by Valerie Bowman
Series: Playful Brides #11
Published on April 30, 2019 by St. Martin's Paperbacks
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Genres: Adult, Historical Romance, Romance
SINGLE LADY SEEKS DUKE
Lady Delilah Montebank has her marital sights set on the Duke of Branville. There’s just one problem: he barely knows she exists. But no matter, she’s got a plan to win him over with her charm, her wit—and perhaps the love potion she has in her possession wouldn’t hurt her cause...
Lord Thomas Hobbs, Duke of Huntley, thinks his best friend Delilah’s quest to become a duchess is ridiculous. He’s always said he’d rather give up all the brandy in London than commit to one person for life. Besides, he knows that Delilah’s love potion can’t possibly win over Branville…since she accidentally gave it to him instead. But perhaps this is the excuse he needs to show her he’s always loved her...
Delilah can’t believe she gave the potion to the wrong duke. Then again, Delilah could do a lot worse than win the hand of her handsome best friend. Could it be that the right duke has been before her eyes all along?
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I’ve been following along with the Playful Brides series since book 7 and despite not reading the earlier books (yet), I felt like No Other Duke But You was the perfect way to end the series on a high note.
If you’ve read any of the previous books, you may recognize a few familiar faces returning in this one as the spirited Delilah, young matchmaker extraordinaire, finally finds her match. I loved the nod to the previous books while not wrapping the story up in their history so you can read No Other Duke But You as a standalone.
But what I REALLY loved was the parallels between this book and A Midsummer Night’s Dream which is, by far, one of my favorite Shakespeare plays. As the characters prepare to perform said play in the book, their lives mimic its acts one by one and make the book somewhat of a lighthearted comedy.
Delilah made sure of this. She’s spunky. Society’s restrictions don’t quite work for her and she doesn’t let them get in her way. The mention of her assortment of rescued animals combined with her ability to make a mess of any situation provided more than enough humor, while her caring heart and loyalty to those around her ensured that I wanted her to find her true love. Who happened to be in her life all along!
I’m a sucker for best friends to lovers and No Other Duke But You is exactly that. Thomas has known Delilah (and all her quirks) for years, and waited for the right time to tell her how he felt. Now that the time has come, he’s getting mixed up with just as many matchmaking schemes as Delilah! I loved that the gentlemen tried their hand at getting the couple together just as much as Delilah’s friends.
As for the romance? It was, well, sweet. There was definitely some heat involved but I felt like their emotional connection was stronger than their physical one so it became a bigger player in their interactions. I think my main issue with the romance was Thomas. He kept waiting and waiting to say something, to make a decision, that everything went off the rails a number of times and caused more drama than the story really needed. But otherwise I enjoyed it.
No Other Duke But You was a quick read, one I went through in one sitting, and while I’ll likely will remember it for the nod to A Midsummer Night’s Dream, I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s a standout romance because it does rely on cliches. That said. . . I happen to like somewhat cliche romances because they can be fun reads and exactly what I’m looking for.
I had my ups and downs with the previous books I’ve read but overall from these 5, I have to say I’d recommend the Playful Brides books, and have every intention of going back and reading the first few myself!