Title: The Duke Is But a Dream
Series: Debutante Diaries #2
Author: Anna Bennett
Published: Mass Market Paperback, 311 pages
Published: July 30th 2019 by St. Martin's Paperbacks
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Rating: 3 out of 5 Wine Glasses
Once upon a time three young ladies vowed to record their first London seasons…and to fill in the gaps of their finishing school educations. Thus began The Debutante Diaries—and London will never be the same…
HE’S COME TO HER RESCUE
Miss Lily Hartley is the anonymous mastermind behind the ton’s latest obsession: The Debutante’s Revenge, a titillating advice column for ladies on the marriage mart. To keep her identity secret, Lily delivers her columns disguised as a chimney sweep—which is all well and good, until she unwittingly lands in the middle of an ugly tavern brawl. Fortunately, the devastatingly handsome Duke of Stonebridge sweeps in to rescue her.Unfortunately, Lily’s dressed as a boy—and holding rather incriminating evidence linking her to the scandalous column. Drat.
SHE’S LOST HER MEMORY
When Eric Nash, Duke of Stonebridge, sees a helpless lad receive a nasty blow to the head, he’s outraged. But when he discovers there’s a beautiful woman hiding beneath the chimney sweep’s cap, he’s positively stunned. Nash would happily escort her home, but she’s forgotten her name—leaving him little choice but to take her in himself until he can locate her family. But the closer he gets to finding them, the more he doesn’t want to let her go.
WILL THEY FIND LOVE?
Lily’s trying to figure out exactly who she is…in more ways than one. With so much at stake—her column, her reputation, and even her heart—she needs a plan, and she needs it fast. Before Nash finds her family. Before he learns who she is. Before they fall totally, completely, and utterly inconveniently in love.
Anna Bennett's Debutante Diaries is a rollicking good time!
Lily Hartley is one of London's debutantes, and while she may not be titled, her family is extremely wealthy. When Lily isn't attending soiree's, visiting with her sister and new husband, or dreaming about meeting mister right, she secretly pen's The Debutante Diaries, a column for young women looking for love in London's society. When she find's herself alone and unchaperoned for two weeks, Lily decides to see how the other half (men) live by dressing as a boy and entering a tavern. Her mission of freedom soon turns to folly though when she is robbed and struck on her head, causing her to loose all memory of herself. Enter Eric Nash, the Duke of Stonebridge.
Brooding and melancholy, Nash wants nothing but to reminisce on his failures in peace. His plans are quickly thwarted though when he comes to the defense of a seemingly young boy about to get robbed and beat. Maybe a good brawl is exactly what he needs though. When the boy is knocked unconscious, Nash is shocked to find a young woman instead. A beautiful young woman. Knowing how improper it would be for her to be found out in such a public setting, Nash quickly brings the her to his townhouse to recover.
As Lily tries to recall her past she can't help but become fascinated by the handsome duke that came to her rescue. But what if she is merely a kitchen made instead of a peer? That road can only lead to heartache and Nash has already warned her that he is incapable of love. Can a woman with no past and a man with no future find love in the present?
The Duke Is But a Dream was a sweet romance. While fairly improbable, I liked Lily's forward thinking character. She was ahead of her time in her thinking and her independence. Somewhat naive, yes, but it lead to an entertaining story-line. I also really enjoyed the building of Lily and Nash's romance. There was an attraction, as is understandable with two good-looking people who have charming personalities. But there was also a good amount of getting to know you, and in Lily's case, getting to know herself. Nash had his moments. I appreciated his need to protect his sister, and sympathized with the scars from his past. He was quite bullheaded though, which was frustrating at times. Nash's sister Delilah was a delight. She added lightness and humor to the plot while Lily's identity and that of the The Debutante Diaries added intrigue. There was also the side plot of Lily's true parentage, since she was adopted by the Hartley's as a baby, which gave her character some nice closure at the end.
That all being said, The Duke Is But a Dream was slow moving and not as exciting as the first book in the series, First Earl I See Tonight. Overall, I enjoyed the read though and look forward to the next book in the series. On a side note that I mentioned in my review of the first book; I don't care for how the women in these stories only use the men's surnames when addressing them. It's not as intimate in my mind as if they were to use their given names, such as Eric in this case.
Suggested Reading Order:
Book #1 First Earl I See Tonight