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Forever My Duke

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“I find Miss Fanshawe to be quite charming—for an American.”—The Prince Regent Hadrian Ames, the Duke of Clayton, needs a bride. He even has the perfect one picked out. That is, until he meets the lovely, free-spirited Natalie Fanshawe. She’s the opposite of what a man of his high rank should desire in a wife—an outspoken American who has never even set foot in a London “I find Miss Fanshawe to be quite charming—for an American.”—The Prince Regent Hadrian Ames, the Duke of Clayton, needs a bride. He even has the perfect one picked out. That is, until he meets the lovely, free-spirited Natalie Fanshawe. She’s the opposite of what a man of his high rank should desire in a wife—an outspoken American who has never even set foot in a London ballroom. But Natalie doesn’t have time to be swept off her feet by a handsome duke who must be a spoiled scoundrel like every other British lord. And she couldn’t care less about Hadrian’s title. After all, it’s not as if he actually worked to attain his wealth and status. He surely can’t understand what it’s like to be a busy woman, planning to open a school while trying to reunite a six-year-old orphan with his English relatives. Nevertheless, Hadrian launches his campaign to win her heart. Can the utterly delightful American beauty ever find a way to love him…despite his being a duke?


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“I find Miss Fanshawe to be quite charming—for an American.”—The Prince Regent Hadrian Ames, the Duke of Clayton, needs a bride. He even has the perfect one picked out. That is, until he meets the lovely, free-spirited Natalie Fanshawe. She’s the opposite of what a man of his high rank should desire in a wife—an outspoken American who has never even set foot in a London “I find Miss Fanshawe to be quite charming—for an American.”—The Prince Regent Hadrian Ames, the Duke of Clayton, needs a bride. He even has the perfect one picked out. That is, until he meets the lovely, free-spirited Natalie Fanshawe. She’s the opposite of what a man of his high rank should desire in a wife—an outspoken American who has never even set foot in a London ballroom. But Natalie doesn’t have time to be swept off her feet by a handsome duke who must be a spoiled scoundrel like every other British lord. And she couldn’t care less about Hadrian’s title. After all, it’s not as if he actually worked to attain his wealth and status. He surely can’t understand what it’s like to be a busy woman, planning to open a school while trying to reunite a six-year-old orphan with his English relatives. Nevertheless, Hadrian launches his campaign to win her heart. Can the utterly delightful American beauty ever find a way to love him…despite his being a duke?

30 review for Forever My Duke

  1. 4 out of 5

    Addie H

    NB: ARC review – expected publication 31st December 2019 (Tropes: Opposites Attract, Class Difference, Forbidden Love) I found this book to be quite heavy on clichés, and while the sexual attraction and tension is well written, this book brings nothing new to the genre. I found Natalie’s critique of the English aristocracy system to be apt, but unbelievable of its’ time. Her observations are quite vocal, and while I don’t disagree with her, timing and audience is critical. You’re a guest, no one NB: ARC review – expected publication 31st December 2019 (Tropes: Opposites Attract, Class Difference, Forbidden Love) I found this book to be quite heavy on clichés, and while the sexual attraction and tension is well written, this book brings nothing new to the genre. I found Natalie’s critique of the English aristocracy system to be apt, but unbelievable of its’ time. Her observations are quite vocal, and while I don’t disagree with her, timing and audience is critical. You’re a guest, no one is forcing you to stick around. Mind your manners. Cue plot obstacle. ***** Unlike the ladies of the ton, Natalie was a free spirit who had no interest in marriage to a man of wealth and power. A man who belonged to the aristocracy that she scorned. ***** - Love! What balderdash! He assuaged his irritation by listing his standards for the ideal wife. She must be attractive, of course, and a blueblood of impeccable background. A modest young lady who wasn’t overly chatty. He had no intention of wedding a sharp-tongued shrew. - Here, one’s class depended upon heredity instead of hard work. The concept of possessing such wealth and power by a mere accident of birth disturbed her innate sense of fairness. - Natalie disliked the curtsy. But perhaps the was duke was right, and she ought to embrace the local customs. She certainly didn’t wish to make the girl uncomfortable. Susan had been trained to show deference to those she regarded as her better, as were all English servants. - Wouldn’t his London friends laugh if they knew that after a string of elegant mistresses, he could feel so drawn to a provincial spinster? That he found well-worn flannel to be more titillating than a filmy negligee? That having selected his blue-blooded bride, he lusted instead for an eccentric lively, and outspoken American? - All too soon, he broke the contact, and then she lifted her lashes, a molten silver blaze burned in his eyes. Her heart skipped a beat at that passionate look even as his hands dropped to her shoulders. His tense jam and sudden stiffness of manner contradicted the naked desire on his face. “Natalie,” he said in a gravelly tone, “it’s time for you to go.” - In the midst of it, Natalie knew she would always remember this moment. The captivating pleasure of being clasped to his male for, the dark taste of brandy in his mouth, the shivery excitement of his caresses, all of those impressions were seared into her mind. Knowing that their embrace could not last, she would tuck it away in her heart and hold it there forever. - It was a dispiriting thought. Imprudent though it might be, she wanted to matter to Hadrian. She wanted him to toss and turn at night, dreaming of her. She wanted him to miss her when she departed for America. As much as she herself would miss him…. ***** - “Society will accept you. I’ll make certain they do.” Smiling wistfully, she shook her head in gentle expiration. “You have it all wrong, Hadrian. It isn’t whether English society will accept me. It’s whether I will accept English society.” 2.5 stars I received an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Lover of Romance

    This review was originally posted on Addicted To RomanceI received this book for free from St. Martins Press in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. Forever My Duke is the second book in Drake's most current series and boy I am such a fan of this author. She just writes the type of Regency romance that just really works for me. I know her writing style isn't for everyone, but she definitely is for me and I just love finding a This review was originally posted on Addicted To RomanceI received this book for free from St. Martins Press in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. Forever My Duke is the second book in Drake's most current series and boy I am such a fan of this author. She just writes the type of Regency romance that just really works for me. I know her writing style isn't for everyone, but she definitely is for me and I just love finding a regency author that I adore as much as I love Olivia Drake. This story had so much charm, poise, and swoony moments that I look for in my regency romances and Drake really stepped it up with this book which I am very grateful for. In our delightful story we have our heroine who hails from America and with her is a little boy whom she is the guardian over when his parents were killed in a brutal attack. Her best friend's dying wish was that Leo be with his family in England where he will be protected and safe. So she does her duty and puts her plans on building a school on hold to see that Leo is delivered safely. Natalie has such a love for Leo but she wants what is best for him. But while on their way they meet up with the Hadrian, the Duke of Clayton, who at first seems a bit standoffish but when he helps her and Leo go to the country estate where they are headed as he is headed the same place, their interests are co-aligned. But from the very first moment, Hadrian and Natalie meet there is a connection between them. A connection not to be ignored lightly. Even though Hadrian has other duties and is looking for a wife, he also never expected to feel as he does for Natalie or be so charmed by his little cousin. But will Natalie choose Hadrian or go back to the America's? Forever My Duke was such a wonderful and heartwarming story and this was exactly what I needed to relax with on an afternoon with. I simply had such a fun time with Natalie, Leo, and Hadrian. There was such chemistry that we see between Hadrian and Natalie and I was hooked on their story. Hadrian is so determined to do the right thing and follow through with the contracts his father set with his friend. But you see how his priorities shift into doing what is right for him, Hadrian and not the Duke of Clayton. How well he and Natalie fit together is just perfection and he knows what he has with her is so special and defining and one he is willing to fight for. Natalie, even though she has some familial connections in England, her home has always been America. Even though she doesn't have a family anymore, and even though she loves like as if he is her own flesh and blood, she does have her own dreams. But we see how dreams can change and how one's priorities in life can change when you have people come into your life. And we see this growth come into Natalie and realize what she is capable of. It takes her a while to find her path and she does hurt Hadrian along the way a bit in finding what she wants but she does find it including her will to fight for the man she loves and the little boy she adores. The romance that builds between these two is simply delectable, there is some chemistry at the beginning, but there is a friendship that builds in the beginning which only cements what they have together. And I simply adored the relationship between Leo and Hadrian, it was so adorable since a grown man and boy become so attached to the hip as they do and seeing this family find their own path....together Overall I found Forever My Duke to be a sensational romance that will delight the reader within its addicting pages of pose, elegance, and a beautiful love!!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jultri

    3.75/5. Well-written with likeable protagonists. Patriotic American, Natalie Fanshawe, does not think highly of the English, especially not the English nobility. And that was even before she lost her close friends to the violent war atrocities committed by English soldiers. And yet, here she is on English soil, accompanying the orphaned child of the friends to unite him with his titled grandfather. Turns out, the task is easier said than done, because the grandfather and his family perfectly 3.75/5. Well-written with likeable protagonists. Patriotic American, Natalie Fanshawe, does not think highly of the English, especially not the English nobility. And that was even before she lost her close friends to the violent war atrocities committed by English soldiers. And yet, here she is on English soil, accompanying the orphaned child of the friends to unite him with his titled grandfather. Turns out, the task is easier said than done, because the grandfather and his family perfectly live up to Natalie's low expectations of the aristocracy by treating both her and the child with disdain and distrust. Enter Hadrian Ames in all his ducal glory. He reluctantly comes to the rescue of this frank woman and the lively little boy while on his way to meet the young lady earmarked to be his wife. As it turns out, the orphan's grandfather is the sire of the potential wife in question and so his compulsive chivalrous nature demands that he accompanies them to their joint destination. Of course, his marital plans get derailed pretty much at first sight of the beautiful Natalie and suddenly the thought of marrying a young and timid debutante is as distasteful as the knowledge that Natalie intends to sail back to America as soon as her promise to her deceased friend has been accomplished. I like both protagonists and the little boy is a cutie. It was amusing that she was revulsed by his incestuous marital intent (the girl was his 2nd cousin) as well as the age difference (11-12 years?). I like her egalitarian attitude and refusal to genuflect or show deference to anyone else and I adore his unwavering support for her beliefs. "You are the equal of any noble. I won't have you acting against your principles." I would have loved for him to start off with being the haughty man, he and his acquaintances all referenced. We just never saw any evidence of this arrogance and snobbishness from him. He was nice and supportive from the start. He set his jaw. "Society will accept you. I'll make certain they do." Smiling wistfully, she shook her head in gentle exasperation. "You have it all wrong, Hadrian. It isn't whether English society will accept me. It's whether I will accept English Society." This was an ARC from NetGallery.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Stacee

    I did like the premise of this one, but sadly, was fairly bored. I liked Natalie and Hadrian well enough. They’re both good people, even if a little bland. I enjoyed her loyalty to Leo and her friend. He never really acted like a Duke, except for the entire part of being 31 looking at a 17 year old to be his bride. Leo absolutely stole everything scene he was in and I also really liked Hadrian’s sister and mother. They brought some levity. Plot wise, it was meh. I never really saw the chemistry I did like the premise of this one, but sadly, was fairly bored. I liked Natalie and Hadrian well enough. They’re both good people, even if a little bland. I enjoyed her loyalty to Leo and her friend. He never really acted like a Duke, except for the entire part of being 31 looking at a 17 year old to be his bride. Leo absolutely stole everything scene he was in and I also really liked Hadrian’s sister and mother. They brought some levity. Plot wise, it was meh. I never really saw the chemistry between them and didn’t care enough about the situation to root for their HEA. There were a lot of odd to me word choices and some of the sex scenes were just plain icky. And I know this is sort of a jumbled mess of a review, but I’ve rewritten it four times, so there’s that. Overall, something kept me reading, but I’m not sure what it was. I doubt I’ll be reading the next book in the series. FYI: there’s a fight scene with between a man and a woman with the intent to rape if she doesn’t comply **Huge thanks to St. Martin’s Press for providing the arc free of charge**

  5. 4 out of 5

    Steve Donoghue

    This second installment in Olivia Drake's "Unlikely Duchesses" series isn't so much a story of a clash of social classes as a clash of social outlooks: a free-spirited American woman is drawn to a British Duke (with massive shoulders and pecs, of course - landed estates can only do so much, after all) despite the fact that he doesn't DO much and didn't have to work for his enormous wealth and influence. And thanks to Olivia Drake's lively, enjoyable prose, their romantic maneuvers are mighty This second installment in Olivia Drake's "Unlikely Duchesses" series isn't so much a story of a clash of social classes as a clash of social outlooks: a free-spirited American woman is drawn to a British Duke (with massive shoulders and pecs, of course - landed estates can only do so much, after all) despite the fact that he doesn't DO much and didn't have to work for his enormous wealth and influence. And thanks to Olivia Drake's lively, enjoyable prose, their romantic maneuvers are mighty enjoyable reading. My review is here: https://openlettersreview.com/posts/f...

  6. 4 out of 5

    Edwina " I LoveBooks" "Deb"

    Hardrian Ames the Duke of Clayton is on his way to propose marriage to 18 year old Lady Ellen. He is held over at an Inn because of an Ice Storm. He meets Natalie Fanshawn when her 6 year old charge is hidding in his rooms. Natalie is 26 year Ameican who promised Leo's mother when she was dying to bring Leo back to his family in England. Hardrian and Natalie have an immediate attraction. The story is Okay. Its just didn't have the romantic sparks I like. It didn't ring true to the era. I know Hardrian Ames the Duke of Clayton is on his way to propose marriage to 18 year old Lady Ellen. He is held over at an Inn because of an Ice Storm. He meets Natalie Fanshawn when her 6 year old charge is hidding in his rooms. Natalie is 26 year Ameican who promised Leo's mother when she was dying to bring Leo back to his family in England. Hardrian and Natalie have an immediate attraction. The story is Okay. Its just didn't have the romantic sparks I like. It didn't ring true to the era. I know its just fiction but something was missing. Even with that it was a good story just not great!! ARC KINDLEY PROVIDED BY NETGALLEY FOR AN HONEST REVIEW!!

  7. 4 out of 5

    ♥ WishfulMiss ♥

    Rating: 3.5 Stars I loved the twist of to this story. I haven't read much by this author but I really enjoyed this historical romance. She gave life to characters that were likable and memorable. It's not often you get a romance with the hero so adamant to pursue his heroine without any ulterior motive other than wanting to get to know her better. Hadrian steps outside the norm by being a determined suitor slowly but surely breaking down Natalie's walls. He fights for a chance to see where Rating: 3.5 Stars I loved the twist of to this story. I haven't read much by this author but I really enjoyed this historical romance. She gave life to characters that were likable and memorable. It's not often you get a romance with the hero so adamant to pursue his heroine without any ulterior motive other than wanting to get to know her better. Hadrian steps outside the norm by being a determined suitor slowly but surely breaking down Natalie's walls. He fights for a chance to see where their attraction can go and doesn't shy away from his own feelings. I really liked that about him and this story. He wanted to break down the barriers between them and win her body, heart and mind. The hero isn't in denial or just in lust (although there is plenty of that brewing between the MCs), he's a smart, direct and open minded. The start to their relationship is different that what's the normal in historical romances and I found it all refreshing. With her cheek flushed from the encounter, she looked the precise opposite of frightful. She made such an adorable picture that a soppy warmth stirred in the region of his chest. It was a feeling so foreign to his customary cool hauteur that it threw him off-kilter. Natalie is an American, so her views are different and nothing is more different than seeing the aristocracy perform around a Duke! I loved seeing her navigate her assumptions after getting to know Hadrian's personality. Seeing her back step and re-evaluate her opinion showed emotional growth and added layers to her character. I could definitely relate to her character but I also loved watching Hadrian befriend and then slowly seduce her! Hadrian is a stern, no-nonsense Duke. He knows his duty and he knows what's expected of him. But he is also progressive and openminded. When he meets Natalie, he is immediately intrigued and the more he's around her, the more he is convinced she is one of a kind. "You're a beautiful woman, inside and out, and should anyone in society dare to scorn you, they will know my wrath." If you want to read about a determined Hero who pursues his hard to convince heroine that they deserve a chance at HEA with each, this book will not disappoint! * * *  ARC provided for an honest review * * * I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. SAFETY INFO: (view spoiler)[ Ages : Natalie is 26 and Hadrian is 29. Cheating :None. The betrothal is never made official and no one's feelings are hurt when it's completely taken out of the equation. OM/OW drama : Yes but it's more like an omission to the truth. Before meeting Natalie, Hadrian planned to propose to Lady Ellen because of an understanding between both their fathers. But then he meets Natalie and he decides he'd rather pursue her instead. Not wanting to frighten her away and needing more time to let her see the good in him, he lets her think the betrothal is still a possibility. Not too dramatic or angsty. Separation : None. Push/Pull  : Yes, Natalie has plans that don't include staying in England, let alone falling for a member of the peerage. She takes a while to convince :) Main Pursuer of relationship : Hadrian Possible Triggers : family drama, arranged marriage/betrothal. HEA/HFN : Ends on a HEA, no epilogue. (hide spoiler)]

  8. 5 out of 5

    Anita Byars

    OMG!! Sensual and passionate and with an unconventional, intriguing storyline that was utterly captivating. Beautiful writing, intricate characters with scorching chemistry that made FOREVER MY DUKE another winner for me. Deliciously tantalizing that will have you begging for more and weak in the knees. Hadrian Ames the eighth Duke of Clayton, is ready to get married, and put his days of being hunted as society’s biggest matrimonial prize behind him. He has the perfect bride already in mind. His OMG!! Sensual and passionate and with an unconventional, intriguing storyline that was utterly captivating. Beautiful writing, intricate characters with scorching chemistry that made FOREVER MY DUKE another winner for me. Deliciously tantalizing that will have you begging for more and weak in the knees. Hadrian Ames the eighth Duke of Clayton, is ready to get married, and put his days of being hunted as society’s biggest matrimonial prize behind him. He has the perfect bride already in mind. His second cousin, Lady Ellen. She fit his criteria and standards for the ideal wife, she is attractive, a blue-blood of impeccable background, and is not overly chatty. Now he just needs to see how they get along. But on his way to meet with her family and his prospective bride, he is delayed by an ice storm. Forced to take a room at an Inn for the night, where his dinner is interrupted by a little boy who quickly hides under his table. When a woman steps in to the room looking for the little boy, he can’t stop staring at the beautiful, fascinating woman in front of him. When she reaches forward to shake his hand, he felt as giddy as a school boy, meeting his first pretty girl. It made no sense. Natalie Fanshawe has been acting as Leo’s guardian since his parents were killed in a massacre in America. As her best friend was dying she begged her to bring Leo to her family in England. She isn’t sure what type of reception awaits them since she had never received a reply to her letters. But Natalie knew she didn’t like British aristocracy, her whole life her father had told her about the class system in England and she felt it was all just based on the luck of your birth. She was used to equality for all. Hopefully his family would welcome Leo into their home and give him all the love he deserved. But what will happen if they don’t? Is Natalie and Leo destined to go back to America? Or will a new ally give them everything they never knew they wanted? American and English cultures will clash in the parlor as well as the bedroom, when these two come together for the sake of a little boy. Get ready for intense desire, delicious shivers, passionate kisses, tempting touches, as these two opposites captivate and seduce one another. As Natalie a woman of character, warmth, and charm, not to mention great beauty, and Hadrian a enthralling, enticing Duke, that under all his cool hauteur, is really a kind chivalrous gentleman, who can tempt a woman with one smoldering look, fall hard for each other. Because nothing in all the world could be better than Forever with a Duke! “It seemed the both of them had needed to learn that love was the most precious gift of all-and that all else in life paled by comparison.” Complimentary copy received for an honest review.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jackie

    I won this in a goodreads giveaway. It’s a good book. Typical romance novel nothing overly exciting or unique but a solid book

  10. 5 out of 5

    Lindsay

    4.5 stars

  11. 4 out of 5

    Douglas Meeks

    I really wanted to give this book 4 Stars but this may be the last book I read from this author. They all read like this to me: Great story but drags on and on and then after being dragged through the countryside in a very long but interesting story she finishes it off in less than a chapter with no epilogue. This is not the first time and I felt cheated once again so let me make this a very short review, great story but drones on and on with a heroine you have to work at liking it wraps up in a I really wanted to give this book 4 Stars but this may be the last book I read from this author. They all read like this to me: Great story but drags on and on and then after being dragged through the countryside in a very long but interesting story she finishes it off in less than a chapter with no epilogue. This is not the first time and I felt cheated once again so let me make this a very short review, great story but drones on and on with a heroine you have to work at liking it wraps up in a few pages. I am tired of being cheated, I will stick to the "A" list writers. The story of Hadrian and Natalie could have been 5 Star but once again I am not sure if she just writes until she gets tired of a story then chops it off but been fooled once too often. 3 Stars that could have been 5 in more talented hands

  12. 5 out of 5

    Debby "Piene Raven"

    This is my second book I've read by Ms. Olivia Drake and I thought it was okay. "Forever My Duke" started offa bit slow but then it picked up. I thought the Duke of Clayton was a bit pushy but understandably so in order to assist Natalie Fanshawe who is see by her best friend's family as some imposter. The only thing she wants is to return the orphan, Leo to his rightful family. I love Natalie's independent, carefree attitude with regards to the rules of Society. Natalie and Hadrian make a This is my second book I've read by Ms. Olivia Drake and I thought it was okay. "Forever My Duke" started offa bit slow but then it picked up. I thought the Duke of Clayton was a bit pushy but understandably so in order to assist Natalie Fanshawe who is see by her best friend's family as some imposter. The only thing she wants is to return the orphan, Leo to his rightful family. I love Natalie's independent, carefree attitude with regards to the rules of Society. Natalie and Hadrian make a wonderful pair and this story has it share of plots and twists. I found myself wanting at times to wring the necks of quite a few people but glad the story had its HEA in the end. A nice comfy read and I enjoyed it. Thanks very much to Netgalley and the publisher for this ARC in exchange for my fair and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 3-Stars

  13. 4 out of 5

    Elodie

    Forever My Duke Unlikely Duchesses Olivia Drake https://www.facebook.com/Olivia-Drake... Release date 12/31/2019 Publisher St Martin’s Paperback Blurb : Hadrian Ames, the Duke of Clayton, needs a bride. He even has the perfect one picked out. That is, until he meets the lovely, free-spirited Natalie Fanshawe. She’s the opposite of what a man of his high rank should desire in a wife—an outspoken American who has never even set foot in a London ballroom. But Natalie doesn’t have time to be swept off her Forever My Duke Unlikely Duchesses Olivia Drake https://www.facebook.com/Olivia-Drake... Release date 12/31/2019 Publisher St Martin’s Paperback Blurb : Hadrian Ames, the Duke of Clayton, needs a bride. He even has the perfect one picked out. That is, until he meets the lovely, free-spirited Natalie Fanshawe. She’s the opposite of what a man of his high rank should desire in a wife—an outspoken American who has never even set foot in a London ballroom. But Natalie doesn’t have time to be swept off her feet by a handsome duke who must be a spoiled scoundrel like every other British lord. And she couldn’t care less about Hadrian’s title. After all, it’s not as if he actually worked to attain his wealth and status. He surely can’t understand what it’s like to be a busy woman, planning to open a school while trying to reunite a six-year-old orphan with his English relatives. Nevertheless, Hadrian launches his campaign to win her heart. Can the utterly delightful American beauty ever find a way to love him…despite his being a duke? My review : Can an American commoner and a english peer find a mutual ground when everything seems to set them apart... This is my first read by Mrs Olivia Drake and once I began my reading, it was quite impossible to put this book down. Sure I have a few reservations but I was quickly engrossed in this story, and needed to see what would come after. The first chapter introduced Hadrian as a haughty person, but how wrong I was. What an arse he appears at the beginning when in fact he is just the result from his upbringing and he could have been much more worse. His requirements for the perfect bride is what was imprinted in him since his childhood, he had known nothing else, and is expected to follow the society’s rules. He might be lofty but never conceited, plus he is kind too. From the very beginning, he shows respect to Natalie, always trying to help her when he could have turned his back to her troubles. At every turn, he is there to support Natalie, his overbearing presence is only due to his breeding. And rather quickly, he sets his cap on winning her over, she a woman who has very few to recommend her. He even fears he might fail. Natalie in fact is the one bearing a grudge against him, she faults him for his birth. While he can’t change it, he tries to show her she can relate on him. She is a strong willed woman, what she went through made her tougher, but she is still a caring woman with dreams to help the weaker and poorer. Her main flaw is she needs time to see beyond the facade. Not every commoner is good nor every peer bad. So when Hadrian realized he has no interest in a perfect bride and is much more enthralled by the very woman who might reject him for his rank, she learns the world is not white nor black. I liked that for a change, the arrogant duke was in fact from the beginning a fair man with a noble heart. He just needed the right woman to open himself and let his true self free. I do love Leo, he is a fun little boy and for once not presented as a precocious child, he acted like a little boy of 6 and was quite a naughty sweetheart. My reservation is during the first part of the story it looked out of character for them to lust so much after one another. I do prefer when there is an attraction which evolves to a slower pace than insta-lust rendering the women knees-weak and the men driven by the brain in between their legs. So I was glad when at a time, when together they were finally able to think straight. Mrs Blake has drawn up a spirited tale of fighting one own biases to comprehend the true power of love. 4.5 stars I was granted through Netgalley by the publisher an advance copy, but also purchased my own. Here is my true and unbiased opinion. https://www.facebook.com/429830134272...

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sissy's Romance Book Review

    Forever My Duke by Olivia Drake is book Two in the Unlikely Duchesses series. This is the story of Natalie Fanshawe and Hadrian Ames, the Duke of Clayton. I have read the previous book which helped me to enjoy this one but you can make it a standalone book if you wish to do so. Hadrian is a Duke who is very sought after my mother's for their daughter not to mention the daughters. Hadrian becomes fed up and thinks maybe he should just marry his second cousin who is 18 years old. Hadrian head out Forever My Duke by Olivia Drake is book Two in the Unlikely Duchesses series. This is the story of Natalie Fanshawe and Hadrian Ames, the Duke of Clayton. I have read the previous book which helped me to enjoy this one but you can make it a standalone book if you wish to do so. Hadrian is a Duke who is very sought after my mother's for their daughter not to mention the daughters. Hadrian becomes fed up and thinks maybe he should just marry his second cousin who is 18 years old. Hadrian head out to see her but is stopped by a storm and stays in a 'hotel'. There Hadrian meets Natalie and Leo. Hadrian is take with Natalie immediately but also shocked by her less excited attitude towards his Title. Natalie is an American women around 26 years old who knows what she wants and will go to end of the earth for those she loves. Which leads her to fulfill a dying wish that Natalie takes her charge, Leo to his family home in England. Leo's mother wanted him their so he can have a better life with his English family. But things don't go to easy. First she meets Hadrian who she is attracted to but she has no use for the English men and their titles. Then the family isn't so ready to accept the boy as their which leads her to be in America longer given Hadrian more time with her. Enjoyed their story.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Heather andrews

    Hadrian doesn't take hints very well, “you know very well it’s improper for us to be alone in a bedchamber. You’ll have to leave at once.” Hadrian made no move to depart." Hadrian is often times irked by his woman, “I am steadfast, dammit. A regular stick-in-the-mud, remember?” I liked this book, I liked Hadrian.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    Natalie Fanshawe was an American who disliked the nobility, based on her father’s and friend’s experiences. However, she bravely brings Leo, her friends’ son to his grandparents in England. She is very much her own woman. Hadrian Ames, Duke of Clayton is attracted to Natalie but she is the complete opposite to the type of lady he should marry. Hadrian has a harsh upbringing with his guardian. However, they both want the best for Leo. This was an entertaining read with a dangerous event and two Natalie Fanshawe was an American who disliked the nobility, based on her father’s and friend’s experiences. However, she bravely brings Leo, her friends’ son to his grandparents in England. She is very much her own woman. Hadrian Ames, Duke of Clayton is attracted to Natalie but she is the complete opposite to the type of lady he should marry. Hadrian has a harsh upbringing with his guardian. However, they both want the best for Leo. This was an entertaining read with a dangerous event and two people who come to realise who they are meant to be with. I received a copy and have voluntarily reviewed it. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Aimie

    Forever My Duke is the second book in Olivia Drake's Unlikely Duchesses series. Though it is a part of a series it can still be read as a standalone. The book started off at a rather slow pace, though it did generally pick up after a few chapters. This is however redeemed by the characters. I enjoyed reading Natalie's character immensely, she had a modern and progressive view for a character in that time period. She stood up for herself and wouldn't allow anyone to bully, insult, or degrade, or Forever My Duke is the second book in Olivia Drake's Unlikely Duchesses series. Though it is a part of a series it can still be read as a standalone. The book started off at a rather slow pace, though it did generally pick up after a few chapters. This is however redeemed by the characters. I enjoyed reading Natalie's character immensely, she had a modern and progressive view for a character in that time period. She stood up for herself and wouldn't allow anyone to bully, insult, or degrade, or tell her what to do. She also didn't fit into the conforms of society, she does what she wants and doesn't really case what is expected of her. Clayton was an enjoyable character to read except for the occasions he comes across as a bully. In the end, this book was an alright read, it wasn't necessarily the best nor was it the worst. eARC was kindly provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! For this review and more, check out: Blog | Twitter | Instagram | Wattpad

  18. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Grogan

    So by 20%, this title had checked off pretty much every romance cliche. Some of these I can handle when they’re alone but when put together it makes for a title I don’t want to read. Those cliches were: -insta-lust. Hadrian is supposed to be this calm, reserved guy. Instead, he is attracted to Natalie the moment he sees her. Which brings up the next cliche: -the hero has only ever been attracted to one type of woman and the heroine is the complete opposite of that (Hadrian even thinks how he’s So by 20%, this title had checked off pretty much every romance cliche. Some of these I can handle when they’re alone but when put together it makes for a title I don’t want to read. Those cliches were: -insta-lust. Hadrian is supposed to be this calm, reserved guy. Instead, he is attracted to Natalie the moment he sees her. Which brings up the next cliche: -the hero has only ever been attracted to one type of woman and the heroine is the complete opposite of that (Hadrian even thinks how he’s always liked dainty women and Natalie is “tall and willowy”) -the hero wants to marry the PERFECT WIFE and doesn’t care about love -this isn’t so much a cliche but I do hate it: Hadrian plans to marry a woman that is not only his second cousin but is also only 17. I don’t care if it was done back then, it’s still yuck to me *I received an eARC from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  19. 4 out of 5

    ✰ BJ's Book Blog ✰Janeane ✰

    Copy received via Netgalley for an honest review Forever My Duke is my first Olivia Drake read, so it is good to say that as this is book 2 in the series, it can be read as a standalone. This story did start out a little slow, however it did pick up the pace after a while. I am a big fan of Natalie - she feels very progressive compared to the other ladies in the story. She won't be bullied, she won't take being insulted, and she couldn't give a stuff about what everyone expects her to do - she does Copy received via Netgalley for an honest review Forever My Duke is my first Olivia Drake read, so it is good to say that as this is book 2 in the series, it can be read as a standalone. This story did start out a little slow, however it did pick up the pace after a while. I am a big fan of Natalie - she feels very progressive compared to the other ladies in the story. She won't be bullied, she won't take being insulted, and she couldn't give a stuff about what everyone expects her to do - she does it and she owns it. Now, Clayton. I wanted to love him, I really did. However he came across as a bit of a bully, an arrogant ar$e and a bit of a flibbertigibbet. I mean, one minute he was off to propose to one lady, then next he was all about someone else. I did like things that he did for Natalie and her charge for the most part, but still, not so much at times. This book just didn't seem, to me, to fit in with the time period. Something just felt a bit off about it - however this could just be me. So, whilst I did like Forever My Duke, I wasn't exactly blown away by it. I am sure it will be a favourite for many readers, just not for me.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Judi Easley

    Forever My Duke Unlikely Duchesses Olivia Drake St. Martin’s Press, Dec 31, 2019 384 pages Historical romance Author’s rep via NetGalley The cover doesn’t particularly appeal to me. It seems to lack the richness that we have come to expect from top-notch romances lately. The background simply fades in spite of its bright yellow coloring. While the bright green of the lady’s dress seems glaring in this setting. Too bad, because the story deserves a good cover. She’s Natalie Fanshawe, an American of Forever My Duke Unlikely Duchesses Olivia Drake St. Martin’s Press, Dec 31, 2019 384 pages Historical romance Author’s rep via NetGalley ⭐⭐⭐⭐🌙 The cover doesn’t particularly appeal to me. It seems to lack the richness that we have come to expect from top-notch romances lately. The background simply fades in spite of its bright yellow coloring. While the bright green of the lady’s dress seems glaring in this setting. Too bad, because the story deserves a good cover. She’s Natalie Fanshawe, an American of dubious English descent. She has brought the young son of her best friend to London so that he can live with his family. His parents were killed during the war in America and his mother’s last request was that Natalie bring her son back to England to her family. Natalie would gladly have taken him into her own home and raised him as her own, but it was her friend’s dying wish and so she will honor it. Natalie has no patience or understanding of the class system in England, nor does she want anything to do with curtsying to those who consider themselves her betters. She’s an America and considers all people equal. He’s Hadrian Ames, the Duke of Clayton, but Natalie thinks he’s just Mr. Clayton when he introduces himself as Clayton. As long as he’s Mr. Clayton she can deal with him just fine even though he is dressed in the finest clothes she’s ever seen, travels with a most superior valet and has a rather polished attitude himself as well. Clayton is on his way to speak to a young lady about marriage when he meets up with Natalie and her young charge at an inn. No, he’s not in love. This is a choice based on the fact that she’s lovely, acquiescent and of a suitable family. I thoroughly enjoyed reading how the fiery American and the rather staid English Duke find their common ground as they come together, working out their differences. Each giving a bit here and a bit there as they realize what’s important to them and what doesn’t really matter when it’s love at stake. How each starts to look at the other with new eyes and sees things of themselves. This is, of course, a normal historical romance and it doesn’t really break any of the rules except the “bowing/curtsying to one’s betters’ one. I really loved it when Prinny dropped in for the ball when he was specifically not invited because she didn’t curtsy to her “betters”. But what’s a duke to do when he’s in love with a rebellious American? Yes, I certainly do recommend this one!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Brittany

    3-3.5 Stars Forever My Duke is a cute and charming historical romance with minimal angst. Natalie Fanshawe is a strong-willed american who after a tragic event, travels to England to reunite her best friends son with his English relatives. Hadrian Ames is a Duke in need of a bride. Despite their mutual attraction, they intend to remain friends and nothing more. Natalie is outspoken and unfamiliar with the ways of English society. Not to mention, she doesn't care for the English hierarchy which is 3-3.5 Stars Forever My Duke is a cute and charming historical romance with minimal angst. Natalie Fanshawe is a strong-willed american who after a tragic event, travels to England to reunite her best friends son with his English relatives. Hadrian Ames is a Duke in need of a bride. Despite their mutual attraction, they intend to remain friends and nothing more. Natalie is outspoken and unfamiliar with the ways of English society. Not to mention, she doesn't care for the English hierarchy which is the exact opposite of what a man of Hadrian's rank needs in a wife. I love a good friends-to-lovers or opposites attract romance so I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. I think what I liked best was the progression of the romance. They didn't move too fast but it wasn't too slow either. Natalie's first priority was to make sure Leo had a safe, welcoming home before she returns to America so despite her growing feelings for Hadrian - and how different he is to what she knows of English nobility - she refuses to give up on her dreams and be his mistress. After all, why would a man of his rank be interested in marrying someone like her? When Hadrian decides to pursue her, he knows he has to do so carefully. The complication of Leo's unwelcoming family provides the perfect excuse to keep both Natalie and Leo around long enough for him to change her mind. Not only does this have main characters that you can't help but love, the secondary characters are just as great - with the exception of the Godwin family of course. I absolutely adored Leo and how Hadrian's mother and sister were quick to welcome Natalie into their lives. This is my first book from Olivia Drake and I have to say it won't be my last. I think I'm going to pick up The Duke I Once Knew soon. *ARC provided by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Didi

    3.5 Stars rounded UP Olivia Drake’s second installment to her “Unlikely Duchess” is a lovely romance with a sprinkle of humor that liven up the story. A standalone set in Regency England, FOREVER MY DUKE had Hadrian Ames, Duke of Clayton, butted head with outspoken and free-spirited American Natalie Fenshaw who arrived in England to reunite an orphaned son of her dearest friend with his late mother estranged family. From the first meeting to their not-wooing that shifted to furtive-wooing that 3.5 Stars rounded UP Olivia Drake’s second installment to her “Unlikely Duchess” is a lovely romance with a sprinkle of humor that liven up the story. A standalone set in Regency England, FOREVER MY DUKE had Hadrian Ames, Duke of Clayton, butted head with outspoken and free-spirited American Natalie Fenshaw who arrived in England to reunite an orphaned son of her dearest friend with his late mother estranged family. From the first meeting to their not-wooing that shifted to furtive-wooing that blossomed into proper courting, Hadrian and Natalie’s clash of personalities were fun to follow. I enjoyed the witty repartee between these two strong headed characters, their banter and arguments - even in the throes of passion. The plot might be predictable - what with the number of disagreeable side characters making havoc in the name of self justification. But the highlight for me was six-year-old Leo’s nature who brought merry and mischief in any situation (that got me inclined to rounded up the rating, just because). In term of family drama, this book has it all: one with rigid and unbalanced relationships among family members (the typical society family), the eccentric mashed with uptight one, and the unconditional loving one. Hint: one of them wouldn’t survive the story intact. Natalie’s character was unusually progressive for that time (period) which made her an interesting heroine. And while I got a bit impatient with the initial “we can’t be together” reasoning, it didn’t drag on too long. Of the two in the series so far, I liked this one better than the first one. It’s a good-humored, feel-good story - massacre incident aside - that entertained me (reading) from start to finish. Copy of this book is kindly given by the author/publisher via Edelweiss+ in exchange for an honest review.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Elaine

    Miss Natasha Fanshawe is an intrepid young lady who escaped a massacre in which her best friend and her husband were brutally killed, leaving their six year old son, Leo, an orphan. Natasha promised her dying friend to act as guardian to the young boy and take him to her father, Lord Godwin, at his home in England. En route the lively young lad escapes to hide, taking refuge in the private rooms of Hadrian Ames, the Duke of Clayton. It turns out they are all travelling to the same destination Miss Natasha Fanshawe is an intrepid young lady who escaped a massacre in which her best friend and her husband were brutally killed, leaving their six year old son, Leo, an orphan. Natasha promised her dying friend to act as guardian to the young boy and take him to her father, Lord Godwin, at his home in England. En route the lively young lad escapes to hide, taking refuge in the private rooms of Hadrian Ames, the Duke of Clayton. It turns out they are all travelling to the same destination and fate ensures they travel together. The reception given to Leo by his relatives leaves much to be desired as Lord Godwin refuse to acknowledge his grandson without proof. Natasha has little respect for aristocrats and is determined not to be taken in by Hadrian, even though he seems to believe her and she is definitely attracted to him. As he endeavours to prove her beliefs about the English nobility to be false, he also strives to woo her. Can this unlikely pair prove to be a match? With a conniving mother wanting her daughter to be Hadrian's wife, someone else threatening her and Leo, a Prince to meet and a kidnapping to thwart, this is an action packed regency romance with plenty of twists and turns before they can have their HEA! This is a fun read and great to escape into. It is a story of fulfilling dying wishes, believing in yourself, learning to love and being prepared to follow your heart. It is a lovely story and I'll definitely look out for more in this series and by this author in future. I requested and was gifted a copy of this book via NetGalley and this is my honest review after choosing to read it.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Cathy Geha

    Forever My Duke by Olivia Drake Unlikely Duchesses #2 Mixed feelings on this one...it is well written and characters are developed so I could see and know them but I didn’t feel there was anything new and thus it was rather predictable. The gorgeous duke is off to meet the woman he is supposed to (maybe) marry and meets a beautiful woman on the way. She is taking a young boy to meet his grandfather and the handsome duke provides a ride. There is the romance, the dastardly bad guy, a young boy that Forever My Duke by Olivia Drake Unlikely Duchesses #2 Mixed feelings on this one...it is well written and characters are developed so I could see and know them but I didn’t feel there was anything new and thus it was rather predictable. The gorgeous duke is off to meet the woman he is supposed to (maybe) marry and meets a beautiful woman on the way. She is taking a young boy to meet his grandfather and the handsome duke provides a ride. There is the romance, the dastardly bad guy, a young boy that reminded me of the one in O’Henry’s Ransom of Red Chief, a rather dysfunctional family, mention what war was maybe like and a bit more. What I liked: * Natlie: good friend to Audrey and unwilling to bow to anyone – she was American to the core and all for equality * Hadrian: a man I grew to like – he was able to take charge and get things done and was also likable * Leo: a boy with a lot of heart...but one who liked to disappear a lot * There was a HEA What I did not like: * The uncaring family that were related to Leo * The predictability Thank you to NetGalley an dSt. Martin’s Paperbacks for the ARC – This is my honest review. 3-4 Stars

  25. 5 out of 5

    Lori D

    A delightful story of opposites attracting in the most marvelous of circumstances! Our hero, Hadrian Ames, the eighth Duke of Clayton was on his way to visit his uncle and the woman he was to marry when he was caught at an inn due to the weather. As he was eating a young lad ran in to hide under his table and then she walked in. "His heart rocked in his chest. The world faded as he stared at the vision standing before him." Natalie was taking her charge, Leo to his grandfather and would you just A delightful story of opposites attracting in the most marvelous of circumstances! Our hero, Hadrian Ames, the eighth Duke of Clayton was on his way to visit his uncle and the woman he was to marry when he was caught at an inn due to the weather. As he was eating a young lad ran in to hide under his table and then she walked in. "His heart rocked in his chest. The world faded as he stared at the vision standing before him." Natalie was taking her charge, Leo to his grandfather and would you just know it? It was the same home that Clayton was headed to visit his potential bride. His uncle was grandfather to Leo. Of course she is an American and has a disdain for the entire class distinctions of the elite! A rocky journey to a happy ending that was engaging and spirited. Clayton seemed really stiff and proper but it was his upbringing that he tried to loosen up with spirited Natalie. She had her own convictions to help others and was independent. Yes, she was an unlikely Duchess, but love always wins in the end!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Norah Gibbons

    I received an ARC of this book through NetGalley to read in exchange for a fair review. Forever My Duke by Olivia Drake is the second book in the Unlikely Duchesses series. It can be read as a standalone. Hadrian Ames, Duke of Clayton is in need of a wife and since there was an agreement between his father and his cousin who served as as his guardian that Hadrian would unite the families by marrying his cousins daughter he is on his way to visit them and to see if he and his young cousin will I received an ARC of this book through NetGalley to read in exchange for a fair review. Forever My Duke by Olivia Drake is the second book in the Unlikely Duchesses series. It can be read as a standalone. Hadrian Ames, Duke of Clayton is in need of a wife and since there was an agreement between his father and his cousin who served as as his guardian that Hadrian would unite the families by marrying his cousins daughter he is on his way to visit them and to see if he and his young cousin will suit. When inclement weather forces him pause his journey at an inn he makes the acquaintance of the lovely American Natalie Fanshawe who has brought her young ward Leo Bellingham to reunite him with his English relatives as his parents are dead. In a twist of fate it turns out that Leo is the son of the cousin that Hadrian grew up with and thought of as a sister. In a lovely friends to lovers story Hadrian soon learns that perhaps the perfect duchess is not what he needs and that his happiness will depend on convincing Natalie to take a chance on a British Lord instead of returning to America. Medium Steam. Publishing Date December 31, 2019 #NetGalley #ForeverMyDuke #OliviaDrake #HistoricalRomance #StMartinsPress #StMartinsPaperbacks #bookstagram @stmartinspress

  27. 5 out of 5

    Caiti (The Romance Mom)

    While I didn't dislike this book it didn't leave a particularly strong impression on me. I liked the 'Sassy American woman takes on the stuffy British Artistocracy' angle because I always enjoy that in an historical romance but I just had a difficult time connecting with these characters and their story. This is a well-written book with some clever and amusing moments, but I think, for me, the romance moved too slowly and didn't burn as hotly as I prefer. Most likely a case of 'just not for me'. While I didn't dislike this book it didn't leave a particularly strong impression on me. I liked the 'Sassy American woman takes on the stuffy British Artistocracy' angle because I always enjoy that in an historical romance but I just had a difficult time connecting with these characters and their story. This is a well-written book with some clever and amusing moments, but I think, for me, the romance moved too slowly and didn't burn as hotly as I prefer. Most likely a case of 'just not for me'. Thank you Netgalley for the opportunity to read an advanced copy. I voluntarily read and reviewed this book and all thoughts and opinions are my own.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Crystal ♥ RBtWBC

    3.5 StarsAn enjoyable tale. Some repetitiveness, pretty predictable, and no connection to the first book in the series, but a nice read. Review to come...

  29. 5 out of 5

    Maria

    Passionate and emotionally involving, with the right dose of steam given the historical setting of the book, an enticing story of a duke who has plans to settle down by marrying one of his ranking, unaware of what fate has in store for him. A snobbish aristocrat with his pompous world and an American spunky girl with beliefs of equality. This is such an unusual match but the reader will soon be caught by their growing connection to one another.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Dan Curnutt

    Natalie Fanshawe has a small problem, his name is Leo. Natalie is an American whose best friend was an English Noblewoman. They met on the wild frontier of America. Lady Audrey had given up her title and her family connections to marry a preacher. They then moved to America as Missionaries. But when tragedy struck and both Lady Audrey and her husband were killed little Leo was left without any family in America. Audrey's dying request of Natalie was to take Leo back home to his grandfather so Natalie Fanshawe has a small problem, his name is Leo. Natalie is an American whose best friend was an English Noblewoman. They met on the wild frontier of America. Lady Audrey had given up her title and her family connections to marry a preacher. They then moved to America as Missionaries. But when tragedy struck and both Lady Audrey and her husband were killed little Leo was left without any family in America. Audrey's dying request of Natalie was to take Leo back home to his grandfather so that he could have a secure lifestyle. The Duke of Clayton also has a small problem. He needs to marry and produce an heir to carry on the family name and legacy. He is on his way to seek the hand of a "very young" lady whom he has known since she was just a child. But he isn't sure this is the best match. When the Duke of Clayton meets Natalie Fanshawe he is completely enthralled, smitten, captivated, whatever term you want to use, they all fit. He has never met a woman who has a mind of her own, abhors the British Aristocracy, and is capable of taking care of herself and others. The rest of the story is amazingly written. The love between the two will grow, but neither wants to admit it. The Duke because he doesn't know how to love and Miss Fanshawe because she doesn't want to fall in love with a British Aristocrat. Little Leo almost becomes just a small part of the story, but in fact he is really the central character. He is born into the British Aristocracy but his grandfather doesn't want anything to do with his wayward daughter and especially her orphaned son. What will happen? Will there be a marriage? Will the boy be adopted? Will grandfather come around and love his grandson? Will Natalie and Leo have to return to America and make a living on their own? Enjoy the read!

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