To Pleasure a Duke

Author: Sara Bennett

Publisher: Avon

Release Date: November 1, 2011

Blue Ribbon Rating: 4.5




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Although Eugenie Belmont loves her family, she is embarrassed by them, mainly of her father, Sir Peter, who seems to constantly be in the midst of one con or another. Despite his schemes and his marriage to an heiress, the family is poor. Unable to cope with her four sons, Eugenie’s mother depends upon her to handle them when she is at school. Thanks to her aunt, Eugenie attends Miss Debenham’s Finishing School, where she and her friends have formed the Husband Hunter’s Club. Unwilling to wait for a man to offer for them, these girls take the matter into their own hands to ensure a match with a man of their own choosing. She has watched as her friends have made their matches, and now it is her turn. When her friends asked her who her perfect man was, she did not know how to answer…not until the Duke of Somerset’s name popped into her head. Without considering the consequences, she blurted it out and even led them to believe that she has a relationship with the duke already. It was true that she had met him three months ago when he almost galloped over her brothers and her, but there had been nothing intimate in it.  Although she knew that a match between them was impossible since he was so much higher in society than she was, she had seen the desire in his eyes when he looked at her. So maybe there was a possibility of something more.

Sinclair, the Duke of Somerset, has been raised to know that his duties and responsibilities to the title come first. Burdened with the dukedom, his haughty, self-important mother and his immature younger sister, Sinclair is too busy to give in to any romantic whims.  He even had to give up his first love of painting since his mother felt that this activity was not fitting for a duke. The paints were locked away and hadn’t been touched in ten years. As the head of the family, he is the disciplinarian and must ensure that his sister also puts the family first. She is engaged to be married, but lately, she has been in tears over the choice of her husband, even claiming that she is not ready for marriage. The union will be a good thing for the family, but she is not concerned with that. Although he must make sure she shows up for the nuptials, he cannot help having sympathy for her. He knows how it feels to have no choice. Having the title has kept him from living the kind of life he wants.

On their first brief meeting, Sinclair had noticed the talent that Eugenie’s brother, Jack, has with animals and had wanted him to work with his horses. He was also intrigued with Eugenie. So when they had been forced to get rid of their pet goat, Erik, Sinclair had taken it home with him, giving Eugenie and her brothers the open invitation to visit Erik whenever they wanted. It was during one of their visits to see Erik that Eugenie told Sinclair that he should take risks. This began a series of dares between them. The dares led to stolen kisses, but when he asked her to be his mistress; he ruined everything. After all, Eugenie Belmont is no man’s mistress.      

Up until now, Sinclair has had no problems doing his duty to the title, but Eugenie fascinates him, although he knows he can never marry her. Unlike everyone else, she does not try to flatter him. She is blunt, honest and everything he wants in a woman. He has never met anyone like her. For ten years, he has fulfilled everyone else’s expectations of him and, in the process, become dull and boring. But Eugenie has changed that, challenging him to take risks and making life more exciting. He cannot bear losing that. Can he take the ultimate risk and marry the love of his life?

A delicious read, TO PLEASURE A DUKE, the second book in the HUSBAND HUNTER’S CLUB series, is a witty and sensual historical romance. It kept me up late into the night, anxious to see how Sinclair and Eugenie would overcome their problems. From two different classes, a marriage between them is forbidden, but their desire for each other cannot be ignored. Enticingly filled with humor, clever banter, irresistible characters, an intriguing plot, sexual tension, steamy love scenes and tender love, this story is a delight. Although TO PLEASURE A DUKE is part of a series, it can be read as a standalone, but for additional enjoyment, I also suggest reading the first two books in this wonderful series; LED ASTRAY BY A RAKE and A MOST SINFUL PROPOSAL.

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