Anna and the Duke Kathryn Smith
So, I picked this up because I loved God Save the Queen (The Immortal Empire) by Kate Locke and when I heard her speak at ALA, I learned that Kate Locke = Kathryn Smith.
It was also interesting because I hadn't read any teen romance before. WAIT A MINUTE HOLD UP you say. Jennie, you read ALL THE KISSING BOOKS in the world. YOU ARE OBSESSED WITH MEG CABOT, you read teen romance ALL THE TIME. And it's true, I do. I mean, I loved The Season so much that when Sarah MacLean started publishing adult romance, I read it without question and rediscovered how much I enjoy the genre. But what I mean by this, is I haven't read any of the teen series put out by the big romance publishers. (Exception being Harlequin, but none of their teen stuff that I've read has been a kissing book. At least that I know. Sometimes with their teen stuff is hard to tell that it's Harlequin.) And Anna and the Duke is an Avon True Romance for Teens. And, as such, it feels much more like an adult romance novel than the other historical fiction teen kissing books that I'm used to. In fact, it's exactly like a historical fiction bodice ripper (complete with marriages!) BUT bodices don't actually get ripped and it's rather chaste.
Anyway, the story.
Anna is engaged to marry Richard, the heir to the Duke of Brahm. She's ok with it, until she meets a stranger in a bookstore that makes her heart beat in a way that Richard never has. To complicate matters, the mysterious man is the Scottish Ewan MacLaughlin, the recently deceased's Duke of Brahm's secret son and actual and rightful heir.
As Richard's fiance, she sees how unhinged he's become and how far he's willing to go to become the duke he always assumed he'd be. She warns Ewan, and as they try to keep one step ahead of Richard (and Anna's horrible mother, who wants her daughter to be a duchess more than anything) they can't hide their feelings from each other for long.
I never really connected with Anna, but I looooooooooooooved Ewan. He had a lot more going on, as he tries to reconcile the reality with what he had always thought about his missing father. I loved the general story of a small-village Scots trying to navigate London society (even if he already had some titles before Duke). And oh, the verbal dinner table battles between Ewan and Richard were just delicious.
I didn't love it as much as God Save the Queen, but it was a fun and enjoyable read.
Book Provided by... my local library
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