Title: Heir to the Duke
Series: The Duke’s Sons #1
Author: Jane Ashford
Format: Paperback & eBook, 352 pgs
Published: Jan. 5, 2016 by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Rating: 1 out of 5 Wine Glasses
Nathaniel Gresham, the handsome Viscount Hargove, lives a life devoted to familial duty. As his father's eldest son, Nathaniel's identity remains the "heir to the Duke of Langford." But this quiet, restrained life changes the minute he marries sweet Lady Violet Devere.
Oppressed by her family all her life, Violet is longing for her marriage vows to be spoken. Though her arranged marriage to Nathaniel was not a match made for love, they're both looking forward to the comparative freedom of married life. And Violet is determined to show Nathaniel how to enjoy it, both in and out of the bedroom.
Violet is set to marry Nathaniel and couldn't be happier. For twenty-six years she has been under the militant thumb of her grandmother, who constantly finds something wrong with her. In her marriage, Violet hopes to find the freedom that has thus far eluded her. Nathaniel is the heir and is at the age to marry, Violet seems like the sensible choice. As he gets to know her, he sees a spark that is slowly starting to come to life and he finds himself liking his wife more than he ever thought possible. If they can just shake off one evil grandmother they may find themselves in the unheard of position of loving one's own spouse.
Heir to the Duke begins right away with our couple getting married, it was a bit of a rough start with a feeling that I was coming in a couple chapters late. Within the first ten percent of the story we had a wedding night, whether due to not knowing the characters or a general lack of feelings written in, it fell flat and awkward. It's mentioned that Violet and Nathaniel didn't spend any time alone during their engagement and the trend continues somewhat throughout the story. Violet gallivants around town trying to do it all after being smothered by her grandmother. Instead of claiming her own identity and becoming herself, Violet's actions came off extremely childish. She wanted to dance, party, and twirl in the streets. Violet also rekindles a friendship where the woman uses her to cheat on her husband. This secondary non-romance didn't add anything to the story but clog it with characters I didn't care about and useless storylines.
While Violet was trying to live it up, Nathaniel seems to do a lot of reading letters from his brothers and writing back trying to solve their non-problems. I think the author was trying to go for Violet showing Nathaniel how to stop and smell the roses but it had the opposite effect of keeping our couple apart. Our couple goes to balls together where Nathaniel pops up to defend Violet to her grandmother. Nathaniel sticking up for Violet and explaining/showing her how to stick up for herself was the best part of this book. However, for the most part, nothing happened. Ninety-five percent of this story is about Violet trying to be free from her grandmother's judgmental rule.
There were endless pages of Violet acting childish with her desire for freedom, a grandmother and her servant acting far fetchingly tyrannical, a friend and her husband cheating and hating each other, and our main couple developing a rather stale relationship. This was my first book by this author, perhaps the writing style isn't for me but this read mostly like rambling endless filler.