Monday, May 13, 2019

A Duke in Disguise by Cat Sebastian

One reluctant heir

If anyone else had asked for his help publishing a naughty novel, Ash would have had the sense to say no. But he’s never been able to deny Verity Plum. Now he has his hands full illustrating a book and trying his damnedest not to fall in love with his best friend. The last thing he needs is to discover he’s a duke’s lost heir. Without a family or a proper education, he’s had to fight for his place in the world, and the idea of it—and Verity—being taken away from him chills him to the bone.

One radical bookseller

All Verity wants is to keep her brother out of prison, her business afloat, and her hands off Ash. Lately it seems she’s not getting anything she wants. She knows from bitter experience that she isn’t cut out for romance, but the more time she spends with Ash, the more she wonders if maybe she’s been wrong about herself.

One disaster waiting to happen

Ash has a month before his identity is exposed, and he plans to spend it with Verity. As they explore their long-buried passion, it becomes harder for Ash to face the music. Can Verity accept who Ash must become or will he turn away the only woman he’s ever loved?

Content Warning: off page domestic violence, off page neglect of child, epileptic seizure.

Add to Goodreads –

Book 2
Buy Links

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

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

I need to preface this review by stating I'm a huge fan of Cat Sebastian's historical novels, always finding something within them that resonates with me, be it the content or the characterization.

However, A Duke in Disguise was a struggle for me. I will simply chalk it up to my reading mood/emotional climate/and the lack of time to sit down and enjoy a good book.

Reading this novel piecemeal was at the detriment of my entertainment. While read over the course of about two weeks, I will say that I was never fully hooked, able to put the book down without hungering to read more.

With all that being said, A Duke in Disguise was a solid historical romance, a good continuation in the Regency Imposters series. Where I struggled the most, I believe, is because I absolutely adored the first in the series, reading it in one sitting, absorbed and eager for more, and I was subconsciously weighing the two books against one another as I read.

Employing the brother's best friend/friends-to-lovers/slow-burn/unrequited romance tropes, which are always yummy to digest, this brought the angst to the novel. Verity and her brother are friends with Ash. For once, it was the man who had the crush, hiding it from his female friend, which I appreciated immensely.

Unlike the women of the era, Verity is not into social climbing and balls and other shallow things – she runs the publishing company, Plum & Co. Ash works for her as an illustrator, which adds some interesting scenes when he's employed to illustrate erotic images. She's a bit stand-offish, not entirely open to the idea of romance and marriage, especially when Ash brings it up. Her being bisexual in this era added challenges. Their start is a slow-burn, with Verity warming up to Ash as the story unfolds over time.

Without giving away the plot or spoilers, I just need to state there is a lot going on with the novel. It starts off with drama featuring one issue, which gets resolved quickly, then switches to another and another. It just felt muddled, too many outside influences. While I'm not a stickler for needing the focus to be on the romance, it wasn't a continuous conflict throughout the pages, which had me as a reader not becoming invested in the conflict.

As for the characterization, they start off strong, then it goes a bit downhill as Verity starts acting out of character, which propels the conflict and the drama, but didn't fit with her personality. The emotions started to just run at the surface, slightly vapid and not too deep.

As I said, I enjoy Cat Sebastian, but not every book can be a hit with every reader. Out of all of her novels, most have been major hits with me. This time around, it was a miss. However, I do recommend both the author and the series, while chalking this miss up to my reading mood.

Also Available in the Regency Imposters Series

Book 1
Buy Links

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

For reviews & more info, check out our stop on the Unmasked by the Marquess Blog Tour.

Cat Sebastian lives in a swampy part of the South with her husband, three kids, and two dogs. Before her kids were born, she practiced law and taught high school and college writing. When she isn't reading or writing, she's doing crossword puzzles, bird watching, and wondering where she put her coffee cup.

Connect with Cat

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Instagram  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of A Duke in Disguise (Regency Imposters #2) by Cat Sebastian to read and review.

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