Eloisa James’s Say Yes to the Duke takes on one of my favorite trope combos: enemies to lovers with an uptight, seemingly emotionless duke. God love those men. Throw in a socially anxious Miss who fancies herself in love with the already-engaged vicar and well, who’s to blame me for falling as hard as I did?
Miss Viola Astley doesn’t feel like a Wilde and this, paired with a disastrous encounter at a ball, has resulted in anxiety related to societal events, marriage, & sex.
Devin the duke was raised in isolation & learned to put on a mask as a coping mechanism. He wants to marry Viola’s sister Joan only because she ticks off his boxes, and Viola overhears him coldly assessing her sister and calling *her, Viola,* a mouse in the same supercilious tone.
You have to read to see how mouse-y sweet Viola is with the jerk duke. Spoiler alert: not very mouse-y at all.
I just really loved this book. It was nearly everything that I wanted and needed. I love how Viola puts herself out there despite her shyness (that’s me in certain situations), I love how the Ice Man looks out for her and encourages her, I love how sexy their romps are. I love how Devin’s so closed off at first, poor dear, and has to learn that it’s safe for him to share his feelings with her.
Some of the transitions feel somewhat abrupt and some of the coincidences in the book are a bit much but Say Yes to the Duke is a funny, heartwarming, and did I mention sexy? foray into opening up, learning how to be married, and falling in love.
It made me really happy.
Say Yes to the Duke is out today. Thanks to the publisher & Edelweiss for my complimentary ARC. All opinions provided are my own.