Some Dukes Have All the Luck
by Christina Britton
Synneful Spinsters - Book 1
Release Date: November 8, 2022
Reviewed by PJ
Ash Hawkins, Duke of Buckley, no more wants to marry than he wants a stick in his eye. As the owner of a gaming hell, he is all too aware the odds of a happy marriage are against him. But raising his three rebellious wards alone is proving more than he can handle. He needs to find someone who stands to benefit from a marriage of convenience as much as he does. Someone logical, clinical, and rational. And in a stroke of luck, he quite literally stumbles over just such a woman.
After years of ridicule for being more interested in bugs than boys, Bronwyn has accepted that she’ll never marry for love. Her parents, however, are threatening to find her a husband. Bronwyn doesn’t need any scientific research to show her Ash has secrets. But his proposal would give her the freedom to continue her entomology research and perhaps finally get published. Just as long as she can keep her mind on her work and off his piercing eyes, broad shoulders, and wicked, wicked tongue.
Christina Britton keeps upping her game with each book she publishes. I've enjoyed all of them but this one is my favorite so far. In fact, it's one of my favorite books this year.
I'm a pushover for an emotionally tortured hero who believes himself unworthy of love while at the same time aching to open his heart. In this book, it's not only romantic love that Ash holds at bay but his feelings for his three young wards as well. Wards who have a connection with him of which they are unaware and who believe he only wants to be rid of them. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
Then there's Bronwyn, who has to be in the running for my favorite heroine this year. A socially awkward young woman with a brilliant scientific mind, she's saddled with parents who only value her for her ability to gain them entrance into society through marriage. What they do to her in pursuit of their goals is atrocious. It's no wonder she agrees to a marriage of convenience with Ash (who she does not realize is a duke) the day after they're introduced. I wanted to ship her parents off to a deserted island somewhere in the middle of the Pacific.
What follows is an emotionally layered journey between Ash and Bronwyn that made me laugh, made me cry, and filled me with so many feelings. I adore Bronwyn with her pragmatic, scientific approach to life. Her discussion with Ash about physical relations is one of my favorite scenes in the book (snort laughing ensued). I adore Ash even more for the way he responds to that, how he values her for who she is and desires her because of that (sizzling chemistry between these two!). I love how he supports and encourages her dreams, how he slowly loses his heart to her while also believing his heart isn't worthy of her love. And how satisfying it is to watch Bronwyn blossom under the attention of someone who has no wish to change her or denigrate her intelligence. And this isn't a one-way street. Bronwyn's impact on Ash's life is profound. These two (actually five, counting the girls) are meant to be a family and watching that come to fruition filled me with so much joy.
The Oddments, Bronwyn's group of friends (all spinsters) feature prominently in her journey and have me even more eager for more stories in this series. If you've read Britton's Isle of Synne series, you'll recognize them along with a few other secondary characters but if you're new to her writing, you should be able to jump in with Some Dukes Have All the Luck without missing a beat. I do, however, enthusiastically recommend all of the Isle of Synne books as well. Check out my reviews below.
Have you read Christina Britton yet?
Do you enjoy marriage of convenience romance? What's your favorite romance trope?
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