Saturday, November 25, 2017

Early Review of It's Hard Out Here for a Duke (Keeping Up with the Cavendishes #4) by Maya Rodale

Title: It's Hard Out Here for a Duke: Keeping Up with the Cavendishes
Classification: Adult Fiction
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Keeping Up with the Cavendishes (Book 4)
Format: Paperback; 384 pages
Publisher: Avon (November 28, 2017)
ISBN-10: 0062386816
ISBN-13: 978-0062386816
Author's Website:
Notes: I received an eARC loan from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

She was a woman living on the border of high society--always on the outside looking in.  After spending weeks with her ailing mother she just wanted a distraction before returning to the reality that was her life, and she found it in a pair of blue eyes. Tonight she would be just a girl...

He was a young man who had just inherited a Dukedom, but promised himself that until he stepped foot on London soil, he was just James. After moving both himself and his sisters to England from America, he was looking for a distraction from the stress of it all and found it in the arms of a beautiful woman at the Queen's Head Tavern and Traveling Inn...

It was meant to be only one night. Neither was to know who the other was. As fate would have it, however, one night wouldn't be enough. And so fate intervened...
This was the fourth installment of the Keeping up with the Cavendishes series by Maya Rodale. You can read it out of order and not feel lost. This story deals with a newly minted Duke who was born and raised in America and a young woman who just so happens to be the dowager duchess' companion.

Meredith has been raised in a duke's household her whole life. Her mother was the duchess' lady's maid before she became ill, and the duchess, who never has had children of her own, has treated Meredith almost like a daughter. Meredith knows all the rules and etiquette to being one of The ton, yet isn't a part of it. Nor does she quite fit into the world of commoners. She lingers somewhere in between on the precipice of both worlds, but never truly belonging to either. When she finds herself the center of a handsome man's attention, she finds the experience rather heady. She is seen (if seen at all) by most as being a person of little to no consequence. So on a whim with a wee bit too much whiskey spurring her on, she decides to give in to temptation thinking never to see the man again.

Rumor has it that James' father absconded to America to marry James' mother after stealing one of the family's prized race horse. He never looked back or gave the family title another thought. So when James' parents died, he was taken by surprise to learn that he'd inherited a dukedom. James who has bred and raised horses all his life was not one to look a gift horse in the mouth. He uprooted what was left of his family and headed to England. They know absolutely nothing of British Peerage or their rules and have a lot to learn. If they decide England is not for them, their plan is to abscond to America as their father did many years ago.

Overall, I gave this one 4 out of 5 roses. I loved the initial situation Ms. Rodale created and how James and his family had to assimilate into British society. Watching them learn things such as the secret language of flowers, how to address a person according to their title or pecking order within a titled family, and how to conduct and dress oneself was fun. Plus, I loved the inner turmoil Meredith went through when trying to resist her growing feelings for James. I was half way to loving James when he did something that made me a little upset with him. Thankfully, his sisters set him straight and he soon redeemed himself in my eyes. I loved the way James' sisters handled him and made him see reason. It made me chuckle. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one earned a STEAM rating--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.

The order of the Keeping Up with the Cavendishes series:

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