Dukes Do it Better
by Bethany Bennett
Misfits of Mayfair - - Book 3
Release Date: May 24, 2022
Reviewed by PJ
Bethany Bennett captured my attention in 2020 with her debut novel, Any Rogue Will Do (read my review), a historical romance brimming with sparkling banter, heart-tugging emotion, sizzling passion, action-packed danger, and swoony romance. She followed that up in 2021 with book two of the trilogy, West End Earl (read my review), a spellbinding tale with more twists than a mountain road, that cemented Bennett's place on my auto buy list and left me eagerly anticipating the third book of the trilogy, Dukes Do it Better. I'm happy to say that Emma's and Mal's journey more than lived up to my expectations.
I love a book that immerses me so completely into a story that I read it in one sitting, eagerly flipping pages as quickly as I can to discover what will happen next, then go back to page one and read it again, slowly savoring each word, detail, and nuance of the story. That is the reading experience Bethany Bennett gave me with Dukes Do it Better. First, she hooked me with the passages from Emma's journal, in Mal's possession during his lonely days - and nights - on duty in the Baltic. Then she factored in the mystery of Mal not knowing the identity of the journal writer but forging an emotional bond with that person through her written thoughts, fears, hopes, and dreams. So much emotion. So much yearning. I was hooked. By the time Mal and Emma met in person I was already completely invested in them as a couple. And then, of course, we discover there's more to their story. Could I turn those pages any faster? Why yes, I could.
One of the things I most enjoyed about this series was the growth of the characters. Emma was a pivotal secondary character in book two and I did not like her. At all. She was, as she acknowledges in her book, a spoiled, selfish brat. But there were tendrils of growth in the latter stages of that second book that fully actualized in the five years between the end of book two and the beginning of book three. I found, much to my surprise, that she had become one of my favorite characters of the series. And then there's Mal with his roguish charm, his piratical appearance, his tattoos, his kindness (his interactions with Emma's son were so sweet), his horrible family, and his (well hidden) vulnerable heart. Needless to say, I fell hard. I loved the passion between these two, the banter, the partnership, the respect, and the genuine feelings that grew deep and true, taking them both by surprise.
This is a trilogy where I strongly recommend reading the books in order. Not only do the main couples from books one and two play significant roles in book three but there is also an underlying story thread that runs through all three books and a major twist that will be spoiled if you read book three first. Book one, Any Rogue Will Do, is available today in e-book for only $1.99. Start there and enjoy the ride!
Have you read Bethany Bennett yet?
What fictional romance couple is currently making your reader's heart sing?
One randomly chosen person who posts a comment before 11:00 PM, May 25 will receive a print copy of Dukes Do it Better.
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