Joy to the Duke, by Darcy Burke

beckymmoe's review against another edition

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Reviewed on my blog, Becky on Books, on 11/17/19.

A sweet ending to a fun holiday novella series!

Calder had his work cut out for him in this book--he was a wretched human being in the first two books, and the novella-length format doesn't give him a lot of room for error--but fortunately for him, Ms Burke got right to making him work on his own redemption. Not that he was at all interested in even trying at first--thankfully, Felicity has the tenacity of a bulldog and won't give him a moment's peace. She's going to drag him back to his long-buried last bit of humanity kicking and screaming if she has to.

In keeping with the underlying theme of the series (holiday stories loosely inspired by classic Christmas tales), it's a Christmas Carol-style episode that finally gives him the final nudge he needs to start fighting for his own HEA and sets the reader up for a super sweet epilogue. If needed this novella could work as a standalone, but since each story builds slightly on the one before it, you'll get a more complete story by reading them all in order.

I don't know about you, but where I am the weather is perfect for three sexy but sweet historical holiday novellas--so grab a cup of tea, a cozy blanket, and start reading :)

Rating: 4 stars / B+

I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.

jillmlong's review against another edition

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Joy to the Duke was my favorite book in the trilogy. I loved Felicity. She was confident and fearless. I wasn't sure how Darcy Burke was going to make the Duke likable but she succeeded!
I voluntarily read and reviewed an ARC of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

laffingkat's review

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This is the third and final book in Darcy Burke’s new Love is All Around holiday Regency romance series about three siblings. While all of the stories interconnect, each book focuses on one couple and can be enjoyed on its own. This was the most Christmassy of the three, and I really liked how it incorporated elements of A Christmas Carol.

Poppy and Bianca’s brother Calder, the Duke of Hartwell, was portrayed so disagreeably (such a Scrooge) in the previous books that I wondered how Ms. Burke would redeem him. She handled his redemption via “ghosts” of the past, present, and future with aplomb. Calder and Felicity were both portrayed as likable characters, and I was rooting for their second chance romance to succeed.

While this book deals with some dark themes (parental death, child abuse, poverty), it also includes some laughs and the love of a very good dog.

This is a fun holiday romance. I recommend it to anyone who won’t be offended by the inclusion of mild profanity and a couple of explicit sex scenes.

I received an ARC of this book from the author and volunteered to provide an honest review.

viktoria5c481's review

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This was a cute, super loose nod to a Christmas Carol. I loved the family themes, especially
Spoilerhow a family member can present themselves one way in public and to certain members of the family and then a totally different way to other people
; it showed a surprisingly nuanced, impacted portrait
Spoilerof abuse
for a slim little story that focused on other things, and I really liked how it affected Calder's character.

I did wish Felicity's character was a little more developed? But for 150 pages, it wasn't bad. I liked The Red Hot Earl more and I skipped #2 for personal triggers/reasons, but overall, this is a cute, festive little series. My only real complaint is my usual whine for Darcy Burke novellas: I wish she'd write more full-length stuff.

alanadcr's review

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Joy to the Duke is the third and final installment of the Love is All Around series by Burke. Featuring Calder and Felicity, readers are treated to a Christmas Carol sort of tale centering on the couple’s second chance romance and redemption. While I did enjoy the ghosts of Christmas past and future inclusion in the storyline, ultimately my lower rating comes down to my inability to connect with the characters.

Felicity lacked dimension while Calder, with a more complicated history driving his actions, was a bit confounding with his blanket approach to life contrary to his father’s wishes. I enjoyed Calder’s chapters more, but I am still wasn’t convinced that there was true passion between the two. Their dialogue, in particular, tended to be stilted.

Unfortunately, this one was a miss for me which is a shame because I love a lot of Burke’s other work. It is a shame that my lack of connection to the characters significantly impacted the enjoyability of this book for me. I suspect with a bit more length and time for character growth for both hero and heroine would have helped my investment. I will definitely continue to read Burke’s work, but I will definitely put Calder and Felicity’s romance on the no-go pile for this romance reader.

**I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.