Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Review - - Who Wants to Marry a Duke

Who Wants to Marry a Duke 
by Sabrina Jeffries 
Duke Dynasty - Book 3  
Publisher: Zebra  
Release Date: August 25, 2020
Reviewed by PJ

A past kiss with adorably bookish Miss Olivia Norley should be barely a memory for Marlowe Drake, the Duke of Thornstock. After all, there are countless debutantes for a handsome rakehell to charm beyond a young lady whose singular passion is chemistry—of the laboratory type. But Thorn has not forgotten—or forgiven—the shocking blackmail scheme sparked by that single kiss, or the damage caused to both their names. Now Thorn’s half-brother, Grey, has hired the brilliant Miss Norley for her scientific expertise in solving a troubling family mystery. And the once-burned Thorn, suspicious of her true motives, vows to follow her every move . . .

For Olivia, determining whether arsenic poisoning killed Grey’s father is the pioneering experiment that could make her career—and Thorn’s constant presence is merely a distraction. But someone has explosive plans to derail her search. Soon the most unexpected discovery is the caring nature of the reputed scoundrel beside her—and the electricity it ignites between them . . .

PJ's Thoughts:

Sabrina Jeffries is one of my favorite historical romance authors when it comes to creating family dynamics intertwined with a mystery that evolves across the course of a series and keeping me engaged from beginning to end. I was intrigued by the concept of a thrice-married woman with five children, including three sons who are all dukes. Toss in the gradually developing mystery surrounding the deaths of those husbands, plus the death of a brother-in-law, and I was hooked. 

In Who Wants to Marry a Duke, the siblings inch closer to discovering the truth regarding the deaths of their fathers and it's becoming clear their investigations are making someone very nervous. Miss Olivia Norley, a trained chemist and not your typical society miss, is hired to conduct tests on the remains of one of the fathers and Thorn, with whom she has an adversarial past, is determined to unmask her for the devious fraud he's certain she is. With him dogging her every step, an eventual explosion is inevitable. But what will happen when the dust settles around this plain-speaking, scientific-minded, inexperienced miss, and the suspicious, very experienced duke determined to seduce her, even while he doesn't trust her?

Okay, let me start by reviewing the things I liked about this book. I loved Olivia. She's such a breath of fresh air, with her brilliant mind and focused determination to have a successful career in her chosen field when that was way outside the norm for women. I was in her corner, cheering her on the entire way. 

I enjoyed catching up with couples from the first two books and watching their relationships evolve post-marriage. I'm also enjoying learning more about their mother and am intrigued by the possibility of a new love interest for her.

Jeffries has woven an interesting mystery that still has me trying to figure out the answers. With multiple suspects, and still no clue as to the reason for the murders, I have a feeling she'll have me guessing right up until the reveal. I love when an author accomplishes that.

What didn't work well for me in this book was the romance and that was largely due to Thorn. He came across as immature and self-serving, and I really didn't like him or the way he treated Olivia for much of the book. I also wanted to feel emotional chemistry between him and Olivia, mostly for her sake, but I just didn't, at least not on his side. He does come around at the end of the book, and others may not have this issue with him, but he left me cold. When you read as many books as I do, that's occasionally going to happen.

Still, hero issues aside, I liked the rest of the book, I'm enjoying the series, and I'm already looking forward to the next couple to take center stage. 


  1. This sounds like a good book and a good series. Since there is an over arching mystery, I will likely do my usual and wait until I have the entire series and binge read it. I enjoy it better that way because the characters and plot lines stay fresh.
    Thank you for the review. Sabrina Jeffries is a favorite of mine, so I should really enjoy it.
    Stay safe and healthy.

    1. Jeffries is very good at the overarching mystery. Her Hellions of Halstead Hall series is one of my favorites.

  2. Love Sabrina's writing. She is one of my auto-buy authors. I've read all of her stuff so far with my copy of this book coming in the mail. Should have by Thursday. Can't wait to get it. Series has been a good one.

  3. I do enjoy a romance book with mystery in it. I'm looking forward to reading this and have put a "hold" on it at the library.

    1. Hope you enjoy it. I'm very curious to see how the series will play out.

  4. Always love a book by Sabrina.


  5. I agree, it took me awhile to warm up to Thorn. But, then I remembered his attitude toward family and cut him some slack. And you are right on the money with Olivia. She comes across as a true scientific nerd....and I liked her a lot.

    Thanks for the good review. I hope everyone is taking care and staying safe.

  6. I too enjoy Sabrina Jefferies' books. I haven't read this one yet but you review makes me want to.

  7. I loved this book! Sabrina Jefferies is one of my auto buys as well.