Title: A Duke to die for
Author: Amelia Grey
Pages: 384
Release Date: April 2009

Published by: Sourcebooks Casablanca, an Imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc.
Genre: Regency Romance

From the dust jacket: When the rakish fifth Duke of Blakewell’s unexpected and shockingly lovely new ward arrives, she claims to carry a curse that has got each of her previous guardians to an untimely end. As she tries to persuade her to manage her own fortune, and he tries to find her a suitable husband, they become scandalously entangled. When several potential deadly accidents befall the Duke, Henrietta is the only one who can help him…

Blake becomes a Duke and inherits a large fortune after his father’s accidental death just 2 years back. But still his rakish ways continue. He is more interested in card parties, frolicking with women and horse racing than he is in managing his estate and settling down.

Into this happy-go-lucky life of the Duke’s, enters a 19 year old charming, beautiful and intelligent Henrietta. She claims his father was the last guardian on a list her father had prepared before his death. And as Duke’s father is dead, he should take a position of her guardian. For a man who is not used to take care of his own responsibilities and who does not loose an opportunity to take every beautiful girl to his bed, Henrietta comes as a shock. Blake is immediately attracted to her and wants to shirk off her responsibility and the only way he thinks fit is to find her a suitable husband. Meanwhile Blake and Henrietta try to control their immense attraction and liking for each other.

I really liked the London season shown in this book. One could picture the colorful gowns, the candlelight’s, the gentlemen in their evening coats and the overall glittering high society atmosphere very well. It was fun to read about the things a gentleman had to do to go on a date with a woman he wished to court.

Amelia and Blake were both likable characters, especially Amelia. She was young but had spunk and was not afraid of speaking her mind. Yet, there was certain vulnerability in her which was endearing. The scenes between Blake and Henrietta were nicely developed. But I wish there was more book space given to them. The other characters were okay but weren’t as interesting to read about. Even the scenes where the balloon venture was discussed with Gibby were not really that interesting. I couldn’t care less what happened to Gibby and his money even though I like him instantly.

The scenes between Blake and his cousins Race and Morgan were not that great. Firstly I thought they were the villains in the story. I kept thinking on the same line almost throughout the book. Here is a paragraph at the beginning of the book,

“Blake was friendly enough with his two cousins, but an unspoken rivalry had always simmered just below the surface of their relationships.

To the ton, the three grandsons of Lady Elder always appeared united; taking up for each other if need arose. But when they were alone, it wasn’t unusual for one to try to best the others, be it at shooting, racing, or fencing, though they never admitted to the competition unless it was to gain the favor of a young miss.”

I might have read a little too much into the above, but because of these very sentences I could not warm up to Morgan and Race.

All in all, I found ‘A Duke to die for’ to be a descent book, but not be listed in the top romantic books I have read. A descent enough read. I would certainly try another Amelia Grey novel.

This review was originally published at ijustfinished.

Read Meghan’s review here. She liked the book more than I did.

Disclaimer: The sentences quoted above are from an ARC.