Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Book: A Duchess in the Dark by Kate McKinley

A Duchess in the Dark is book 1 of By Invitation Only (I’ve previously reviewed the other two).

Daphne is determined to make Edward fall in love with her, to the extent that she decides to sneak into his bed chamber at night and force a proposal out of him. Except that Daphne chooses the wrong bed chamber. Thinking that she was someone else, Ashton takes full advantage of his night time visitor, but in the morning is left confused as to who she was. When a little digging reveals that it was Daphne he couldn’t be more pleased and sets about wooing the woman he’s always wanted.

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All of the Kate McKinley books I’ve read before have been enjoyable. They’re fairly predictable in nature, but then if I’m honest, I think Regency Romances in general are a little predictable, and that is some of what I love about them. A Duchess in the Dark, though the first in the series, is the only book from By Invitation Only that I hadn’t read and I’m glad to have now completed the set!

I liked the fact that in this case it was Daphne who was the most forward. It wasn’t Ashton who initiated the first move, and it does sometimes feel like the male character is leading the female character. She was trying to force a proposal, but ultimately she enjoyed herself (and calculatingly covered up discomfort). I thought it worked to portray a strong character.

I also liked the way that McKinley showed that Edward wasn’t a suitable candidate for Daphne before the big reveal as to why. Instead there were little interactions between them, and between the three central characters that showed this (including such moments as Edward dismissing Daphne and forgetting what she liked).

I really liked Ashton as a character actually. Though he came across a bit rake-ish to begin with, it soon became clear that he wasn’t one for taking advantage, nor was he one to ruin a woman’s honour. Better than that though, the fact that he and Daphne had had sex wasn’t why he wanted to marry her, but rather he wanted her because he liked her.

A Duchess in the Dark was engaging, fun and sexy, if you like Regency Romances then this series is good!


A Duchess in the Dark counts towards Winter COYER and the 3 Historical Romances in 3 Weeks COYER mini-challenge.