A Duke Never Yields by Juliana Gray (Affairs by Moonlight #3)
Paranormal Historical Romance
February 5, 2013
Reviewed by Mandi
I didn’t like this book. One bit. Why did I keep reading? I thought it might get better, but it just got worse. By the end I was angry, rolling my eyes and just happy to be done.
Abigail is determined never to marry, but that doesn’t mean she never wants a man. Just the opposite. She has given herself a year to find a man and have sex, and she sets her sites upon the duke of Wallingford who she meets at an inn. Her and her party are on their way to Italy, for a year of reflection and guess what? The duke is going to Italy too. He is a rake and a scoundrel and his grandfather is demanding he marry, so instead Wallingford decides to take a break from London. And then guess what happens? Abilgail and Wallingford both lease the same castle accidentally. Shocking!
So Abigail goes full force into her seduction of Wallingford. And by seduction I mean she isn’t sly or tricky about anything – she outright tells him what she wants. Wallingford is trying to be a good little duke and not kiss and go further with innocent virgins…but he just can’t help himself.
Meanwhile, in this castle there is a female house servant and a male outside servant – who have been alive for 300 years due to a curse. Oh yes, there is a paranormal aspect in this book. So glad the blurb told us that! (it didn’t). And the men can’t see the female servant and the women can’t see the male servant and the curse can only be broken if true love is found or something like that. Of course it surrounds Abigail and Wallingford’s fate. I really don’t like ghost/pnr stuff in my otherwise “normal” world. Especially when we are not warned in the blurb. I found this curse business to be so silly and filler to the story.
Back to our romance, Abigail makes Wallingford look like such a bumbling idiot in this book. She is constantly saying things to him that are not appropriate. It is done under the guise of being cute and independent. But I have to question if a duke would honestly allow anyone, I don’t care how cute she is, to speak to him the way Abigail does. She makes fun of him and humiliates him to some degree. And he just sits there and takes it. It made him look like a big doofus. Not sexy.
But then all of a sudden, Wallingford falls in love. Of course of course. And then he decides he must have sex with her, and when he is finished Abigail tells him it was horrible and that he is a horrible lover (I wish I had liked this book because I’m actually a fan of bad sex sometimes).
“Let me in. Open for me.”
Her legs opened, and then stiffened. He moved his hips, as gently as he could manage, but he could not get inside her, could not quite find his way.
“Oh!” she said again. Her fingers dug into his arm. He checked his aim and lunged again, harder this time, his blood pounding in his ears.
It goes on and on, he eventually finds his way in as he “gathered himself and shoved with mighty effort” until she gave way. But then the curse comes back into play so we couldn’t explore just how bad Wallingford is in bed. Also – if Wallingford is really a rake as he says, would he be this bad in bed?
No worries though because he makes up for it. By this point I was so unconvinced of their love for each other I could really care less if he was great in bed or not.
The worst part is the end. It’s a spoiler so I’m hiding it.
He finally convinces Abigail to marry him, they rush to do it in time for the curse not to expire and then she tells him she is not convinced he isn’t still a rake, and this lies heavy on his mind. So she encourages him to go away for a year to make himself a better man. As in manual labor and stuff I guess. Would a duke really do this? And if you really are in love, would you leave your wife to go find yourself for an entire year? Shouldn’t you each accept each other?
I have no idea because on one page he packs up to go and the next page it’s a year later and he is back. IS HE A BETTER MAN? Why did he leave for AN ENTIRE YEAR? These things are not addressed. OH! And she has a BABY while he is gone. *bangs head repeatedly*
Yeah. This one failed.