Review of “Last Night with the Duke” (The Rakes of St. James #1) by Amelia Grey

Grey, Amelia. Last Night with the Duke. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 2017. ISBN-13: 978-1-250-10249-2. Print List Price: $7.99.

3.5 stars

Amelia Grey is a new-to-me author, and I picked this one up due to winning an ARC of the forthcoming second book, To the Duke, With Love, in a contest recently. And while the title did give me pause, especially when paired with that series title and that blurb, I found that the actual plot was nothing like I was expecting.

I liked all of the main characters, especially the heroine, Esmeralda. The banter between her and Griffin made this book for me, especially as they battled about how things would go in terms of her employment. And while I wasn’t massively wowed by Griffin as a hero, he still proved that, despite his past mistake, he has a code of honor, which keeps him in check throughout the book.

It was both of their younger sisters that really stole the show, and I hope that someday there will be a spinoff series for at least the twins, and maybe Josephine later down the line. The moment where Josephine loses Napoleon, but decides she doesn’t want to take him away from another girl was one of the sweetest moments for me.

But this book is not without its flaws. I know this book isn’t billed as a mystery in any sense, but the reveal of who was the culprit in the revenge plot felt predictable, given that the character wasn’t really well-drawn, except in terms of his material assets, so we don’t get a chance to really get to know him.

I also felt that there could have been more closure for Esmeralda and Josephine with their family. It’s hinted at and discussed, but the only thread resolved there is the Josephine’s issues with her father and poetry.

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