Series: At the Kingsborough Ball #1
Genres: Historical Romance
Published by Avon Books on August 27th 2013
Purchase Links: Amazon ✦ Barnes & Noble
Book Links: Goodreads
Sometimes happily ever after…
Anthony Hurst, Duke of Kingsborough knows the time has come for him to produce an heir. But first he must find a bride. When he meets the most exquisite woman at his masquerade ball, he thinks his search is over…until the breathtaking beauty runs off. With few clues other than her figure, her scent, and the memory of her kiss, Anthony must find his mystery lady.
…needs a little bit of help.
Isabella Chilcott can scarcely believe it: she is finally at the Kingsborough Ball. As a child, she dreamed of dancing a waltz here and now, thanks to a gorgeous gown she’s found in the attic, Isabella is living her fairytale fantasy. And she’s waltzing with the Duke of Kingsborough himself! But she must escape before he discovers her secrets…for she is not who she pretends to be, and falling in love with Prince Charming is the last thing she can allow herself to do…
I was provided a copy of The Trouble with Being a Duke (TTWBAD) as part of the Avon Addict program. I was unfamiliar with Sophie Barnes’ work but after reading this novel she will certainly be on my buy list. I’ve always been a fan of historical romance and TTWBAD had all the elements I have to have in a romance book; a dashing hero, a spunky heroine and a mystery that draws them together.
Isabella is a likable heroine; she is loyal to her family and will do anything for them – including marrying the most boring man in England. Anthony is a duke and is also doing his duty by stepping into the shoes his father filled so well. He’s a reformed rogue; brought around by duty not love. The moment he spots Isabella at his masquerade ball, he knows that this is the woman for him, and will do anything to win her. Unfortunately, Isabella is compelled to fulfill her duty and runs away from Anthony believing that he couldn’t possible be interested in her and hoping to escape any further attention. The development of their relationship from there is endearing and easy; you just sense that these two click together and can’t help cheering them on.
I loved the story’s parallel to Cinderella and how Ms. Barnes reinvented the classic fairy tale. Although there is no fairy godmother, there is a twist as to how Isabella got dressed for the ball, I’m just not telling. There is a strong cast of secondary characters and I do believe it was a toss up as to whether Caspar, Anthony’s best friend, or Jaime, Isabella’s sister, were my favorites. They were such humorous characters and practically jumped off the pages for me. I would love either of them as my best friend. All the characters were well written and believable for me, even the ones I hated and there were a couple here. Kudos to Ms. Barnes for making me hate Lady Harriet so much!
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed The Trouble with Being a Duke and can’t wait to see what happens next in At the Kingsborough Ball series.