Reviews

A Duke by Default, by Alyssa Cole

actsofcarla's review against another edition

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5.0

I don't feel totally ready to write a review just now, so I am instead including what I just sent the writer:

Comment: Dear Ms Cole,

I have just finished reading A Duke By Default and wanted to take a moment to thank you. I was by turns startled, pained, and delighted by how much I connected to Portia. People frequently use ADHD as a catch all term for procrastination without understanding how it can fuck up someone's life and sense of self. As you know (I'm not certain if the knowledge came from personal experience or some truly impressive research, but you clearly KNOW) girls with ADHD are underdiagnosed, in large part because people don't understand the ways it can present differently from stereotypical hyper-boy-child ADHD. Even having gotten an ADHD diagnosis at the age of 14, it wasn't until my late twenties that I learned many of my supposed "bad personality traits" were quirks of my brain chemistry that I didn't get to control. I'm still working on being kinder to myself, and seeing Portia go on that journey meant the world to me.

katethegreat44's review against another edition

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5.0

When Cole first introduced Portia in the last book, I wasn’t enamored. It’s truly a testament to Cole’s writing abilities that she made her such a layered, lovable character (A+ portrayal of ADHD). Can I be friends with Naledi, Portia, and Nya, pretty please? Rock on, Alyssa Cole. You are the magic in this world.

katiedreads's review against another edition

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funny hopeful lighthearted slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? No

3.0

 This was good I liked it, a modern version of this genre of book. It added depth to the genre with the character's backgrounds and family as well as emotion by adding in family dynamics. I liked the setting, the background of the characters which was really interesting. I think the strongest part of this book is the chemistry between the characters and witty dialogue. It only got a 3 star from me because it did seem to be a book of two halves, as though there was a half-written book based on an American socialite moving to Scotland and falling in love with her swordmaker boss and then a second book about friends who fall in love while trying to fight for a Dukedom. It felt like two very separate pieces. But overall it was a good and enjoyable afternoon read. 

fannypza's review against another edition

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4.0

I liked this a lot more than the first book in the series, mainly because I liked the main characters much more in this one! I enjoyed the plot, even if I got a little lost at the end (but I was reading this on my phone in the car while on a roadtrip, so I also blame the environment!) and I really liked having a Chilean hero! I don't think I've ever stumbled over one before. (And I was totally jealous that the characters had access to a Chilean restaurant.)

beanreading26's review against another edition

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5.0

Came for #swordbae, stayed for the story.

treyaa's review against another edition

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5.0

After really enjoying the first book in this series, when I thought I wouldn't at all, I was eager to dive into this one, but I kept putting it off. Imagine my surprise when I see that the heroine has similar issues!

I loved that Portia has ADHD! I've seen the condition firsthand with my husband and son, and I really enjoyed seeing it portrayed realistically in a romance novel! It made the novel more true to life for me! I also really enjoyed all of Portia's diverse interests! It made her a very unique and interesting heroine!

Tavish was a great hero as well! I loved the chemistry between him and Portia, and I loved his rags to riches story. I also loved his attempts to keep the ways of the past alive, as I think that the world is in sore need of people like him.

The story was entertaining and engaging and is one I would highly recommend!

alicewilder's review against another edition

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5.0

I’m officially an Alyssa Cole stan. Every book makes me laugh and feel ALL THE THINGS. This may be my favorite so far. Portia and Tav are such a lovely match and Alyssa takes each of their characters on a real journey of development. The growth isn’t just in their relationship, but for them as individuals. So lovely, must read.

triley's review against another edition

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lighthearted medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.0

biddywink's review against another edition

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4.0

Oh, this one's set in Scotland, yay! Again, an enjoyable story with a rushed end.

readitcourt's review against another edition

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4.0

This was less cute than “A Princess in Theory” but still cute. I loved the nerdy side characters (I think I told someone this was highly “nerd positive”). I really enjoyed Portia’s character growth as well as the way Tavish was drawn.