Sunday, June 1, 2014

mini-review: How to Lose a Duke in Ten Days

How to Lose a Duke in Ten Days  (What Happens In Scotland #1)

by Kate McKinley 


Lucas Alexander, the ninth Duke of Arlington, is a man who gets what he wants. So when he sees the alluring Miss Pippa Welby from across a crowded ballroom, he vows to make her his. But the bold and spirited Pippa has sworn never to marry into the haute ton. Now Lucas must win her the only way he knows how—one wicked kiss at a time.
The daughter of a wealthy tradesman, Pippa has been sneered at by the upper echelons her entire life. So when the duke arrives on her doorstep with an invitation to her own engagement ball—to him—in ten days, Pippa hatches a daring plan. She must lose the duke before the ball, or risk losing her own heart.
Themes: historical
Rating: 3.25 stars
Heat Rating: 
Well that was certainly one of the hotter historical romances I’ve read recently.  I’ve never read anything else by Kate McKinley, but she has me intrigued with this new series and I think I will be hunting for book two as soon as it’s available.  The story is set in the not too distant past and revolves around a spirited merchant’s daughter whose father is trying to nudge his way into the haute ton and a strict and sexy duke who is looking for a way to ensure his family never has to deal with financial hardship again.  An instantaneous connection and an attraction that neither can deny leads to some fun and sexy challenges for both lovers and soon leads them into the dangerous territory of the heart.  There were lots of laughs, sexy fun, and sweet love, and I cannot wait to find out what happens in Scotland in the future.
Pippa was a great character, one of the few women who really doesn’t have any use for the ton and is certainly not interested in marrying some stuffy and arrogant duke just to get in their good graces.  Faced with her future being dictated by the duke she immediately decides that she has to do whatever she can to make him change his mind about marrying her.  Hatching an outrageous scheme she sets out to make Lucas’s life a living hell, but no matter what she does he just seems to be more and more determined to make her his wife.  When the passion between them becomes undeniable, leading them down a road that can’t be turned away from, and there is no longer an option for her.  But when the truth comes out Pippa is heartbroken because not only has she given in to Lucas’s demands to marry, but she has given him her heart.  Now it is up to Lucas, a man who has never had to work so hard to make a woman his, to prove to Pippa that he is worth her heart and if she gives it into his keeping he will treat it with care.  While Lucas definitely has his issues, his vulnerabilities, I liked his determination to earn Pippa’s heart and it was obvious that his motives for seeking Pippa's hand were never purely financial, though he used that as a way to get what he wanted--a chance to explore his feelings for her
I really liked this story a lot.  There were great characters, an interesting plot, several fun twists, and enough drama to keep it from being too staid.  The heat and intensity between Pippa and Lucas was evident every second they shared the pages and I can honestly say that it was one of the more passionate historical romances I’ve read in a long time.  Pippa was a fiery, sweet, and loving woman who knows her worth to the world and will settle for nothing less than true love in her marriage.  Lucas has been his family’s only support for a long time and has always gotten what he went for in his life, but Pippa seems to be the one thing he can’t seem to get a good grip on, until he finally understands that a woman like Pippa will never be his unless he gives all of his heart to her.  I enjoyed the secondary story in the book as well and am looking forward to seeing where that might go in the future.  I will definitely  be adding Ms. McKinley to my list of authors to look out for in the future. 
*eARC provided by publisher (via netgalley) for the purpose of an honest and unbiased review.  No compensation was provided. 

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