Would I Lie to the Duke by Eva Leigh
(The Union of Rakes #2)
July 28, 2020, by Avon
Review by Kate
Would I Lie to the Duke is a book I was looking forward to in 2020 (remember 2020? seventeen years ago?). I’ll admit, I was lukewarm on My Fake Rake, the first book in The Union of Rakes series. It felt somewhat bland to me, but the Duke of Rotherby was a standout character, so I was very excited to read his happily ever after. Look – I have four highlights from My Fake Rake, and all of them were Rotherby quotes.
Would I Lie to the Duke starts out brilliantly – with Jess taking Noel and his hangers-on down a few pegs on the street – and I was immediately into it. Jess is a sharp-minded, out-spoken heroine I can get behind. Unfortunately, shortly after this scene is where the book and I had to take a break. In what was definitely an “it’s me, not you” situation, I got so stressed because of Jess’s lies about her identity, I had to set the book down. For approximately five months. 😬
With a 2021 goal of finishing half-read books on my shelves, I picked up Would I Lie to the Duke again. I had no problem jumping right back in. I loved Noel and Jess together and watching them come to realize their feelings for each other, plus their subversion of the power dynamic between the two of them was amazing. Their exploration together of Jess taking charge during intimate moments was, to be blunt, really hot. Jess’s realization that she wanted the power and Noel’s vulnerability in letting her take it were some of my favorite moments of the book.
But I still spent most of the time waiting for the other shoe to drop, and that diminished my overall enjoyment of the story. Jess’s true identity is revealed pretty late in the game, and the waiting was anxiety-inducing. Plus, once the reveal did happen, it happened in what I consider to be the most humiliating way possible. Trying to explain why the reveal and the timing of it didn’t work for me is hard without laying out the entire plot of the book, but suffice it to say I didn’t really believe Jess’s reasons for keeping her true identity a secret for so long. Noel was open and honest with her, and she knew his feelings, knew he was being vulnerable with her, and she still didn’t feel like she could tell him her identity.
I’m fairly certain my opinion of this book is just colored by 2020 being a stressful year, and me not wanting the additional angst in my reading. I’ll also note I am looking forward to Waiting For a Scot Like You – Leigh seems to be the queen of dropping tantalizing tidbits about her upcoming characters, and I am now desperate for Duncan’s story in the same way I was dying for Noel’s. At the end of the day, that’s what leads me to believe it’s a me issue – clearly, Leigh writes engaging characters and stories, this time around it just wasn’t the right story for me at the current moment.