2021: #30 – A Duke by Default (Alyssa Cole)

2021: #30 – A Duke by Default (Alyssa Cole)A Duke by Default by Alyssa Cole
Series: Reluctant Royals #02
Published by Avon on July 31, 2018
Genres: romance, contemporary romance
Pages: 374
Also by this author: A Princess in Theory, A Prince on Paper
Also in this series: A Princess in Theory, A Prince on Paper

Award-winning author Alyssa Cole’s Reluctant Royals series continues with a woman on a quest to be the heroine of her own story and the duke in shining armor she rescues along the way
New York City socialite and perpetual hot mess Portia Hobbs is tired of disappointing her family, friends, and—most importantly—herself. An apprenticeship with a struggling swordmaker in Scotland is a chance to use her expertise and discover what she’s capable of. Turns out she excels at aggravating her gruff silver fox boss…when she’s not having inappropriate fantasies about his sexy Scottish burr.
Tavish McKenzie doesn’t need a rich, spoiled American telling him how to run his armory…even if she is infuriatingly good at it. Tav tries to rebuff his apprentice, and his attraction to her, but when Portia accidentally discovers that he’s the secret son of a duke, rough-around-the-edges Tav becomes her newest makeover project.
Forging metal into weapons and armor is one thing, but when desire burns out of control and the media spotlight gets too hot to bear, can a commoner turned duke and his posh apprentice find lasting love?

This is the second book in the Reluctant Royals series, and I think it was a little bit better than the first!

Portia is the best friend of Ledi, from the first book, and Portia is a bit of a mess. She’s recently stopped drinking and started trying to get her life in order and figure out what she wants to be when she “grows up”. With a love of history, she applies for and gets an apprenticeship with a swordmaker in Scotland. Except having an apprentice was not Tavish’s idea, especially when she’s a beautiful, rich, American airhead, and he’s not happy to have her in his home and business.

Once again Alyssa Cole hits it out of the park with the chemistry. I also liked that there was quite a bit of self-discovery woven in here, for both Portia and Tavish. And who doesn’t love a burly Scotsman that knows how to wear a kilt?

Other reviews:

  • “Cole is SO GOOD at creating complex side characters, and this is no exception. Tav’s brother and his wife are especially fun. Honestly, Alyssa Cole may have ruined me for other romances! Nothing quite compares to her.”Snark & Squee
  • “This is such a solid book – it’s tear-jerking, it’s inspiring, it’s sexy and romantic, it’s interesting (sword history!) and it’s funny. I can’t wait for the next book in the series.”Smart Bitches Trashy Books
  • “If you want a topical contemporary romance with a royalty theme and characters who are lively, believable, and fun to read about, you’ll want to pick up this series!”Harlequin Junkie

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