A past kiss with adorably bookish Miss Olivia Norley should be barely a memory for Marlowe Drake, the Duke of Thornstock. After all, there are countless debutantes for a handsome rakehell to charm beyond a young lady whose singular passion is chemistry—of the laboratory type. But Thorn has not forgotten—or forgiven—the shocking blackmail scheme sparked by that single kiss, or the damage caused to both their names. Now Thorn’s half-brother, Grey, has hired the brilliant Miss Norley for her scientific expertise in solving a troubling family mystery. And the once-burned Thorn, suspicious of her true motives, vows to follow her every move…
For Olivia, determining whether arsenic poisoning killed Grey’s father is the pioneering experiment that could make her career—and Thorn’s constant presence is merely a distraction. But someone has explosive plans to derail her search. Soon the most unexpected discovery is the caring nature of the reputed scoundrel beside her—and the electricity it ignites between them…
This is my first time reading Sabrina Jeffries and I’m not positive starting on book 3 of the Duke Dynasty was the best place to begin. The main idea behind the series is about a woman who has been married three times and given birth to various children. Some are full siblings and some are half siblings so because it can become a little confusing about who’s who for newbies like myself, there is a family tree available at the beginning of the book. Each story in the series focuses on one of the grown up children finding love and Who Wants to Marry a Duke focuses on Marlowe Drake, the Duke of Thornstock (aka Thorn).
As a hero, Thorn is a bit of a jerk and to be honest, I didn’t really like him much throughout the entire story. He’s rude, stubborn, cynical and kind of narrow-minded. I would like to say he gets better as the book progresses but unfortunately, that just wasn’t the case.
The heroine, Olivia, was interesting. She’s quiet and “bookish” with no desires to marry. All Olivia wants is to establish herself as a chemist. I enjoyed watching her grow within her profession and become somewhat independent. Although her dependence is still questionable where Thorn is concerned.
Outside of the two main characters, I enjoyed the rest of the plotline and the mystery surrounding one of the late father’s demise. It was a nice way to break up the lackluster chemistry between the hero and heroine, and add a bit more intrigue into the tale. Overall Who Wants to Marry a Duke was an okay read. I’m not sure I’d really recommend it to anyone unless they were already SJ fans but I definitely want to pick up another SJ book to compare it with since I’ve heard so many great things about her stories.
Disclaimer: Thank you to Kensington Books/Zebra and Netgalley for the arc in exchange for an honest review.