Thursday, January 12, 2012

ARC Book Review: How To Dance With A Duke

Author: Manda Collins
Title: How To Dance With A Duke
Publisher: St Martin's Press
Publish Date: Jan 31, 2012
Buy: Amazon
Review Copy Provided By: Net Galley
Book Blurb: What’s a wallflower to do when she’s suddenly in need of a husband? Use all the pluck and moxie she can muster to get what she wants…


Miss Cecily Hurston would much rather explore the antiquities of Egypt than the uncharted territory of marriage. But the rules of her father’s exclusive academic society forbid her entrance unless she weds one of its members. To clear her ailing father’s name of a scandalous rumor, Cecily needs to gain admission into the Egyptian Club—and is willing to marry any old dullard to do it.


Lucas Dalton, Duke of Winterson, is anything but dull. He’s a dashing and decorated war hero determined to help Cecily—even if that means looking the other way when she claims the dance card of Amelia Snow, this season’s most sought-after beauty. But Lucas has a reason for wanting Cecily to join the Egyptian Club: His brother went missing during one of Lord Hurston’s expeditions to Egypt. An alliance with the explorer’s bluestocking daughter could bring Lucas closer to the truth about what happened…or it could lead him to a more dangerous love than either he or Cecily could have imagined….

Review: Put down whatever you are doing and buy this book! I mean it! Buy it NOW! Manda Collins' debut novel is absolutely stunning and flawless.

All the characters are well rounded and so likable and the storyline moves along at the perfect pace. It is nearly impossible to find anything to complain about, except it was easy to figure out who the culprit was in the mystery. That I had figured out halfway through, though I didn't understand the full scope of the evil. But the mystery, though it makes up the story, isn't half as wonderful as the love story of Cecily and Lucas.

Cecily is a wallflower who thought she was condemned to a life of spinsterhood, until she started her quest to clear her father's name in the death of William Dalton, and find his journals. Lucas is William's brother and a Duke. The two have an instant attraction, and from the start you want these two together.

When Lucas compromises Cecily and they have to get married, I thought the story would go downhill, but no. Their marriage only made it better. And I so adored Lucas. He was loving and protective and vulnerable and he was in no way the alpha male that dominates so many romance novels. That's not to say he isn't a strong man, he just isn't arrogant or obnoxious in the way he goes about protecting Cecily.

The best part of the story and the saddest was after they found the body of his brother and he sobs that he wished he would have let his brother ride his pony. I was near to tears as I read that.

Lucas is the kind of hero I want for myself!

Cecily was a bluestocking but while she was smart, she was also loving and not totally absorbed in intellectual pursuits. That made it easy to like her, as well as the other two Ugly Ducklings, Juliet and Maddy.

This is the first book in a series and I can't wait to read the next one "How To Romance A Rake." Manda Collins is going on my must read list from this day on!

Rating: 5 flowers


Julia said...

I have this on my TBR pile!! Glad to know that it was praise worthy!

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Julia @ Comp Biblio

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