Title: Say Yes to the Duke
Series: The Wildes of Lindow Castle #5
Author: Eloisa James
Format: Paperback/eBook, 369pages
Publication: May 19, 2020 by Avon
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Rating: 3.3 out of 5 Wine Glasses
Miss Viola Astley is so painfully shy that she’s horrified by the mere idea of dancing with a stranger; her upcoming London debut feels like a nightmare.
So she’s overjoyed to meet handsome, quiet vicar with no interest in polite society — but just when she catches his attention, her reputation is compromised by a duke.
Devin Lucas Augustus Elstan, Duke of Wynter, will stop at nothing to marry Viola, including marrying a woman whom he believes to be in love with another man.
A vicar, no less.
Devin knows he’s no saint, but he’s used to conquest, and he’s determined to win Viola’s heart.
Viola has already said Yes to his proposal, but now he wants her unruly heart…and he won’t accept No for an answer.
In the fifth Wildes of Lindow Castle series, Viola, who is the duke's stepdaughter is making her debut into society. She's the extremely shy one, who pukes when she gets nervous, and just rather become a wallflower. Viola's nervousness comes from feeling like she isn't a true Wilde, because of her 'step' status. I'm new to the series and found I had no problem jumping in here, in fact, I wish there had been more scenes with Viola and the Wilde family. She spends a lot of time with her sister, Joan who is also debuting but I wish we could have seen her with her mother and especially stepfather to get some heartfelt scenes where he explains that he feels she is his daughter, no 'step' to it.
He had found a treasure in the Lindow library, and he merely had to win it away from a vicar. How hard could that be?
When Viola meets the new vicar, she can't believe how handsome he is and how she feels comfortable around him, so she decides that he is who she should marry, even though the vicar is already engaged. This issue was handled a bit unwieldy where the vicar's fiancee is uptight and has an offputting personality, so Viola feels vindicated in “saving” the vicar from the fiancee and the story kind of stays away from judging Viola for going after him. Our hero the Duke of Wynter, Devin, comes into the picture when Viola overhears him saying he wants her sister for a wife because Viola isn't a true Wilde. Devin doesn't make the best first impression, to Viola or readers, but from the first conversation he has with Viola, his character comes alive.
Then he thought about the way her eyes sparkled when she scolded him. It was an outlandish thing to find attractive.
I really enjoyed the first half, these two had good byplay and the way Devin kept trying to grasp Viola as she flittered away kept me locked in. These two had some sweet moments and I do think their journey to love, especially Viola, Devin falls first, came across in the pages but the second half slowed way down for me. There were long scenes of them just focused on the wanting to kiss and just when I was starting to really delight in them, sex scenes took over and I lost some of their good conversational play.
“No one would have arranged a marriage between us, which I think is to our benefit. And I think you would be a marvelous duchess.” Her eyes were shocked, so Devin added firmly, “I am going to woo you.”
I also thought the second half spent too much time focused on the vicar's romantic troubles; it really felt like the author ran out of steam for the main couple so moved onto the vicar. Even though Viola and Devin had pleasing chemistry, I still felt like Devin wasn't developed enough. He had an abusive father, lost his mother young, and then had an uncle and two cousins for his only family. It is also brought up that he likes, is good at math but so little was done with this, I'm not sure why it was even included. These were plot points to his character but he still only felt sketched out, like I said, he does come alive more in Viola's presence but when we lose them in the second half, he becomes even less memorable.
He was in love with his wife, desperately, wildly in love with his wife, and she was telling him that he was the reason for the greatest anguish she’d ever experienced.
The beginning half was sweet but when I was really starting to sink into the story and enjoy the couple together, the second half slowed down, had more sex scenes than the conversational byplay I was delighting in, and focused more on a side character's romance issues. I think some emotional moments were missed on not having scenes with Viola and her stepfather and even more with her step-siblings. I do think Viola will reach the heart of some who never feel they quite belong or feel dull in the presence of others who shine so effortlessly; it was lovely to see Viola, who feels that way, become the shining star in Devin's universe.
Suggested Reading Order:
Book #6 Wilde Child - March 30, 2021