Review of “Jilting the Duke” (The Muses’ Salon #1) by Rachael Miles

Miles, Rachael. Jilting the Duke. New York: Zebra Books, 2016. ISBN-13: 978-1-4201-4086-6. $4.99 USD. 

3.5 stars

Jilting the Duke is an adequate book and decent first in series. As this is her first book, it is flawed, but you can tell Miles does have talent, and she does capture the nuances of the Regency period very well, with only a few liberties taken for poetic license. And the plot she has developed, full of betrayal and conspiracies, and the setup for an ongoing arc with the same villain, is compelling, even if the conclusion does feel a bit anti-climactic.

But it is in terms of the characters that I feel a bit conflicted. There is a large cast of characters, and all of them seem to be related to one another, but there is little to no explanation as to how they all know each other, and felt that there must be a book missing that helps to set up these characters better. And as for the hero and heroine, it took a while for me to really care about them. Even understanding how hurt Aidan was by what transpired in the past, I found myself pigeonholing him as yet another rakish duke with chip on his shoulder, until he was fleshed out a little more. And despite the many attempts to make Sophia relatable to modern readers through her unconventionality, I felt she was much more interesting when her difficult relations with her family were delved into more, and the full extent of why she chose to marry Tom was revealed.

 

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