No Other Duke But You by Valerie Bowman
When a group of high-spirited, high-society ladies and gentlemen put on a performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, hijinks are sure to ensue. There’s an absolutely hilarious scene in this book where it seems half the cast are running around a country house in the middle of the night, all trying to get into the bedrooms of someone they shouldn’t, generally someone who doesn’t return their affections, while trying to use a ‘love potion’ of doubtful origins. I adore Lucy, the matchmaking duchess who appears throughout this series, and Lucy’s befuddlement as she tried to work out just what went wrong and who was up to what had me in stitches.
Delilah is Lucy’s closest friend, a matchmaker who’s always been too busy to make a match for herself, but she’s finally run out of time. Her mother - an appalling excuse for a human being - has given her an ultimatum, and Delilah, who can’t resist a challenge, has thrown down the gauntlet in return. Now she has just two weeks to extract a marriage proposal from a man she’s never even met… but he is a duke, and the catch of the season.
The thing is that Delilah already has a duke in love with her, her best friend Thomas. It’s just that she really hasn’t noticed. When Lucy ropes him into their matchmaking efforts and a rival starts showing interest in Thomas, however, Delilah realizes she might just be aiming her sights at the wrong duke.
Now, for personal reasons, friends to lovers really isn’t my favourite romance trope, but it’s done so well here, with so much humour and charm, I absolutely adored it. Even if you haven’t read any of the previous books in this series (I’ve read a few but not all) you’ll be able to figure out what’s going on with the cast of characters, and with most of the action centered on Delilah and Thomas you’ll fall in love with them just like I did. Five stars for a funny, clever read full of mischief and shenanigans.
No Other Duke But You is available now.