ARC Review: A Duke by Default by Alyssa Cole

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
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ARC Review: A Duke by Default by Alyssa Cole
A Duke by Default
Book Info

Released: July 31, 2018
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: Reluctant Royals #2
Pages: 384

“If you are looking for a unique plot though, definitely give this one a try.”
~ Under the Covers

This is my first book by Alyssa Cole and after seeing a lot of hype for her books around social media I was beyond excited to dive in.  Plus the premise of this story sounded extremely cool and unique.  The heroine is a NYC socialite that is always put down by her family as the no-good member of the family and her twin sister is the successful one.  So she decides to take an internship with a sword maker in Scotland to improve their business, and yes, learn how to make swords.  How cool is that???

A few things were clear from the very beginning.  The age difference, while something that I really enjoy especially when the hero is a grumpy, sexy older man wasn’t my favorite thing here.  Why?  Because I found the heroine to be a tad on the too immature for my taste side.  She has a lot of growth ahead of her and I don’t think we quite got there by the end of this book.  So in my mind, I have to question how the hero will deal with that difference in maturity in the long run.  Especially being that he was very stuffy.

But the grumpy recluse part of that equation was total catnip for me.  I adored the hero and he is a total #swordbae.  I can picture clearly all the social media videos and posts that the heroine was trying to make viral and I would be the first one drooling over them.

In the end, while I found this story quick and fun, it also had me skimming a bit with things that I felt sometimes annoying or unnecessary in the story telling.  If you are looking for a unique plot though, definitely give this one a try.  However, I think maybe Ms. Cole’s writing style is not quite what works best for me.


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About Alyssa Cole

Alyssa Cole is a science editor, pop culture nerd, and romance junkie who splits her time between fast-paced NYC and island-paced life in the Caribbean.

In addition to writing, she has hosted a romance book club and taught romance writing at the Jefferson Market Library in NYC. When she’s not busy writing, traveling, and learning French, she can be found watching cat videos on the Internet with her real-life romance hero.


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  1. The premise does sound interesting and hello sexy Scottish swordsman! However, I don’t think this is for me based on the heroine.

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