Title: Project Duchess (Duke Dynasty, book #1)
Genre: Historical Romance
Author: Sabrina Jeffries
Publisher: Zebra, June 25, 2019
Source: Free for review from the publisher
Sexy Rating: 5
Violence Rating: 0
Description from Amazon.com:
A series of stepfathers and a difficult childhood have left Fletcher “Grey” Pryde, 5th Duke of Greycourt, with a guarded heart, enviable wealth, and the undeserved reputation of a rogue. Grey’s focus on expanding his dukedom allows him little time to find a wife. But when his mother is widowed yet again and he meets the charmingly unconventional woman managing his stepfather’s funeral, he’s shocked to discover how much they have in common. Still, Grey isn’t interested in love, no matter how pretty, or delightfully outspoken, the lady . . .
Beatrice Wolfe gave up on romance long ago, and the arrogant Duke of Greycourt with his rakish reputation isn’t exactly changing her mind. Then Grey agrees to assist his grief-stricken mother with her latest “project”: schooling spirited, unfashionable Beatrice for her debut. Now that Beatrice is seeing through Grey’s charms to his wounded heart, she’s having trouble keeping him at arm’s length. But once Grey starts digging into her family’s secrets, she must decide whether her loyalties lie with her family . . . or with the man whose lessons capture her heart . . .
Sabrina Jeffries is a skilled author. She can bring characters to life so that they breathe air on the page. Her dialogs are always entertaining and she is usually spot on with her research of the era. Thanks to a family tree illustration at the beginning of the book, I could easily follow who all the characters were and their relationship to one another. But the reality of Regency mourning rituals are easily glossed over in this book. Practices of the time would have the family being quiet, sitting with the dead, attending to rituals, not schooling debutantes for a come-out and certainly not dancing.
Grey continually voices complainants of his lack of control when around Beatrice. The reader wants to shout “Just say ‘no’.”. And Beatrice for all her spinsterish ways seems a bit slutty at times. The mystery is not fully solved, so I believe this may be an ongoing thread in a future book.
I was disappointed in this book but I am a fan of this author and I hope that future books in the series correct the irksome issues I found presented in this one.