The Trouble with Being a Duke by Sophie Barnes

September 7th, 2013 Kimberly Review 46 Comments

7th Sep
The Trouble with Being a Duke by Sophie Barnes
The Trouble With Being a Duke
by Sophie Barnes
Series: At the Kingsborough Ball #1
Genres: Historical Romance
Source: Publisher
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Sometimes happily ever after… Anthony Hurst, Duke of Kingsborough knows the time has come for him to produce an heir. But first he must find a bride. When he meets the most exquisite woman at his masquerade ball, he thinks his search is over…until the breathtaking beauty runs off. With few clues other than her figure, her scent, and the memory of her kiss, Anthony must find his mystery lady. …needs a little bit of help. Isabella Chilcott can scarcely believe it: she is finally at the Kingsborough Ball. As a child, she dreamed of dancing a waltz here and now, thanks to a gorgeous gown she’s found in the attic, Isabella is living her fairytale fantasy. And she’s waltzing with the Duke of Kingsborough himself! But she must escape before he discovers her secrets…for she is not who she pretends to be, and falling in love with Prince Charming is the last thing she can allow herself to do…


I have always loved Cinderella and The Trouble with Being A Duke offers us a delightful twist on the tale. This is the first book in the Kingsboro Ball series.  Barnes delivered an engaging tale with lovable characters and I am looking forward to reading more of her work. Three word review: enchanting, romantic with some humor.

We meet Anthony Hurst, the Duke of Kingsborough who is concerned about his mother. After a year she is still mourning the loss of his father. Long past his rakish ways and ready to settle down and take on his role of Duke, he decides to host a ball. This would be the perfect event to snap his mama out of her depression, and maybe find himself a duchess. A masked Cinderella ball is the theme, and  he encounters the most enchanting and mysterious woman.  She is a mystery and he sets out to find her. Isabella Chilcott, is a romantic at heart and an avid reader. Her parents have set up a courtship with a respectable man, whom she cannot love, but she is a dutiful daughter. When she hears of the ball, she decided to attend, and there she dances with her very own Prince Charming. The tale that unfolds was clever, with twists and turns. Barnes also provides us with a little mystery, some humor and a little  swoon-worthy heat.

Anthony was handsome, sweet, kind, and at times behaved like a stuffy Duke. He is open to change, and treats people of all ranks well. I liked him, and had to giggle at how quickly the man fell for Isabella. It took him a while to figure things out, but I enjoyed watching it unfold. Isabella is wonderful, she loves to read and is a romantic at heart, so of course I adored her. Her loyalty to her parents was honorable, but I wanted her to smack her intended fiancé upside the head a few times. It reminded me once again why I would not want to live in this era. Secondary characters, some good and some evil added to the tale and had me turning the pages in search of my HEA. I felt the characters were fleshed out, and despite the insta-love, the relationship developed slowly, with some moments of heat and felt genuine.

The Trouble with Being A Duke, took the Cinderella story and added some clever twists. Filled with secrets, evil debutantes and a murder. I quickly became invested and consumed this as the outside world slipped away. The hunt to find Isabella and win her heart was a fun one. The Duke makes some mistakes, and others interfere making it a captivating read. I love when an author is able to allow me to slip within the pages and take me from sighing to giggling. The secondary characters were colorful, including the Duke’s mother whom I found devilishly delightful. Of course we need “evil step-sisters” and Barnes did a great job with this twist. There is a murder mystery, and I am curious to see how that develops in the next novel.

The Trouble with Being A Duke was a wonderful start to this series, and I will continue it. Fans of historical romances, and Cinderella tropes will enjoy Sophie Barne’s version. The Scandal in Kissing an Heir the second book in this series, releases December 31, 2013 and I am looking forward to devouring it.

Four cups of coffee out of five
One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

46 Responses to “The Trouble with Being a Duke by Sophie Barnes”

  1. Silvia

    This sounds good and I’m very fond of tales!! Also, when I find a retelling with clever twists I’m usually over the moon! 🙂
    Happy you enjoyed it and thanks for sharing your thoughts, Kimberly!

  2. Wendy

    This is exactly the kind of historical romance I’ve been looking for lately! And I’ve always loved reimagining’s of fairy tales! Definitely going on my list to read in the near future. 🙂

    Great review!

  3. Mer

    Thanks for the review! I am a bit wary of love at first sight (though it works in fairy tale context), so it’s nice to know that the characters are well developed. It’s so annoying when the characters are in love because the author tells us they’re in love, rather than showing us.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      The attraction was there, but it built slow after the initial attraction 🙂

  4. Belle Read

    I came across this when writing a post on new series. I am hoping to hop on this one before it becomes another that I am behind on. Thanks for the great review, Kimba.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Enjoy, this was a fun one and I am looking forward to reading the next one!

  5. herding cats

    Ahh yay glad to hear you enjoyed it. I have this one on my list for this next week. Almost started it yesterday but got a little distracted by a firefighter. lol

  6. Sophie Barnes

    Thank you for being part of the tour, Kim & for the lovely review – I’m so glad you enjoyed the book! Wow, what a lot of fabulous comments there are – thank you so much everyone! I hope you have a fabulous weekend 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      You are very welcome, I quite enjoyed it and appreciate you stopping by!

  7. Candace

    I love when they add a little mystery in there. And stuffy Dukes can be just as fun to read about as the rakish trouble makers. 😉 Sounds great!

  8. Lark

    Sounds a little like Julia Quinn’s An Offer from a Gentleman, another Cinderella story (which I really enjoyed.) I love your review, and I will have to check this book out. Any regency that gets 4 stars from Kimba is probably worth reading!

  9. kindlemom1

    I love retellings with twists, they are always so much fun.

    Okay, I am in love with the dress on the cover, really all the books you post have gorgeous dresses. They (almost) make me wish I was in that era just so I could wear them!

  10. Sarah

    This book sounds like a fun little read. Cinderella was a favorite as a child (okay, I still like to watch it!), so this book leaves me curious. Great review!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      thanks Sarah, this was fun and I hope you get a chance to read it!

  11. Sharlene Wegner

    I was lucky enough to get an ARC of this book & loved it! Great review!

  12. Sam

    You probably know that I’m not a huge reader of historical romances, but I do really like the sound of this book! I love that it’s based on the tale of Cinderella. I hope you continue to enjoy the rest of this series as it releases. Great review! 🙂

  13. Vilia

    I love reading different Cinderella stories even though the Aschenputtel version remains my favourite. Added to my TBR pile.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I think most of us love the classic best,but it is fun reading this trope.

  14. Kimberly

    I’m a big fan of Cinderella-ish romances too and this one looks so good, I haven’t heard of the author before is she a new comer to the historical romance scene? Adding this one to my TBR list! Thanks Kimberly!

  15. Berls

    This sounds like a fun sweet read! I have always been a fan of Cinderella stories, too. This sounds like an interesting twist – a murder? – and I’m pretty curious. Great review!