Tuesday, November 28, 2017

It's Hard Out Here for a Duke by Maya Rodale Blog Tour

In the fourth novel of Maya Rodale’s tantalizing series, a newly minted duke spends one night with his perfect woman... but can he win her for a lifetime

Some Mistakes…

When American-born James Cavendish arrives in London tomorrow, he’ll become the Duke of Durham. Some might be ecstatic at the opportunity. Not James. He’s a simple man, fond of simple pleasures. And right now, nothing could be more pleasurable than spending his last night of freedom with a beautiful stranger.

Are Far Too Good…

One wild night, Meredith Green, companion to the dowager Duchess of Durham, said yes to a man she thought she’d never see again. Suddenly, they’re living under the same roof, where Meredith is expected to teach James how to be a duke—while trying not to surrender to temptation a second time.

To Be Forgotten

For a duke and a commoner, marriage would be pure scandal. Yet nothing has ever felt as right as having Meredith in his arms… and in his bed. Soon he must choose—between a duty he never desired, and a woman he longs for, body and soul…

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Book 4
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo
Avon Romance

Though Miss Meredith Green lacked birth, or wealth, or many other qualifications one would assume of a gently bred lady, she had been raised to be one. She could curtsy with the best of them, expertly arrange both flowers and seating arrangements for dinner parties, and could recite pages from Debrett’s Book of the Peerage. These were just a few of her accomplishments.

As such, she should not be here, in the public room of the Queen’s Head Tavern and Coaching Inn. Especially not alone and especially not at night, where any old ruffian might think he could take a liberty with her, to put it nicely.

Which is why she should not have allowed the barmaid to add a generous splash of whiskey to her tea.

Which is probably why she was encouraging the ocular advances of a handsome man with whom she was not acquainted.

Meredith had noticed him the moment he walked in, tall and lanky but strong, with unfashionably long brown hair that fell rakishly in his eyes. What color were they, she wondered? She didn’t need to know. There was nothing she could do with this information. There was absolutely no point to her knowing.

She badly wanted to know.

So she dared one glance, then another.

Do not look. Do not look. Do not look.

Her better judgment was roundly ignored. Before she knew it they were somehow flirting from opposite sides of the room without even saying a word.

It was the sort of thing that made a girl’s heart beat giddily and her toes start to tap under her skirts. Thanks to years of training, she kept her posture poised and her movements elegant, but under her skirts, her toes were tapping.

This, this was what she need tonight: a distraction. The past few months had been trying, and the next few promised to be challenging as well, albeit in a different way. She had only tonight to live for herself.

She darted another look in his direction.

He was watching her. This truth elicited a slight smile from her lips. But she shouldn’t take pleasure in this.

She ducked her head.

But her heart beat quickly and she wondered: Would he come over?

He shouldn’t. He really should not. She absolutely should not encourage him. But life was full of should-nots, and tonight Meredith wanted to say yes.

It had been a bit of a day—on top of quite a week, and one hell of a month. Or two or three. Her visit to her ailing mother in Hampshire revealed a dispiriting truth: the life choices of Miss Meredith Green were few, and less than thrilling. Nevertheless, she had made her choice to return to London and live the restrained and dignified life of a lady’s companion.

Emphasis on restrained. When one relied on one’s spotless reputation for her very existence, one comported herself accordingly. One did not give or receive heated glances across crowded rooms.

But Meredith embarked on a little whiskey-infused rationalization: until she stepped foot in London, she could afford to live a little loosely. For one night, she might indulge in the sort of wicked behavior—and passion—that she’d have to refuse forevermore.

That was just the splash of whiskey talking, she told herself. It was just the strain of recent events wreaking havoc with her common sense. It was her mother’s bad influence. She’d had the great luck to be raised to be A Lady. She oughtn’t forget that.

Do not look. Do not look. Do not look.

She looked. Oh, she looked.

His gaze sparkled. Like he knew what inner turmoil and rationalization his glances inspired. This time, she didn’t look away.

Oh, goodness, he was coming over. Her heart beat faster and faster as his long strides brought him closer and closer until he was standing beside her, leaning casually against the bar.

Gentlemen did not lean.

“What is a beautiful woman like you doing alone in a place like this?”

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

5 Happily Ever After Stars.

It's Hard Out Here for a Duke could be read as a standalone, offering no confusion, but I would advise against it, as that would hinder the emotional response in the reader. Over the previous three installments, readers have connected to the American-born aristocrats, and knowing the little details made the story more worthwhile.

Readers have been waiting since hints were dropped throughout the entire series about James' fixation on the dowager duchess' companion – Miss Green. A lot of behind closed doors interactions were caught by naughty, annoying little sister's during their books, of Meredith and James in compromising positions, and now it's time the story was told.

The novel spans the entire length of the series, predating the first novel, almost giving off a prequel feel. James' narration begins before they hit London, because he was hanging onto his old life for as long as humanly possible. Until he set foot on his new property, he wasn't yet a duke.

Just James... and Meredith was just a girl.

If you're a fan of the series, I don't need to spell it out, and if this is your first glimpse of the Americans hitting the ton by storm (go back to book one), then I don't wish to ruin the plot. Push-pull. Will they-won't they. Rodale makes the characters earn it, taking the reader along for the ride. The payoff is well earned with a happily ever after.

James is now a duke, with a duty to uphold. Three sisters to place first in his heart, and an entire dukedom to put ahead of his own needs and wants. The last thing he needs is a scandal, which is hilarious if you read the previous books. Snorts.

Meredith is in a position that places her at the sidelines, not royal enough to fit in as a peer with those she interacts with, but too educated and composed to be allowed companionship with the servants. Where does she fit in society? Why does she feel as if she deserves more, wants more, than to worry about her dementia-addled mother as she keeps the dowager duchess company?

James and Meredith have a spark that ignites whenever in each other's presence, a hard to deny connection, easy enough for others to see. While I enjoyed their interactions, I found my heart galloping with glee when it came to James interacting with his sisters – it added a layer of levity to a novel that could have become too melancholy and angsty of a story without it.

I read It's Hard Out Here for a Duke in a single sitting, from start to finish, and by the time the dowager narrated the epilogue, I was teary-eyed from the most final of happily ever afters, for the entire Cavendish clan.

I highly recommend this book/series to fans of the author, and readers looking for a humorous yet emotional journey. The humor is not over-the-top, the romance doesn't feel forced, both are organic and easily bought by the reader. I look forward to more by this author in the future, and am hungry to devour her backlist.

Also Available in the Keeping Up with the Cavendishes Series

Book 1
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

For reviews & more info, check out our stop on the Lady Bridget’s Diary Blog Tour.

Book 2
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

For reviews & more info, check out our stop on the Chasing Lady Amelia Blog Tour.

Book 3
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo

For reviews & more info, check out our stop on the Lady Claire Is All That Blog Tour.

Maya Rodale began reading romance novels in college at her mother’s insistence. She is now the bestselling and award winning author smart and sassy romances. She lives in New York City with her darling dog and a rogue of her own.

Connect with Maya

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads
Google+  ~  Instagram

To celebrate the release of It's Hard Out Here For A Duke, Avon is giving away one paperback set of the first three books in the Keeping Up With the Cavendishes series by Maya Rodale.

Click Here to Enter!

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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of It's Hard Out Here for a Duke (Keeping Up with the Cavendishes #4) by Maya Rodale to read and review for this tour.

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