Review: Always Be My Duchess (Taming of the Dukes #1)

Title: Always Be My Duchess (Taming of the Dukes #1)
Author: Amalie Howard
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Forever
Source: Publisher
Format: Paperback arc
Release Date: July 12, 2022
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Lord Lysander Blackstone, the stern Duke of Montcroix, has only one interest: increasing his considerable fortune. After a series of betrayals, he keeps his emotions buried deep. Money, after all, can’t break a man’s heart—or make promises it can’t keep. But when his reputation for being heartless jeopardizes a new business deal, he finds himself seeking a most unusual—and alluring—solution… 

Once an up-and-coming ballerina, Miss Geneviève Valery is now hopelessly out of work. After refusing to become a wealthy patron’s mistress, Nève was promptly shown the door to the streets. When she accidentally saves the life of a handsome duke, she doubts the encounter will go any better than her last brush with nobility. But instead of propositioning her, Montcroix makes Nève an offer she would be a fool to refuse: act as his fake fiancée in exchange for fortune enough to start over.

Only neither is prepared when very real feelings begin to grow between them. They both stand to win… but only if they’re willing to risk their hearts.

Review:

Lord Lysander Blackstone, the Duke of Montcroix, wants to grow his fortune. He has invested in railroads, and needs a particular piece of land to continue expanding it. To convince the owner to sell it, Lysander must show that he will use the land to start a family, but he doesn’t have a wife. Geneviève Valery was a ballerina in France, but when she refused to be a patron’s mistress, she was kicked out of the show. After a chance encounter, Nève acts as the Duke’s date for a night. However, he realizes that he could use her help by pretending to be his fiancé so he can finally buy the land. Lysander offers her a fortune to act as his fiancé, and she accepts so she can start over with her dance career once the job is finished. Things get complicated when they develop real feelings for each other, though neither is willing to commit to a relationship. 

Fake dating, or fake relationship, is one of my favourite tropes. When the couple starts acting like they’re in a relationship in front of other people, it’s easy for real feelings to develop. It’s always fun to see how these relationships that start out as just a ploy for society can blossom into true love. 

I found this Victorian society to be quite accepting, more than it usually is in a historical romance novel. Nève stayed with Lysander at his home, and no one criticized that decision. This seemed more modern than a typical Victorian story, which was refreshing because it can often seem like a restricting society. 

Always Be My Duchess is a fun Victorian romance!

Thank you Forever for sending me a copy of this book!

What to read next:

Dukes Do It Better by Bethany Bennett

How to Survive a Scandal by Samara Parish

Have you read Always Be My Duchess? What did you think of it?

Author: jilljemmett

Jill lives in Toronto, Canada. She has studied English, Creative Writing, and Publishing. Jill is the creator and content producer of Jill’s Book Blog, where she has published a blog post every day for the last four years, including 5-7 book reviews a week. She can usually be found with her nose in a book.

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