Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for the complimentary ARC. All opinions provided are my own.
Charis Michaels’s Awakened by a Kiss series is charming & bright, but please let me tell you that I was not saddened by the steam in A Duchess by Midnight—including while the MCs are birdwatching .
From Wicked Stepsister and Mean Girl to a spinster with business aspirations, Drewsmina “Drew” Trelayne has undergone quite the change in the last few years.
At the beginning of this book she’s happy to secure a job for herself as “stylist” to reclusive duke Ian Claybank’s nieces, who are about to participate in the Season but who aren’t prepared for it.
United in their goal, living in the same house, & mutually appreciating the scenery in front of them , things heat up quickly between Drew & Ian.
Maybe my fave thing about this book is just how attracted Ian is to Drew & vice versa. Drew still has some lingering insecurities about herself—she has orange hair & freckles & is very tall, all of which her cruel mother, no doubt, made her feel horrible about—& meanwhile, Ian makes it very clear to her & to others that she is what he wants.
The chemistry between them is written beautifully & scintillatingly, & I was happy when they finally admit their feelings at the end, though wishing that Ian had been a bit less of a dumb dumb . The conflict between them feels a tiny bit lackluster to me but it all contributes to the low angst feel of the romance & I can’t complain about that too much.
All in all this is cheerful, steamy fun & I love seeing a former Mean Girl who wants to try to live with kindness & empathy & follow her dreams get a HEA.
4 ⭐️. Out 07/26.
CWs: emotionally abusive, cruel mother. References to past cruel behavior by heroine. References to violent Luddite Riot which a man was killed during. References to what I’m calling a religious cult of sorts, where the Duke’s nieces & sister were previously living.
Give me that HEA, please.
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