Note: I got this book from the publishers via Netgalley.
TITLE: The Duke I Once Knew
BY: Olivia Drake
SERIES: Unlikely Duchesses #1 (Can be read as standalone)
GENRE: Historical Romance
PUBLISHER: December 31st 2018 by St. Martin’s Press
Due to being so devoted to her family, Abigail Linton reached spinsterhood but she’s set to change that. She went to the neighboring estate as a governess which is a perfect job for Abby as she spent most of her life caring for her parents and then her sibling’s children. The only problem is her absentee employer is her first love, Maxwell Bryce, the Duke of Rothwell. It was the man she used to meet in secret when they were both young and also happened to be the man who seemed forgotten her when he went to London and became the rake that he is. But when they met again, it seemed like Max is as displeased as Abby is. Could it be that they really don’t know what went wrong in their relationship?
As much as I love the idea of this book, I can’t say I loved every part of it. I love second chance romances and especially misunderstood circumstances between the couple that made their relationship in the past ended. But in this book, I feel like it’s lacking some thing or things. Am I gonna make sense if I said, the BEGINNING and the ENDING seemed rush for me?
Let me explain. The book started with Abby kinda annoyed to her siblings fighting as to where Abby should stay, not giving her the chance to decide for herself. Worse, all of her siblings just want her as a slave. No kidding. Her family annoyed me. And then suddenly she’s making the announcement of working in the neighboring estate. And again, suddenly she’s in the neighboring estate and already a governess. Then there’s Max who I was juts told became a rake, why? well, because maybe Abigail just stopped writing to him.
And then the first time I met Max, he’s already in his way to his estate for the first time in so many years. For me, there are stuffs in the beginning that just not realistic and too rushed. I think I needed more, or maybe if it’s done in other ways, I might’ve had the chance to get invested in the story and the characters first before fully diving into the plot.
The best redeeming point of this story is Abby. She seemed so real and smart. She’s the kind of character you’ll find yourself caring and rooting for. And I enjoy all her scenes, and the scenes with Max, I only enjoyed because of her. Max was fine too but i didn’t find myself rooting for him or even swooning. And trust me, I only read Historical ROmance for the swoon. haha. (That’s not entirely true but still.)
And then there’s the ending. Too rushed. The reveal about the letters is okay but could be more. 🙂 The only thing I love about the ending is that because I know Abby is going to be fine from now on because she has Max.
Overall this is a good read but still has a big potential. The beginning and end seemed rushed but everything in between is enjoyable to read. The characters though not really memorable are interesting enough for me to care and root for an HEA.