Publisher: Avon Historical Romance
Release: Jan 12, 2010
Source: I bought this book to read and review
All the Byrons are just as “mad, bad and dangerous to know” as their famous non-relation…but now the time has come for the eldest son to marry…
Edward Byron, Duke of Clybourne, has everything a man in Society needs…except a wife. Duty requires he wed, so he decides that a long-standing arranged marriage will do nicely. He knows his bride is beautiful, biddable and bright enough to run his household and nursery. He expects his betrothed, Lady Claire Marsden, will be thrilled with his decision—unfortunately, she’s not!
Claire has longed for Edward since she was sixteen, but how can he expect her to agree to his proposal when he barely knows her and doesn’t love her? Nothing will convince her to accept a loveless marriage. And so she begins a battle of outrageous resistance, forcing Edward to learn that he must lose his heart in order to win his bride.
At The Duke’s Pleasure is the third book in Ms. Warren’s latest trilogy. I actually started this trilogy at the beginning and read the books in order. (something that doesn’t always happen)
Edward is the eldest Byron brother. He has been raised very differently than the rest of his siblings. From an early age, he was separated from them and spent his time with his father training to take over the dukedom. As a result, he is a person who is keenly focused on duty. He sees himself as responsible for the well-being of his whole family. He was betrothed to Lady Claire Marsden shortly after she was born – there is about a 15 year difference in their ages. Although he doesn’t really know much about Claire, he feels that she will make him a good wife, and since it is time for him to get married and start producing children, he sends for her.
Lady Claire Marsden is happy living with her mother and sister and is resistant to the idea of marrying Edward. She has been in love with him for years, but doesn’t want to be stuck in a loveless marriage. Since it seems that Edward won’t cry off, Lady Claire goes out of her way to be difficult. She spends excessive amounts of money on clothes, she embarrasses Edward in public, she makes a spectacle of herself, often involving various members of Edward’s family.
The character of Claire came across as a spoiled princess doing irrational things in order to get her way. Edward was equally unlikeable as he is written as so involved with his duty that he takes little notice of Claire as a person. Whether or not I like the characters is somewhat irrelevant to whether this is a well written story.
Tracy Anne Warren consistently writes well written romances. I have reviewed several in the past. Of the three books of this trilogy, this is the weakest in my opinion. Although it is a well, written romance on many levels, I feel that there is more that she could do with the characters to make the story move along smoother. It was almost like telling a story about two immovable forces. There are positive reviews as you can see below, I just felt that this wasn’t Ms. Warren’s best work to date.
RTBookReviews gave At the Duke’s Pleasure 4 stars and says: “Another Byron of Braebourne meets his match in Warren’s delightfully witty and sexy third installment. Readers will be utterly entertained by her stylish prose and hallmark humor.”