Must Love Dukes by Elizabeth Michels

February 4th, 2014 Kimberly Review 58 Comments

4th Feb
Must Love Dukes by Elizabeth Michels
Must Love Dukes
by Elizabeth Michels
Series: Tricks of the Ton #1
Published by: Sourcebooks
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 352
Source: Publisher
Purchase: Amazon
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

Straight-laced, self-proclaimed spinster Lily Phillips is forced to become a liar, seductress and thief to retrieve her family’s lost property. Her secret is safe until her brothers order her from a quiet life to an arranged marriage in London—a move that threatens to reveal her past when she encounters the man with whom her crime spree began. Devon Grey, Duke of Thornwood, known to all of London as the Mad Duke, is an explorer chained to a city he hates by the title he never wanted. After he’s coerced by his friend into an evening out, Devon makes his greatest discovery yet. There, in a London ballroom stands the prim miss he’s been in search of for a year. After all, how could he forget the night Lily stole from him and vanished while he slept? Determined to have his revenge, Devon blackmails Lily into participating in various escapades to torment her would-be suitors and scandalize London society. At the risk of having her secret revealed, Lily bends to Devon’s will. Forced to participate in such terrible activities as setting hunting dogs upon a skirt chaser’s crotch in the middle of a ballroom, or knocking a pompous equestrian from his much revered high horse; she eventually begins to enjoy the stunts. Lily remembers why she let her guard down with Devon a year ago. In turn, Devon watches this mysterious Lily begin to bloom into the woman of his desires. When Lily’s brothers force an unwanted betrothal upon her, will Devon choose to burn his dreams of scientific exploration and truly forgive her before it’s too late?

Must Love Dukes is the debut novel of author Elizabeth Michels and the first in the Tricks of the Ton trilogy. This was a delightful Regency era romance that made me giggle and swoon to my HEA. Mini review: Humorous, swoon-worthy and well paced with colorful characters that left me anxious for more by this author.

Lily Phillips in an attempt to retrieve property sold by her brother goes to London dressed in one of her mother’s outdated dresses where in one night she meets a handsome man, shares a night of passion and steals back a family piece. She returns to the countryside prepared to live as a spinster but her brother has other ideas and a year later she returns to London. Her brother intends to arrange a marriage that will benefit his pockets. Now her path cross with the stranger from a year ago. The one who invades her dreams, only to discover he is Devon Grey, the Duke of Thornwood known amongst the peerage as the Mad Duke. Devon has been miserable the past year thinking about the woman who warmed his bed and stole from him. The tale that unfolds is delicious, as these two tango. Devon has Lily assist him by pulling pranks and discouraging the dreadful men on her brother’s list of prospective husbands. Will these two find their happily ever after?

Michels introduced such wonderful, tormented, head strong characters. Lily was a breath of fresh air, despite her dastardly brother she is sentimental, ever the lady and just a tiny bit naughty. I loved when she laughed and wanted more. Devon is swoon-worthy from his rakish good looks, to his outlandish behavior. The ton wants a madman and he gives them one. Devon’s mother the Duchess was wonderfully meddlesome and I quite liked her. Lily has several brothers and I adored one of them. Michels provided a little side story regarding him. The men on her brother’s list of possible husbands all made me cringe and I enjoyed seeing them come undone. Suzanna a childhood friend of Lily’s and Holden Ellis, Lord Steelings, friend to the Mad Duke are ever present. They provided aid but something curious is going on between them and I am anxious to discover their secrets.

Must Love Dukes was a captivating romp from the very first pages. The characters were fresh and likable while the plot had just enough twists to keep me entertained without overdoing it. The interaction between Devon and Lily was such fun, never have I rooted for two characters. Mischief, stolen moments, laughter and growth are all present. I loved watching Devon go from blackmailing Lily to realizing what his true feelings were. The story was well paced as it ebbed and flowed towards a nerve wracking conclusion that left me giddy. While the tale begins with a heated love scene overall it is pretty tame by historical romance standards and I found it well balanced and genuine.

Fans of regency romance laced in humor will adore Must love Dukes. I am anxious to begin Desperately Seeking Suzanna the second book in Tricks of the Ton which is set to release March 4, 2014 followed by How to Lose a Lord in 10 Days or Less in July. Be sure and look for my reviews.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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About Kimberly

Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. She’s a self-professed Whovian, as well as a Supernatural, and Sherlock Holmes junkie, She enjoys sharing books, tips, recipes and hosting the Sunday Post. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat…

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58 Responses to “Must Love Dukes by Elizabeth Michels”

  1. Nick

    So she slept with him and stole something from him? Haha! I already love Lily. She sounds like a fun character that I could root for.
    Devon sounds like an interesting one too and I like the idea of him blackmailing her and then falling in love for her.
    Lovely review, Kim!

    Nick recently posted: Review : #scandal by Sarah Ockler
  2. Debbie Haupt

    Kimba, I’m still spitting my java at the name of the trilogy Tricks of the ton WOW and who could not love this cover with that all knowing smile on her lovely face, you know she’s a force to be reckoned with. Gotta put this on my aching pile. Is it your goal in life to make sure none of us ever run out of reading material? LOL well I guess you could accuse me of the same thing couldn’t you 🙂

  3. Jenny

    Well, you have me completely sold on this one Kim! I love to giggle my way through a book, and then you had to go and mention tormented characters as well, and that’s a combination I simply can’t pass up. Going to Amazon right now! Welcome to my Kindle Devon and Lily:)

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I love when a book grabs me like this, and the flow is just right with a nice balance of humor and smooching!

  4. Lily B

    I think I would love Devon and Lily cannot wait to read this one once I get my hands on my new kindle 🙁

    • kimbacaffeinate

      A new exciting and yes this would be perfect for your first read on it!

  5. Sharlene Wegner

    Thanks for this review & excerpt! Putting this book on my list!

  6. Berls

    Must Love Dukes sounds like a lot of fun! Just reading the synopsis I was giggling a bit. And the way you describe the characters I think I would really enjoy it. I’m curious if this series will be moving to different couples entirely, somewhat linked but different POVS and focus, or continuing with Lily and Devon.

    Berls recently posted: Teaser Tuesdays | Her Mad Hatter
  7. Andrea

    Humorous and swoonworthy are words I love to see in a review. I’m so glad you enjoyed Must Love Dukes, Kimberly!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      hehehe..i will take the blame especially when you tell me you loved it! 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Oh most excellent plan evil one!! Hmm, perhaps she needs to follow my blog so I can convince her she needs it..hehehe

  8. Christy

    Whenever I see a Duke or Rouge book, I wonder if you’ve read it. lol. I know I keep saying it, but I really do need to read one. Pick one for me that isn’t too long, funny, with a fiery woman, and a guy who is kind of a brat. 😀

    Christy recently posted: Flame by Amy Kathleen Ryan
    • kimbacaffeinate

      Hehe. Ok. I need to think and I shall give you a title tomorrow.

  9. Cyn

    This book just ooooozed cuteness right?! I loved that Devon just blackmails Lily into doing hilarious things (instead of the typical brooding hero who usually uses that to their advantage to get the heroine into bed). I’m glad you really enjoyed this too! Can’t wait for more Elizabeth Michels (:

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Squee I am glad you enjoyed this as much as I did Cyn 🙂

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I took a five year hiatus from them and now read one or two a month