Recommended Read, Review

Review: The Duke Effect by Sophie Jordan (2020)

The Rogue Files, Book 7

Heat Factor: It didn’t get cracking until about 50% of the way through the book and then it was just nothing to inferno in about one chapter.

Character Chemistry: They’re both a bit straight-laced but with this undercurrent of rebelliousness and it works.

Plot: Nora trained extensively under the tutelage of her now-deceased physician father and has become a talented healer who corresponds with those in need of help under her father’s name in secret. The soon-to-be Duke of Birchwood seeks Dr. Langley’s help only to find out about Nora’s deceit. Desperate to right herself in his eyes and save her reputation, she pushes Constantine to allow her to help him, and then they get all hot and bothered and so will you.

Overall: I was SO CLOSE to writing this one off and then I hit 50% of the way through it and hooooo buddy…Sophie Jordan just lit the whole thing on fire.

I really started this one thinking I’d be writing a review about how mild and cerebral the whole thing was–because that’s very much how both Constantine and Nora initially present themselves–but I was FOOLED. This book might feel slow in the beginning but I assure you, call it dry and you’d be a liar, liar, panties on fire. 

The whole beginning is a very leisurely unfolding of Nora’s quest to convince Constintine to allow her to treat the Duchess of Birchwood. As a surprise heir (three sons of the Duke all passed away unexpectedly, leaving Constantine as the last option), he’s desperate to DO THE RIGHT THING at all times, and is understandably grumpy to discover Nora’s deception. Nora seems to be talented but closeted–she didn’t understand the potential ramifications of her deceit, and she lives in a small bubble where she’s accepted and appreciated by her village and family. 

When she shows up uninvited to treat the Duchess, things are a little bumpy and unpleasant. She’s not treated warmly, and she knows she has to prove herself. As time goes on, even as she struggles to cure the Duchess, Constantine’s respect for her grows. 

This brings us to about 50% of the way through. Ah, that carriage ride of fire. 

After Constantine brings her to see a real-life surgery and medical school (and defends her publicly, I might add), they bump into each other in the carriage on the way home and that’s pretty much the end of them leaving room for the Lord between them. 

This book is a CLASSIC hot historical romance. Skirts and heated looks, disapproving stares, and a big old “she’s compromised!!” hullabaloo. I loved it. 

Also, you get the whole bumbling proposal situation which I’m weirdly fond of at this point, plus a lot of really witty zingers. I loved that Sophie Jordan opted to avoid the whole jealous, social-climber fiancee-to-be scenario and really fleshed out her supporting characters. She really rounded everything out quite carefully and the end result is a classic story with anything but predictable characters. 

I voluntarily read and reviewed a complimentary copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. We disclose this in accordance with 16 CFR §255.

Buy Now: Amazon | Bookshop

Looking for something similar?

Historical romance, in England…but with trains

Please heal my wounded heart. Also my wounded leg.

Oops. We’ve been compromised. Darn.

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