Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Review - - It HAD to Be a Duke

It HAD to Be a Duke
by Vivienne Lorret
The Liars' Club - Book 1
Publisher: Avon
Release Date: November 28,  2023
Reviewed by Santa

Verity Hartley always tells the truth. Well, mostly. However, when her snooty neighbor returns to their small hamlet to brag about having a grand Season, a plethora of ballgowns, and so many suitors that she cannot possibly decide which one to marry, Verity tells a lie. She claims to be betrothed. To a duke. Who happens to be her family’s sworn enemy. But what are the odds that he would ever learn of this one, little, harmless falsehood?

Magnus Warring, the Duke of Longhurst, is on the precipice of marrying an heiress to save his estate from financial ruin. At least, he was. Until he hears an unbelievable rumor that he is already betrothed. To the daughter of a liar, cheat, and swindler! Needing to protect his reputation, he hunts down the culprit. And when he finds the untamed beguiler, she has the audacity to ask him to lie for her. To pretend to be her fiancé!

One week, that’s all Verity needs. Then Magnus can return to his life. But nothing is ever that simple. Sometimes it doesn’t take that long to fall in love, even with the enemy.

Santa Says:

It HAD to Be a Duke by Vivienne Lorret is the first book of her newest series The Liars' Club. I am a huge fan of Ms. Lorret’s books and this one did not disappoint. The banter between the two main characters was spot on. The funny moments were hilarious. The tender moments were sublime. It was a real page turner for me because I couldn’t wait to see how Verity and Marcus, her duke finally got out of their own way and into each other’s hearts. At times it felt like the odds were stacked against them.

It all started with a little white lie that Verity Hartley told her obnoxious nemesis that snowballed into a fake betrothal with a duke. And not just any duke but the son of a man her father used to call a friend. And Marcus Warring, Duke of Longhurst wasn’t having any of it. He could not see himself leg shackled to a plain miss who was the daughter and sister of the very men who brought his family to the brink of bankruptcy. Verity and Marcus decide a fake engagement would fool his family and the ton long enough for Marcus to cry off and save face and Verity’s reputation. 

Fake engagements are one of my favorite romance tropes. I love seeing how each character develops in the relationship. Verity and Marcus do not disappoint in this. As stubborn and determined as the duke is, he can not help but fall in love with Verity who is all that is good no matter what scrapes she finds herself in. And Verity, a confirmed spinster, fairly blossoms right before his eyes even as she does not see herself as someone to take note of.

And the story is carried forward with some real characters in Verity’s eccentric, beautiful and talented sisters, a thespian father and an intrepid brother. Marcus’ own grandmother and sister add to the mix. His mother proves to be a tough nut to crack. Throw in the real villains of the story from a surprising quarter and you can see how I couldn’t put this book down.

I advise you, readers, to run to your nearest bookstore or e-reader and grab this gem! I am already looking forward to the next one in this series! Enjoy!


  1. This does sound like a great read!

  2. I am a fan of the author and your review has shown that this is a book I will enjoy. Thanks for the review. One of the reasons I really like Ms Lorret is the humor she brings to her stories. You do realize that I need another book like I need a sharp stick in the eye.

    1. Lol! I feel the same on all counts!