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
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 352
Source: Publisher
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
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Lily Phillips in an attempt to retrieve property sold by her brother goes to London dressed in one of her mother’s outdated dresses where in one night she meets a handsome man, shares a night of passion and steals back a family piece.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.

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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

58 Responses to “Must Love Dukes by Elizabeth Michels”

  1. Grace Fonseca

    Nice review. I like regency books and sometimes I miss reading them. Your review makes me want to read some of them again. Awesome review, Kimba like always

    • kimbacaffeinate

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

  2. 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 🙂

  3. Lauren

    I haven’t read a Regency in forever, and this sounds like such a fun story. I’ll have to check this out, great review!

  4. 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. 😀

    • kimbacaffeinate

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

    • kimbacaffeinate

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

  5. Pamela D

    This sounds like a great read. I really like the series title of Tricks of the Ton. I am such a fan of romance series titles. 🙂

  6. Heidi

    If it is humorous and fun I am all about reading it. I like the titles of the series. Too fun!

  7. Melissa (Books and Things)

    Seeing so many good historical romances coming out this month, I’m so in the mood for one. Of course I don’t have one coming up for review (I must really change that). This one is on the list of authors to try (your fault) and so naturally this one is on the list!

    • kimbacaffeinate

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

  8. Andrea

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

  9. Jenea

    Hehe, Lily sounds great! So does Devon though. 🙂 Wonderful review.

  10. Dani

    Hmmm…. You have intrigued me. This does sound like a good read and I may be adding it to ever growing TBR list…

  11. 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.

  12. Kristin

    YAY for debut authors who knock it out of the park on the first try!!! Sounds like she really got her characters right (and wickedly fun!)

    And wowzers, a 4.5 cupper!! I’ll chug to that!

  13. Sharlene Wegner

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

  14. 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!

  15. 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!

  16. 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 🙂

  17. Mary

    Okay. Getting this one. Love when there’s a prim but naughty lady, a tormented duke and both swoon and giggle-worthy writing!!

  18. Lupdilup

    YAY! Great find Kimba, I already did my homework, no audio scheduled 🙁 I guess I have to wait a bit. This sounds like it has everything I love in HR.
    Thanks girl 🙂

  19. 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!