If you’re looking for a historical romance with a strong female character, a brooding male lead, and a little bit of steaminess, then look no further.
The Duke Effect by Sophie Jordan
The Rogue Files, #7
October 27, 2020
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Sophie Jordan continues her bestselling Rogue Files series with this captivating romance that will thrill her many fans.
She doesn’t care about love…
Despite being surrounded by her happily wed sisters, Nora Langley prefers botany to ballrooms and would rather spend a lifetime in her laboratory than consider affairs of the heart. An expert herbalist, Nora has been masquerading as her late physician father for years, dispensing invaluable medical advice. She corresponds with people all over the world, including an old army colonel. But when the man shows up on her doorstep, he is nothing like she expected—he is a young, handsome heir to a dukedom who suddenly threatens everything she holds dear.
He only cares about duty…
Constantine Sinclair arrives on the Langley doorstep in a desperate bid to save the woman who raised him, the Duchess of Birchwood… only to discover that the venerable doctor he expected is a bold and lovely charlatan. Furious at the deception, he vows to reveal her secrets. Determined to prove her skills, Nora promises to save the duchess in exchange for Con keeping her secret. Con reluctantly agrees… and soon, Nora’s brilliant, headstrong ways are throwing his carefully controlled life into chaos. What happens when the rigid soldier begins to lose his grip on his heart?
Thank you NetGalley for providing a digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
I found both characters to be interesting. Nora was a strong-willed woman who wanted more out of life. I liked that she wanted to have a career and goes against societal expectations. She is not afraid to stand up for herself. Con is a man who has a strong sense of duty and most of his actions throughout the novel are driven by this. Con probably grows the most, finally deciding to follow his heart, instead of what others say he should do.
I did feel like the characters were constantly avoiding each other. And although I liked this novel, I felt that some of the buildups of the relationship were lost because of this. Sidelong glances and attraction do not show why the characters are a match. I would have liked to see a little more time together between our leads. There was also a slightly absurd scene with a “love-potion” that I found a bit out of place and served no purpose except to bring our characters together sexually.
Overall this was a satisfying read. By the halfway point, I didn’t want to put this down. The novel included many tropes romance readers will be familiar with and the two main characters were an interesting match. Although part of a series, this story does well as a standalone, and I didn’t feel you missed much in terms of backstory.