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29 July 2021

Book Review: Playing the Duke's Fiancée by Amanda McCabe *AD gifted

I was provided with a free ebook of Playing the Duke's Fiancée by Amanda McCabe ahead of the blog tour.

You can't beat a good Victorian romance, especially one set at court. And this one? It was a resplendent portrayal of court life and romance.

Playing the Duke's Fiancee by Amanda McCabe Mills & Boon historical cover

A pretend proposal

For the unconventional heiress

When American heiress Violet Wilkins crosses paths with William, Duke of Charteris, she has extremely low expectations of the “Duke of Bore.” But when this seemingly stuffy aristocrat offers her escape from a dreadful arranged marriage, she leaps at the chance!

To her surprise, the arresting Charles whisks Vi into an exhilarating make-believe romance.

And as she gets to know the man behind the title, she can’t help wanting more…

Amazon UK | Amazon US

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Source: Blog Tour | Review Copy

5 Word Review: Photography, royalty, family, friendship, duty.


I don't usually read historical romances about American heiresses. It's not that I don't like them, it's just that generally they're not to my tastes and I find it hard to relate to the protagonist. But Playing the Duke's Fiancée? I couldn't have loved it more! And I will definitely be reading the other Dollar Duchesses books because Amanda McCabe's writing certainly does tick all of the right boxes for me.

I may be converted.

I loved Violet so much - I loved her passion and her enthusiasm for everything, and especially her love of photography. It reminded me of my time doing photography myself, battling against tricky light or subjects who wouldn't stay still. I loved her artistic mind, and how open minded she was to interpreting the art of others. It really grounded her as a character.

William is a very interesting character, and I loved that we see him not only as The Duke, but also as a brother and a friend. It was nice to see him mellow with love. And I really loved the responsibility he had for his tenants too, his progressive views on making their lives better.

The narrative is split between Violet and William, so we get glimpses from both sides. I loved the way that this built tension and had me fully supporting the couple.

I loved the relationship between Vi and Will. The way they first became friends despite their secret attraction to each other. They are both supportive of the other, and always encouraging. It was so heart-warming and when they became something more it was all the more satisfying for it. They genuinely feel like best friends got together.

Something I especially loved about this book of the excessive luxury of court, especially was we travelled into Russia, the extravagance and the lavish surroundings. This is really a book that allows you to get lost in a bygone era of drawing rooms and grand tours. It really went oh you think this is opulent? Well check out this. I could spend hours daydreaming about it all.

This is a really opulent and elegant Victorian romance, one that was easy to get swept away by. I'd recommend it to anyone.

Playing the Duke's Fiancée by Amanda McCabe blog tour banner

Amanda wrote her first romance at the age of sixteen--a vast historical epic starring all her friends as the characters, written secretly during algebra class (and her parents wondered why math was not her strongest subject...)

She's never since used algebra, but her books have been nominated for many awards, including the RITA Award, the Romantic Times BOOKReviews Reviewers' Choice Award, the Booksellers Best, the National Readers Choice Award, and the Holt Medallion.  She lives in Santa Fe with a Poodle, a cat, a wonderful husband, and a very and far too many books and royal memorabilia collections. 

When not writing or reading, she loves taking dance classes, collecting cheesy travel souvenirs, and watching the Food Network--even though she doesn't cook.

Amanda also writes as Laurel McKee for Grand Central Publishing, the Elizabethan Mystery Series as Amanda Carmack, and the Manor Cat Mystery Series as Eliza Casey.




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