“A Duke For Diana” is the first book in Sabrina Jeffries’s Designing Debutantes series. Jeffries has a uniquely engaging style of writing which pulls the reader into the book instantly. I have read her School for Heiresses series, a few books in the Hellions of Halstead Hall series and enjoyed them immensely, so much so that she is one of my favorite authors of the historical romance genre.
I had such high hopes for “A Duke for Diana” but the book managed to live up to my expectations only to a certain extent. The book contains all the familiar tropes of story lines she likes to use. The plot is good, the characters are all interesting enough and the storytelling is crisp as always. However, the story does not contain that engaging factor which Jeffries’ books usually contain.
The book begins with three sisters named Eliza, Diana and Verity, who decide to make a business out of helping aristocratic families with their parties, balls and every other thing people of that class ought to have a knowledge of. This leads them to the newly-minted Duke of Greenwood, Geoffrey, looking for help with his sister Rosy’s debut into society and all aspects pertaining to it.
Diana and Geoffrey find themselves dancing around one another, both of them attracted to the other, but neither of them willing to commit in terms of marriage, due to their personal experiences. The story takes us through their reasoning, exploring whether or not they can overcome their initial misgivings.
To be fair, their reasons are legitimate, reasonable and serious enough for them to be real obstacles to their relationship. However, for some reason, I just couldn’t completely connect with their troubles and definitely didn’t feel the urge to root for their relationship.
Diana is a fairly likeable character. She is quite independent, knows her mind and is strong; she does have some flaws but they only make her more human. Geoffrey’s character, however, didn’t impress me particularly. His virtues are not great enough to outshine his flaws; in fact, he can be fairly irritating at times. And in spite of the rather hot intimate scenes between them, I just didn’t feel there was a spark between them. Like I previously mentioned, it might just be the way characters have been written or the plot might not have been laid out in an engaging manner — at least definitely not to the extent I was hoping they might be.
I usually love Jeffries’s books, but I can say that I only like this book. I, however, definitely recommend this book if you want something light and enjoyable for a summer read, with just the right amount of intimacy.
This book gets 4 out of 5 stars.