Review: When a Duke Says I Do by Jane Goodger


When a Duke Says I Do by Jane Goodger 
Historical / Regency
2011-12-06 (Zebra Books)

Rating: C
Heat: Warm

Heroine: Elsie Stanhope – Aristocrat, Insomniac 
Hero: Alexander Wilkinson – Mistaken Identity, Shy
Setting: England


How do you rate a book that made you smile, made you laugh, made you cry... And yet, for a too long period - made you bored.

I adored the impish Elsie and the stoic Alexander for the first third of the book. They had a cute and impossible romance brewing. And, while it is completely obvious exactly who and what Alexander is - I won't bother spoiling it. His crippling shyness was endearing, and Elsie's constant insomnia was intriguing. I enjoyed how they were each other's cure.

But I did not enjoy the few character POV changes. Particularly when they were pointless and unwarranted. The change to Aunt Diane's POV during a ball, her only POV in the whole book, seemed out of context with the rest of the book. It added nothing to this story. And if it was an attempt to set up a book featuring Aunt Diane, well, it was a lame attempt.
The middle third of the book was boring and slow. Alexander's fight to claim his birth rights dragged on for far too long... which gave a lot of page time to Elsie reflecting on her feelings for Alexander.

The last third of the book picked up again. I could understand Alexander's hurt over what he believed to be Elsie's choice, but his personality underwent a major change from the first. His recovery from his crippling, vomit-inducing shyness was a bit too perfect. Too complete. And too fast.

And there was some vagueness over the amount of time that passed after the wedding. It wasn't written terribly clear. It felt like a week had passed then, come to find out, not even 6 hours had gone by... Then two months passes. There were definitely pacing issues.
The writing was lovely, but it felt like an amateur job with editing. I am surprised this was not an independent publish. Whoever was in charge of editing this book at Zebra dropped the ball. They did not give the author great guidance

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