Title: The Trouble With Being a Duke: At the Kingsborough Ball
Classification: Adult Fiction
Genre: Historical Romance / Fairy Tale Remake
Series: The Kingsborough Ball
Format: Paperback; 384 pages
Publisher: Avon (August 27, 2013)
Notes: Received a signed ARC at RWA.
Every girl dreams of finding her prince charming--of who the man will be that she marries. Isabella Chilcott has no such fantasies. She knows perfectly well who she'll marry and she's not exactly ecstatic about it. Her parents have an understanding with a gentleman who is her father's boss and it is only a matter of time before he makes an offer for her. But for one night, Isabella will allow herself to live the fantasy of being a princess going to a ball. The Duke of Kingsborough is resurrecting the tradition of having an annual ball after a five year hiatus. Isabelle's plan is quite simple, to sneak in with the help of her cousin and for one night see how the other half of society lives. A night she plans to savor and relish for years to come. One perfect night in what is sure to be an anything but perfect future.
Anthony Hurst, the seventh Duke of Kingsborough, is worried about his mother. In an effort to get her out of the deep depression she's sunk into since his father's death, he proposes they host a ball. His father's illness and death had prevented them from hosting one for years. His father's death has hit him hard and he's now reanalyzing what's important has decided it's time for him to settle down, find a wife and start a family. He plans to use the ball to kick start his searching for a wife. Little does he know he'll find his match in doing so or that he'll lose her just as quickly. For after the ball she'll run off, but unlike Cinderella she won't leave behind a shoe. He'll just have to find some other means of finding her.
This was a fun and enchanting read. Isabella is unlike the woman in society. She speaks her mind and can at times be sarcastic. When she's with her 'almost' fiance, Mr. Roberts, however, her spirit and liveliness must be stifled and hidden. The man wants an agreeable wife that he can mold into the woman he wants and for the love of her family, Isabella acts accordingly. Her family has struggled to make ends meat and Mr. Roberts seems to be the most likely means of gaining status and a leg up. She believes she'll be trapped in a loveless marriage and foresees no way out.
Anthony is a handsome, rich, titled and self assured man. He also has a reputation of being a rogue. His father's death made him see the world through different eyes and curbed his wayward nature. His father had been the glue that held the family together and he has some big shoes to fill. The death unsettled him and made him realize how short life truly is. When he meets Isabella, he feels an instant connection and just knows she's 'the one' and he'll do anything within his power to convince her to be his. While it would seem the Duke would be an acceptable means for Isabella to escape the attentions of the man her parents have attempted to pair her with, there are other obstacles and misunderstandings which block the couples way. The main hurdles he'll have to overcome are her family's dislike of aristocrats and her 'almost' fiance who needs to go.
Overall, I gave this one 3 1/2 out of 5 roses. I did quite a lot of laughing and chuckling while reading this one. It was a fun, lighthearted and sweet remake of the old favorite, Cinderella. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one gets a STEAM--too hot for a fan, but you still have a handle on things. You should use extreme caution when reading a book with this rating in public. People may inquire as to why you looked flustered and flushed.