Series: Reluctant Royals

Review: A Duke by Default by Alyssa Cole

Posted August 3, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 10 Comments

Review: A Duke by Default by Alyssa ColeA Duke by Default by Alyssa Cole
Series: Reluctant Royals #2
Published by Harper Collins, Avon on July 31, 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Point of View: Alternating Third Person
Pages: 374
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss
Add It: Goodreads
four-stars

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?

I got this book for review and was looking forward to digging into the story because it was receiving so many great reviews all over the place. Add on top of all that, it was a diverse romance and I was all in.

Portia Hobbs is on her way to Scotland for an apprenticeship with a swordsman that will hopefully make her grow into the kind of person that has her shit together. She wants to stop being such a disappointment to her family, to her friends and most importantly, to herself. It’s long past the time that she grew up and started making her own way in life and she’s hoping that her thirst for knowledge, along with helping this struggling armory will help her with that plan.

Meeting Tavish McKenzie, getting to know Tav and helping him through a life change that she brought about took Portia by surprise. Never in a million years did she think she’d fall head over heels in love with a brutish Scotsman who overwhelmed her senses at every turn but that’s what happened and boy did I enjoy watching Portia grow and fall in love with the man that would end up being her forever person.

Tavish knows full out that he’s not the easiest person to get along with and his attraction to the apprentice he didn’t even want is a thorn in his side but hell if he knows how to get out from under all of the desire he has for Portia. He’s a small town lad who wants to do all that he can for the people in his town so when Portia finds out that he’s the actual Duke of Edinburg, his life takes on even more complications that have far-reaching consequences. Learning all that he can so that he can protect those that mean the world to him has become his biggest priority and boy did I love the hell out of him for that.

Tavish is my book boyfriend of the week because holy hell, he was the bomb. On top of the fact that he was super sexy with a Scottish accent that melted me at the knees? He was also a really stand up guy who was loved and who loved hard. He was also the kind of guy that was quick to try to make up for being a dumbass and I really appreciated his thought processes when he realizes how big a bonehead he is. There was no long ass separation that made me want to pull my hair out and when Tavish realizes he is in love with Portia, the way that he went about making sure she knew made my heart melt.

I absolutely adored the way that he declared his love for her and the way that he apologized for being an asshole. He was a great Duke and I loved the changes he was making in the modern aristocracy.

This is who I pictured when casting Tavish in the movie of this book (because of course I think there should be a movie for this book)…I think it’s pretty damn perfect.

Overall, this book was a great introduction into Alyssa Cole’s work and I’m pretty stoked to read more books by her. I enjoy her writing style and the way that I connected with her characters. I loved Portia just as much as I loved Tav and I also really loved her sister and friends. They were a great support system and Johan? Gah, I can’t wait for him and Nya to meet.

The only thing that I wished we got from this book before it ended was more of a resolution with Portia and her parents. I wish we had gotten a scene where she told her parents off about how they made her feel instead of just Reggie but other than that, this book is a great book and I definitely recommend.

Final Grade

4.25 out of 5

Buy the Book

AMAZON || BARNES & NOBLE || GOOGLE BOOKS || KOBO || THE RIPPED BODICE

Reluctant Royals Series

four-stars

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The Weekly Recap (96)

Posted July 30, 2018 by Rowena in Books, Features | 10 Comments

I’m changing Week in Review to The Weekly Recap so that it matches my Monthly Recap post that I do up every month. I’m a person that needs things to match and I didn’t even realize that they didn’t match so I’m fixing it now. Better late than never, right? I’m not sure who to credit for the feature name The Weekly Recap but I know that Nick uses it over at The Infinite Limits of Love and so does Ari over at The Romance Corner.

Anyway, I got my new bed!!! I’m super excited since this is the first bed that I actually bought for myself. My parents bought my last bed and I’ve had it for forever so this new purchase was all me and I just love it to pieces. I also love that I’m not sleeping on the floor anymore. Woot!

Also, our family pictures came in so here is one of my favorites of everyone:

Our photographer was super great so if you’re looking for someone to do your pictures at an affordable rate, check out Drew at Lokeni Productions.

This week was also the week that we laid our friend David to rest and I thought his family did such a great job with his funeral services. It was evident how much he was loved and how many different sets of friends he had. Rest in peace, David!

Now, onto the books…

What I’m Currently Reading
The Weekly Recap (96)A Duke by Default by Alyssa Cole
Series: Reluctant Royals #2
Also in this series: A Duke by Default
Published by Harper Collins, Avon on July 31, 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Point of View: Third Person
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher, Edelweiss
Add It: Goodreads

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?

I’m almost done with this book but most of last week was for my friend’s funeral and when I did read, I picked up To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, P.S. I Still Love You, and Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han to read all of my favorite Peter Kavinsky parts. Brenna is reading this series so I’m following along with her and we’re discussing the books every day so I haven’t fully moved on from these guys yet.

I finally picked A Duke by Default up last night and read through about half of the book and then did some reading at the doctor’s office this morning so I should be finishing it up soon. Wish me luck.

What I Read

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han | 4.5 out of 5
P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han | 4.75 out of 5
Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han | 4.75 out of 5

It was a week of re-reading for me. I’m reading and discussing these books with Brenna and I’m super thrilled that she’s loving these books as much as I am.

What I Reviewed

The Kissing Booth (2018) | 3.25 out of 5
Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han | 4.75 out of 5

What I Posted

Week in Review (95)
Can’t Wait Wednesday: Forget You, Ethan by Whitney G
Throwback Thursday: Saying Goodbye to David

What I Got

I didn’t get anything new this week. I haven’t had a chance to see what came out and what’s on sale. I’m sure that will change this week.

What I Got for Review

Nothing. I haven’t been on NetGalley or Edelweiss in a few weeks. I’ll need to check those sites out soon.

What Movies I Watched

Locke (2013) | 3.25 out of 5
Blackway (2015) | 3.5 out of 5
The Loft (2014) | 3.5 out of 5
Love, Simon (2018) | 5 out of 5
The Commuter (2018) | 4.25 out of 5

What TV Shows I Watched

I’m all caught up on Take Two and Suits and I’m enjoying what I’ve been watching so far on those two shows and I binge watched the heck out of both seasons of Kims Convenience. That show cracks me up because the parents remind me of my parents and I adore both Janet and Jung.

What Made Me Laugh

There you have it, my weekly recap. How was your week?

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Week in Review (95)

Posted July 23, 2018 by Rowena in Books, Features | 4 Comments

This last week was for ordering a new bed for myself and then spring cleaning (I guess it’s summer cleaning) the shit out of my bedroom to get it ready for my new bed’s delivery. I cleaned out my closet, washed down my walls, dusted the shit out of everything and moved my room around, cleaned the carpets and everything. No stone was left unturned and by the time the weekend came, I was exhausted. I still have things to get rid of and things to clean out but I made a lot of progress and I’m super happy with my efforts.

Instead of losing myself in the books I wanted to read, I lost myself in movies and then 13 Reasons Why. The weekend came and went and I barely left my now cleaner than it’s ever been room.

Now, onto the books…

What I’m Currently Reading
Week in Review (95)A Duke by Default by Alyssa Cole
Series: Reluctant Royals #2
Also in this series: A Duke by Default
Published by Harper Collins, Avon on July 31, 2018
Genres: Historical, Romance
Pages: 384
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss, Publisher
Add It: Goodreads

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?

My plan to get this book read over the weekend went by the wayside when I binge-watched the entire second season of 13 Reasons Why. I’m mighty interested in seeing where they take that ending into the new season. I hear that we’re not going to be getting anymore Hannah and…that’s strange to me. But, there are other characters with other stories and I do find myself intrigued by those other characters. My heart went out to Zack and Justin in this last season and well, I really want more of them in the new season so fingers crossed.

Anyway, I’m starting this book today for real, for real. No, seriously…I’m going to start this book right after I finish writing this post.

What I Read

P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han (re-read) | 4.75 out of 5
Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han | 4.75 out of 5
Double Standards by Judith McNaught (re-read) | 4 out of 5

Last week was all about Lara Jean and Peter for me. I freaking loved those two and wasn’t quite ready to say goodbye to them but then I lost myself in a re-read of Double Standards by Judith McNaught and got caught up in Nick Sinclair’s world again and *sigh*, I loved it.

Book Boyfriend of the Week

Peter Kavinsky
P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han

What I Reviewed

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han | 3.75 & 4.5 out of 5
Double Standards by Judith McNaugh | 4 out of 5
P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han | 4.75 out of 5

What I Posted

Week in Review (94)
Can’t Wait Wednesday: The Good Luck Charm by Helena Hunting

What I Got

Stay by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy (I couldn’t help myself it was only $1.99 on audio so I had to get it)

What I Got for Review

Fight or Flight by Samantha Young

There you have it, my week in review. How was your week?

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