Barnes, Sophie. The Duke of Her Desire. New York: Avon Books, 2017. ISBN-13: 978-0-06-256682-9. $7.99 USD.
While the first installment, A Most Unlikely Duke, was an unexpected surprise, and one of my best reads of 2017, I found that the second installment suffers from the typical “second installment syndrome.” And part of it is due to the fact that, while there is a great premise, working with the “best friend’s sister” trope, the execution is largely uninteresting. With clunky pacing and characters that seem bland for most of the book, I had a hard time getting into this one.
That’s not to say that there aren’t good points. While the reveal as to Thomas’s motivations with Jeremy is fairly predictable prior to the Big Reveal, it is easy to feel a sense of respect for him in that regard, even if in other respects, he seems like your standard duke, with no real defining traits that set him apart. And while much of what we see with Amelia we saw before with her brother in the first book, the added layer of her wanting to give back to the less fortunate makes her admirable, and a good match for Thomas.
But I felt the most interest in some of the secondary characters. I’m curious as to where things will go in the next book with Juliette and Doctor Florian. And I had an immediate soft spot for Jeremy. And for once, I love that we have a duke that doesn’t have mommy/daddy issues, with his mother being an absolute delight, along with Lady Everly of course.