Reviews

Her Night with the Duke, by Diana Quincy

ego21's review against another edition

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emotional lighthearted medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

Nice read. Bit slow to get into. But a HEA.

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colleengio12's review against another edition

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3.0

3.5 stars

crazyyummy1209's review against another edition

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4.0

Only tasteless people gave this book a low rating

stroupy's review against another edition

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

4.0

whiskeyinthejar's review against another edition

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2.0

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

She was a widow, bound to no man, finally answerable to no one but herself. It was one night in the middle of nowhere. No one need ever know.

First in the Clandestine Affairs series, Her Night With the Duke introduces us to widowed Delilah (Leela) and almost betrothed Elliot, the Duke of Huntington, as they both take shelter at an Inn. Due to her tawny skin color, the Innkeeper doesn't want to give her a room and the men act less than gentlemanly towards her. With her janbiya, she demonstrates she can take care of herself but Elliot still steps in to offer to share his meal and room with her. As the night goes on, these two can't fight their instant attraction anymore and they both agree to share one night together. However, when true identities get revealed, their one night has dire consequences, in more ways than one.

There was no denying the truth any longer. She felt more than just a physical attraction for the Duke of Huntington.

I am a frequent reader of the Regency sub-genre in romance and I think that hurt my enjoyment of this; characters and lines came off cardboard cut-out and cliche. The beginning conversation between Leela and Elliot felt stilted and with some cheesy lines, I never felt the heat and passion between the two that was supposed to lead to them jumping into the bed right away. Elliot was our Duke who likes strict schedules to prove he is not a wastrel like his late brother and would never want to do anything to cause a scandal; I could never pick him out of a romance genre Regency Duke line-up. Leela was by far the more interesting character. With her English Marquess father marrying an Arab merchant's daughter, she had a more complex background. Leela was raised completely English, her mother didn't want her to acknowledge her Arab side to try and help her fit in better, married at seventeen, and then widowed at twenty-four where she decides to travel in and around Jerusalem to meet her mother's side of the family. While Leela's penchant to use Arabic words and phrases added some much needed character freshness to this sub-genre, I struggled with how it came off forced at times because of how English she was raised and how little time she spent with her mother's family. Leela talks about her travel and we get one scene with her mother's family but I still felt like the fabric of the connection to her Arabic side was missing.

“Some men enjoy flirting with danger.”

The angst in the story comes from Leela and Elliot discovering after their one night together that Leela's step-daughter Tori is who Elliot was planning on becoming betrothed to. Since I didn't feel the lust or heat between them in the beginning, I had trouble feeling the angst and struggle for them to keep apart. Without feeling the emotion between the two, this fell pretty flat for me. Leela and Tori had a good relationship but Tori's stuttered pauses whenever Elliot was in the scene made them drag and Leela's step-son character, from an attempted rapist super-villain to oh was just jealous calmly talking and working together made the character so uneven. Elliot's friend Griff does sound intriguing with society murmuring that he could have killed his parents, some tortured hero angst there.

“Following the rules certainly hasn’t proven satisfactory. Maybe everything in life cannot be tied up into a neat little package.”

This read closer to an Avon Impulse as Leela and Elliot's interactions take place more in the bedroom than anywhere else. About halfway through, Elliot makes a plea for Leela and him to be together but she refuses and the betrothal happens. Even at midway, this felt like a betrayal to the message of how strong the emotion between Leela and Elliot was supposed to be. However, at around 70% our couple gets together and then it feels like the ending was dragged out with some compulsory emotional obstacles that if they'd just sat and had a conversation could have been resolved.

I wish we could have gotten scenes with Leela's brother Alexander (he shows up once), along with more scenes with her dragoman Hashem to explore those emotional connections. Unfortunately, the romance fell flat for me in this, I found myself wanting to read more about Leela on her travels in Arabia. I missed the emotional fabric of why the characters thought and acted like they did, they felt like paper dolls moving from point A to point B. As I mentioned though, new readers to this sub-genre could have a different experience and Leela was an admirable heroine.

laura_mcloughlin's review against another edition

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4.0

Very strong Bridgerton Season 2 vibes! Leela and Hunt have a semi-anonymous one night stand and then end up at the same house party (unbeknownst to them) and turns out that Hunt's potential fiancee is Leela's step daughter (and good friend). Whoops! Leela, Hunt, and Tori are all likable characters that find themselves in this extremely awkward situation, thankfully everyone gets their HEA.

Leela is the half English/half Arab (never specified where her mother is from) daughter of a marquess who has been traveling the Middle East for the past couple of years. She is also the anonymous author of a best-selling travelogue. I do enjoy a historical romance where the heroine has an interesting job.

forprd's review against another edition

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emotional hopeful medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5

kikiareyoureading's review against another edition

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adventurous emotional funny tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.5

mjspice's review against another edition

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Another day, another book that exoticizes WOCs. This time it's an Arab woman being fetishized. I'm tired.

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ercm's review against another edition

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

3.75