The Duke Who Came To Town by Sophie Barnes
Having read the previous book in this series (The Earl Who Loved Her) and enjoyed it, I was pleased to pick up The Duke Who Came To Town too. This is the story of the eldest sister, Josephine, who works as an accountant in order to maintain her sisters in some sort of respectability. Of course, if you have read the previous two books in the series, you will already know that Louise and Eve have already found their true loves, and this conclusion to the trilogy sees the three sisters eventually reunited, happy at last.
At 84 pages, this is on the short side even for a novella. The romance feels impossibly rushed and frankly unlikely; it’s straining my suspension of belief that a duke would bestir himself to check personally on the welfare of a friend’s ward, much less that he would take one look at her and decide he wants her in his bed so badly he’d better marry her.
Yes, that’s pretty much what happened. The whole story takes place over about five days, by the end of which Josephine and her duke have decided they are madly in love and absolutely must get married.
You’ll have noticed that I don’t name the duke. This is because, the day after finishing the book, I can’t actually remember it. He was that unmemorable.
I honestly think this would be a much more satisfying read if it was extended and some genuine conflict introduced. I’m trying to think of what to compare this series to, and the only thing I can think of is the prawn crackers at a Chinese restaurant. Light, fluffy, tasty, but in the end far too meagre a meal and ultimately unsatisfying. Three stars are used to indicate ‘it was okay’ and that sounds about right.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for review through NetGalley.