Rating: ★★★+.5 | 388 pages | Avon | Historical | Difficult Dukes #1 | Buy Now !
Voted Most Boring Girl of the Season 7 years in a row, the bookish, bespectacled 26-year-old Lady Olympia Hightower was looking spinsterhood right in the face before the Duke of Ashmont asked her hand in marriage. She should be ecstatic on her wedding day but instead she finds herself drunk and jumping out the window with the best man (for lack of a better term) Hugh Ancaster, Duke of Ripley right on her heels.
Ripley’s plan is to accompany Lady Olympia to a safe place where she can work out her bridal nerves, but mishap and misadventure follow the pair as they take an impromptu trip up the English countryside. Lady Olympia experiences passion she’s never felt before at Ripley’s most innocent touch and Ripley is terrified to find himself falling in love with his best friend’s bride.
Chase develops a playful, witty and swoony-worthy romance between Lady Olympia and Ripley that was a joy to read. Chase doesn’t write super spicy so she has to find other ways to develop her relationships which really appealed to me. I like the impromptu road trip aspect in a Regency because it creates so many obstacles for the characters. Finding clothes, food and board without planning ahead is a lot harder during the Regency era.
Shout out to Chase’s attention to historical detail, in the back of the book Chase has a bibliography explaining a few aspects of the book including the special licensees you needed back in the day to get married in a house and not a church. They are such small details that I wouldn’t have thought to question but I appreciate her pointing them out.
I imagine the rest of the books in this series will follow Ripley’s friends, known as the Dis-Grace’s (who seem like lowkey Regency-era Paul brothers) but Chase is also weaving in some other background plotlines so I think this is a great series to get in the ground floor of while it’s just starting.
A Duke in Shining Armor is a great kickoff to a new series with a charming romance and a dash of good old fashioned mischief and mayhem.
*Book received as part of the Avon Addicts program