Monday, May 23, 2022

Review and Giveaway - - Dukes Do it Better

Dukes Do it Better
by Bethany Bennett
Misfits of Mayfair - - Book 3
Publisher: Forever
Release Date: May 24, 2022
Reviewed by PJ

She can keep her secrets or risk her heart


Lady Emma Hardwick has been living a lie—one that allowed her to keep her son and give him the loving home she’d never had. But now her journal, the one place she’d indulged in the truth, has been stolen. Whoever has it holds the power to bring the life she’s carefully built crumbling to the ground. With her past threatening everything she holds dear, the only person she can trust is the dangerously handsome, tattooed navy captain with whom she dared to spend one carefree night.

Captain Malachi Harlow, Duke of Trenton, would rather throw himself overboard than return to society. But when the Admiralty calls him back home, there is no room for refusal. Crossing paths with the delectable Lady Emma is a welcome distraction that takes a more serious turn when they discover they have a common enemy. Working together could help them both—but will it also bring a temptation neither can resist?

PJ's Thoughts:

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.

*Must be 18
*U.S. only
*Void where prohibited












16 comments:

  1. I first heard of Bethany Bennett from your review, PJ. I absolutely loved the first 2 books in this series! I've been waiting for Dukes Do It Better! Right now I'm totally invested in Annie and Joseph from Stefanie London's Bad Influence book 3 in her Bad Bachelor's series.

    I hope you are getting settled in your new place PJ!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Slowly but surely, Glenda. I'm so glad to hear you're enjoying this trilogy!

      Delete
  2. This historical sounds captivating. Sheridan Wolfe and Vanessa Pryde are wonderful in Undercover Duke by Sabrina Jeffries.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Noah and Thea in The Duke's Disaster is a favorite. I have not heard of Bethany Bennett but this novel interests me as it is intriguing.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Great review, I'm really looking forward to this one! I read West End Earl by Bethany Bennett earlier this year and it was one of my favorites.
    I'm currently rereading What I Did for a Duke by Julie Anne Long and loving the dynamic between Alex and Genevieve even more the second time around.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I loved West End Earl and was so eager to see where the author took Emma in this newest book.

      What I Did for a Duke was my favorite book last year.

      Delete
  5. I just finished an Amish book and am deciding where to go next. Time for historical or suspense I think. I have not yet read Ms. Bennett, but I am convinced I need to. Thanks so much for commenting that this series needs to be read in order. I prefer to do so, but it isn't always necessary for the story. I too tend to get caught up in the story and read through the book as fast as I can to find out what will happen. I often go back to catch all the fine details I missed the rushed time through. I will have to get the books and schedule a binge read week(end). Thanks for your letting us know about this book. They sound like a couple that will be enjoyable to meet.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I've not read her as yet but I'm sure I'd enjoy her stories. It's always the current one that I am reading lol.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Laurie GommermannMay 25, 2022 at 8:57 AM

    She is a new author for me.
    I recently read Katharine Ashe’s book When A Scot Loves A Lady featuring Leam and Kitty.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Dukes do it Better sounds terrific, PJ. Thank you. I just put all her books on my various wish lists; I'm sorry her audiobooks aren't on Hoopla, and none of my libraries have them. I'm currently reading Julie Anne Long's next book: You Were Made to Be Mine, and I am absolutely loving it. Both the hero and heroine are terrific, and I'm in one of those quandaries: I want to read, read, read til the end, and I DO NOT want to finish and have to say goodbye.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Oh, you have sunk the hook and reeled me in. I have only read a novella by this author, now I get to add another set of books to my ever growing TBR mountain. Thanks for the review and recommendation.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Great review PJ. Love her books!!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I have the first book, Any Duke Will Do, on my Kindle. I am rereading Nobody's Darling by Teresa Medeiros - and Billy and Esmerelda are the couple who are giving me smiles right now.
    I am finding that books need humor for me to like the couples. Thanks for this review. I believe this does sound like a series I will love.
    Hope everyone is well.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I think I read her debut.

    I'm between books at the moment.

    Thank you for the chance.
    Denise

    ReplyDelete