I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Dating the Duke by Emma Hart
Series: The Aristocrat Diaries #2
on January 18, 2022
Genres: Adult Contemporary Romance, Adult Romantic Comedy
Source: the author
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A duke and a writer walk into a bar, and the barman says—never mind. They’re in the library, and they’re not wearing any clothes. Oops.
My name is Adelaide Astley, and if there was anything remotely exciting about me to tell you, I would.
Sure, my uncle is the Duke of Leicester, and my mother bucked family tradition to marry “below” her and open a hotel, but I’m nothing but an aspiring author with a Tudor era obsession.
Oh, and I’m spending the summer tutoring the daughter of the current Duke of Worcester—who happens to be a regular in my highly inappropriate midnight dreams.
Thirty-year-old Alexander Winthrop-Bentley is so not my type, but hours of chess games and arguments over Tudor dynasties mean we’re thrown together more often than we should be. And when he shares with me that he needs a date for a charitable event, my mouth betrays me by offering myself up for the evening.
How I find myself naked in the library is another matter entirely. Ahem.
When the society papers declare us an item, neither of us have the heart to tell our families the truth. Only my twin sister and best friend know the truth, but they both agree we need to keep up the charade, even if only for the summer.
But when the end of August comes and my return home beckons, I have to ask myself a question.
Is it only his daughter who’s stolen my heart, or has Alexander done the very same thing?
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“Why don’t you regret it?” Adelaide stalked back over to me and looked down at me. “Kissing me. Why the bloody hell can’t you regret it?”
I jerked around to look at her. “Because I don’t. Would you prefer if I lied to you?”
“No. Yes. No!” She threw her hands out. “Oh, I don’t know! Why doesn’t that matter? Why couldn’t you just say that you did? I’d never know if it was a lie!”
“Why does it matter that I didn’t lie?” I asked, raising my eyebrows. “You’re the one who said our relationship can never progress past friendship or attraction.”
“I—” She stopped, swallowing hard.
“It doesn’t matter,” she said, running one hand through her dark hair. “It’s fine. Forget I mentioned it.”
“All right, then.” I turned my attention back to the window.
“All right, then? That’s it? That’s all you’re going to say?”
“I’m trying to respect your wishes, Adelaide! What the bloody hell do you want me to say?” I put down the mug and stood up to face her. “I’m not going to lie to you, and that’s the end of the matter. I respect you far too much to lie to you.”
“I wish you would have! Because now this is complicated.” She flapped her hands between us. “And it was easier an hour ago when I’d convinced myself that you were ignoring me because you regretted what happened.”
“I don’t know what I can say to change that,” I replied, holding out my own hands. “By all means, feel free to re-convince yourself of that if that makes you feel better.”
“Re-convince myself? I can’t do that!” She buried her face in her hands for a second before dropping them. “All I’m going to do is go upstairs knowing that you wanted to kiss me and because you won’t lie about it, you probably want to do it again, and all that’s going to happen from there is me going to sleep to have another bloody stupid dirty dream that’ll never happen, and—”
“You’ll do what?” My lips twitched to one side.
Adelaide froze. Although she didn’t move, her cheeks flushed a flaming red.
“Nothing,” she said quickly, taking a step back. “Nothing.”
“Adelaide, have you been having dirty dreams about me?”
“No. Absolutely not.”
I enjoyed the first book in this series, and was excited for the second one. It was easy to fall in love with the duke and his daughter from the first book and so I definitely was eager to see him get his HEA. Unlike Emma Hart’s other books that are set in America, these books have been a little slower to start for me or in certain spots in the book. I liked that the characters in this were able to get past their reasons for keeping each arms-length apart pretty easily, and even the final drama was resolved in what felt very realistic and perfect to me.
I loved seeing characters from the first book again in this one. It was very wonderful having Alex’s daughter as a character. She was autistic, but as most people know, it is rare or harder for girls to get that diagnosis and be able to get the help or accommodations they need to be successful quite often. I really enjoyed how the author took that part of the story, as I am a former teacher, there was a lot that was just real and made the story that much better. Adelaide worked perfectly with her. I also have to say I totally get Adelaide’s thoughts/opinions on wanting to work with kids, but being better at the one on one than with a whole group of them.
And oh, the guinea pigs, I am such a big fan of them! I don’t think they get the recognition they need, lol. I loved Alex’s mother’s cats that she snuck in. Another fun story, with a trip to a funfair – which I still trip over that word because I’ve always just heard fair, and I hope that we get Adelaide’s sister’s story next!
About the Author:
Emma Hart is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over thirty novels and has been translated into several different languages.
She is a mother, wife, lover of wine, Pink Goddess, and valiant rescuer of wild baby hedgehogs. Emma prides herself on her realistic, snarky smut, with comebacks that would make a PMS-ing teenage girl proud.
Yes, really. She’s that sarcastic.