I received this book for free from Netgalley in order to prepare an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
No Other Duke But You (Playful Brides, #11) by Valerie Bowman
Series: Playful Brides #11
Published by St. Martin's Paperbacks on April 30, 2019
FINAL DECISION: A fun, madcap comedy romance with an essential sweetness between two longtime friends who are perfect for one another. The balance between the comedy, romance and sweetness was just wonderful here, and although I generally prefer angst to light and comedic, this might be my favorite book in the series.
THE STORY: Delilah Montebank has spent five seasons matchmaking with her friends, but now her mother has had enough. Delilah has until the end of the season to find a match better than the one her mother has arranged for her with an earl. Delilah has set her sights on the most eligible bachelor of the year although Delilah doesn’t even know him. Thomas Hobb, Duke of Huntley, is Delilah’s best friend, and despite his repeated claims that he doesn’t intend to marry, he has actually been in love with Delilah for years. Now with Delilah’s determination to catch a different duke, Thomas has to find a way to make Delilah see him as the duke she should want.
OPINION: I loved the tone of this book which is lighthearted and funny and really has a craziness in the plots and misunderstandings between the characters. It is a crazy comedy with such a sweet romance.
Delilah is a good person who has been treated badly by her mother. But her desire to love and have her mother love her leads her to try and please her mother in ways that are destructive to her. One of the character stories for Delilah is for her to recognize how destructive her mother is to her and stop trying to please her. Delilah has to learn to find her own self-worth. On the other hand, Delilah is very exuberant and full of life. She is loyal and kind. She just made me smile and she really needs a special man who can appreciate her.
Thomas is the perfect match for Delilah. He has loved Delilah for years and finds her wonderful as she is. But what Thomas fears is losing her from his life. He would rather remain friends than declare himself and make things awkward for them. He is adorable in his own way. He makes Delilah laugh and he is her biggest supporter.
I loved how these two are so close. The plots and plans upset the balance in their relationship, but their friendship needs to be upset in order for both of them to grab onto the happiness and love the other provides.
This is a mapcap comedy with plenty of misunderstandings and mistaken love pairings. But it is spirited and fun and I enjoyed it tremendously. I’m generally not as attracted to the lighter comedic romances, but I’ve always enjoyed this series and this book manages to complete the series in a fun way. I also really like Delilah and Thomas and their emotional connection.
WORTH MENTIONING: This book has strong overtones of Midsummer Night’s Dream so it is purposefully funny and crazy with lots of misunderstandings and machinations with everyone seemingly in love with the wrong person.
CONNECTED BOOKS: NO OTHER DUKE BUT YOU is the eleventh book in the Playful Brides series. While the story here is a standalone, there are so many recurring characters that I recommend reading this book after the others in the series in order to get all the updates and cameos.
STAR RATING: I give this book 5 stars.
NOTE: I received an ARC of this book via Netgalley. I was not required to write a review or to write a positive review. All opinions contained herein are my own.