
Then there was Clare, she’s still young enough to be rebellious yet old enough to desire a man and I thought that Warren balanced her different emotions rather well. She didn’t make Clare a hateful cow and I appreciated that. I thought the way that Clare came around where Edward was concerned made the story fun to read and I loved how they fell in love over time and not right away.
Overall, this story did its job. It entertained me, it made me sigh a little and laugh a little. It took me away from my real life for the hours that it took me to read it and I came away from this book, entertained and happy. Would I recommend this? Sure, to all of the Byron fans out there and to other historical lovers who want a fun, romantic story to pass the time. This is a good one.
4 out of 5