Thursday, July 20, 2023

Review & Giveaway - - What's a Duke Got to Do With It

What's a Duke Got to Do With It
by Christina Britton
Synneful Spinsters - Book 2
Publisher: Forever
Release Date: July 11, 2023
Reviewed by PJ

In this emotional tale of acceptance and healing, a woman unlucky in life and love has a second chance at romance when she runs into a dashing Duke from her past.

The last thing Katrina Denby expected to find in her garden is the body of the man who ruined her three seasons ago. No matter that his death is a tragic accident, the rumors are enough to kill any woman’s prospects. With two scandals now hounding her, the best she can hope for is a hasty marriage of convenience—until her first love shows up in her drawing room, reminding her of all the reasons why she wanted a love match. If only he weren’t already engaged. . .

Sebastian Thorne, Duke of Ramsleigh, knows what he has to do to save the dukedom from the crushing debts and scandal his father left: marry and marry well. He’s picked the lady, too—a baron’s daughter who is pleasant, if a little boring. But seeing Katrina again makes him want to throw all those perfectly laid plans out the window. The first chance he had with her, he chose his duty over his heart. Doing so again might prove utterly impossible.

PJ's Thoughts:

I fell hard for all three couples in Christina Britton's Isle of Synne series but you know what? I'm enjoying her spinoff Synneful Spinsters even more. A collection of intelligent, independent-minded women past the first blush of youth who don't quite fit in with society for a variety of reasons but who win the hearts of men who love them precisely because of who they are, not in spite of it. 

I always enjoy a complex, emotionally-layered, second chance romance, especially when the couple was separated by events beyond their control. In this case, Sebastian and Katrina were on the verge of declaring their feelings when his father's health called him away and another man's stupid decision cast Katrina out of society in shame (though she did nothing wrong). When they are unexpectedly reunited years later, it quickly becomes apparent the feelings they once held still simmer but circumstances for both are quite significantly changed. Which will prevail this time around? Hearts? Or duty?

Oh, the yearning in this book. So much yearning between these two. I loved it. Britton does a wonderful job of layering their journey with a complex web of obstacles and emotions that test their resolve. She gives them opportunities to become reacquainted which then begin to deepen feelings between them that never really went away while also keeping the reasons that prevent them from being together in full view. She does not make it easy for these two and, I confess, I couldn't quite figure out how she would work it all out to my satisfaction in the end. Of course, she did. 

I love the chemistry between Katrina and Sebastian but also the foundation of friendship that it is built upon. I enjoyed the clear communication between them, how they both moved forward with eyes open, knowing the consequences for any actions and making decisions together, how they defended and supported one another. Especially, how Sebastian repeatedly leaped to Katrina's defense. I also loved their easiness and humor and especially how Sebastian interacted with Mouse, Katrina's lovable but exceedingly exuberant Great Dane. You can tell a lot about a man by the way he treats your dog. Just saying. 

The secondary cast once again provides richness and texture - not to mention matchmaking - with several characters from other books popping in and out. You can absolutely enjoy this second Synneful Spinsters book on its own but I would be remiss if I didn't mention that I highly recommend all of the books in the two Isle of Synne series. 

If you enjoy emotion-driven romances with complex characters, witty dialog, strong female friendships, swoony heroes, intrepid heroines, humor, and a hard-won happily ever after, you can't go wrong with Christina Britton's What's a Duke Got to Do With It. And, if you especially enjoy seeing the heroine's selfish, unfeeling brother get what's coming to him in the end? Well, that's just extra icing on this delicious historical romance cake. 

Have you read Christina Britton yet?

Do you have a favorite Isle of Synne couple?

What's your favorite breed of dog? 

One randomly chosen person who posts a comment before 11:00 PM, July 23 will receive a print copy of What's a Duke Got to Do With It.

*U.S. only

*Must be 18

Thank you to Forever for their generous donation of today's giveaway. 


  1. I don’t believe I’ve read any of her books. Loved your informative review!
    My favorite dog breed is a Sheltie.

  2. I've somehow never read Christina Britton, but I'd really like to, based on your review! My favorite breed of dog is the one in front of me right now - whenever that now happens to be (the "now" now is an old, tired mutt whom I love utterly).

  3. No I haven't read any of her book yet, but one sounds great. I loved my rat terrier and I still miss her. But each breed has special characteristics.

  4. Ms Britton is a new to me author. So, I am not familiar with any of the characters from her books. This does sound like a book I would enjoy. I have lived with and loved both Boxers and Cocker Spaniels. Those are my favs. So of course, I live with a Pekingese. A toy dog who is nothing like the dogs from my past. But, it turns out, he is exactly the perfect dog for me right now.

  5. I love Christina's books! I can't say that I have a favorite couple since my favorites are often the last ones I read since I'm fickle that way. ;-) My favorite dog breed is easy - Golden Retrievers! Goldens are the only breed for my husband, so it's a good thing I love them too.

  6. I haven't read any of her books, but this one looks interesting! My favorite breed of dog is the one I currently have, so is a blue nose pit bull named Miss Daisy! Sweetest dog in the world. Thanks for the chance to win this book.

  7. I don't believe I have read any of her books.
    Favorite breed of dog would be the Labrador Retriever. We like beagles, too.

  8. No, I haven't read any of her books yet so I don't have a favorite character from the series. I think huskies are a lovely breed.

  9. I haven't read any of her books, but will check them out. I don't have dogs now, but love Newfoundlands. I miss the ones I had.

  10. I have several of Christina's books on my TBR--sounds like I ought to dive in sooner rather than later! I don't have any dogs, but find pugs charming, LOL!