The Duke Meets His Match
By: Karen Tuft
Expected Publication: December 1st 2020 by Covenant Communications
Genre: Adult, Historical Fiction
Source: Publisher via NetGalley (Thank you!!)
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Goodreads description--At thirty years of age, Susan Jennings has long been considered a spinster. Exceptionally intelligent, she has little tolerance for London and the dreaded Season—if that’s how one is expected to find love, it’s not for her. But when an invitation arrives that cannot be ignored, Susan leaves her comfortable life in the country and enters the fashion and frivolity she most despises. She quickly discovers, however, that there is more to loathe in London—and his name is George Kendall.
George, Duke of Aylesham, has learned to keep his distance from cloying females chasing the title of duchess. Susan Jennings, however, proves an entirely different challenge—a woman who has pushed him to the limit of his patience with their every encounter. But their simmering hostility is disrupted by a thoughtless slip-up: to avoid a marriage of political strategy, George claims he is already betrothed. And when pressed for the name of the lucky woman, only one name comes to mind: Susan’s. Their forced betrothal proves advantageous, but when their verbal sparring must change in order to be convincing, the line between fact and fiction becomes blurred by something neither expected: love.
The Duke Meets His Match started off a little slow for me. But once things picked up, I didn't want to put it down. I read most of the story in one day.
The description is again right yet gives the wrong impression. Susan and George meet at a wedding a year before the events of the main part of the story. Susan sought solitude in the back of a library with a good book. George used the same library for a private conversation concerning efforts to help the crown in ending the war with Napoleon Bonaparte without checking to see if the library was unoccupied. The two verbally spar after George catches Susan, although she couldn't help to overhear and was not attempting to eavesdrop. George since references her as "the harpy" in his mind while she in turn thinks of him as "His Loftiness."
Susan was to accompany her sister, Rebecca, to London for her coming out Season. Susan herself had three seasons in London and then has spent the rest of her time in the country. But Rebecca breaks her leg and is unable to make the journey. Rebecca pleads for Susan to go without her and she reluctantly decides to do just that. Lady Walmsley, affectionately called Aunt Margaret, is happy to focus her attention on Susan and ensure she has everything she needs for a proper London season.
Susan runs into George at her first London ball when her brother James introduces them. James works with George in his attempts at securing peace with the war effort. The two have as cantankerous of a 2nd meeting as they did the first. Yet George still finds himself claiming an engagement to Susan when pressed by the Prince Regent into a different marriage alliance that isn't to George's liking at all. He then has to convince Susan of the merits of marriage to him. As the description states, when the two join causes in an alliance feelings begin to blossom.
I didn't highlight any particular quotes, but The Duke Meets His Match was exactly what I needed. I devoured it. The characters were easy to root for, and thankfully none of the conflict caused me to roll my eyes as sometimes happens because none of it felt forced even though I spotted a few moments when perhaps other authors would have gone in the direction of forced eye-roll-worthy conflict. I'll definitely keep my eyes out for other books by Karen Tuft in the future. The Duke Meets His Match gets 4 Stars. Have you read The Duke Meets His Match? What did you think? Let me know!