Series: Capturing the Carlisles, #1
Published by Forever on February 28th 2017
Genres: Regency Romance
I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Miranda Hodgkins has only ever wanted one thing: to marry Robert Carlisle. And she simply can't wait a moment longer. During the Carlisle family masquerade ball, Miranda boldly sneaks into his bedchamber with seduction on her mind. Soon she's swept into rock-hard arms for the most breathtaking kiss of her life. But when the masks come off, she's horrified to find herself face-to-face with Sebastian, the Duke of TrentÔÇöRobert's formidable older brother.
Shocked to find Miranda in his bed, Sebastian quickly offers her a deal to avoid scandal: he'll help her win his brother's heart if she'll find him the perfect wife. But what begins as a simple negotiation soon spirals out of control. For the longer this reformed rake tries to make a match for Miranda, the more he wants to keep her all to himself.
The first book in Anna Harrington's new sexy Regency trilogy about the Carlisle brothersÔÇöthree unrepentant rakes who become respectable gentlemen when family tragedy strikes.
There’s nothing that soothes this readers soul more than a regency romance. Since I don’t read them near as often as I used to (once it was all I read), I’m absolutely gleeful when I find a new to me author. In this case Anna Harrington has risen to the top. It took no more than the first chapter to hook me and If the Duke Demands ranks as one of my favorites. For one thing, it was a unputdownable read. I started in the late morning and finished mid afternoon. Secondly, more than once I bawled my eyes out. This story has all the elements of a romance read that I crave; unrequited love, an endearing heroine, a slightly reformed rake, and well the list goes on and on.
The story opens in the countryside and with Miranda, our heroine, suffering from a lapse in good judgment. As the ward of a tenant and neighbor to the Carlisles, she been around the family most of her life. It’s not a huge surprise when they offer to gift and host her debut season on the ton. But the events that transpire are all about the deal she’s made with Sebastian Carlisle, the Duke of Trent.
Miranda is one of the most delightful characters I’ve ever come across. Her “exuberant” personality and generous nature makes her a standout, one of the seasons most talked about debutantes. Her goal is simply to obtain Robert Carlisles’ attention. Sebastian is spending the season helping Miranda gain Roberts’ favor and finding a suitable duchess. His dilemma is that he soon finds his own growing affection for this spirited young women and it transforms who he is.
It’s no huge surprise where the story-line goes but it’s Anna Harrington’s story-telling that makes this read a grande romance. As Miranda learns about the social rules of the ‘ton, their alliance turns into friendship, and the growing connection between “Lord Panther” and “Lady Rose” becomes palpable. We get the story from both of their perspectives and while I enjoy witnessing Sebastian trying to apply reasoning to his ducal duty and his feelings for Miranda, it’s being in Miranda’s head that is breathtaking. She’s sweet, charming and witty and doing her best to understand the rules while remaining true to herself.
There was just something in this story that captured my heart. While I found tears steaming my face quite a few times, I also felt the joy of young love and hope. And Miranda’s spirited take on most all things left me giggling too. I cannot recommend this 5 star read enough.
~Review by Cyndi
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Her eyes narrowed as she took in that bit of dubious advice and contemplated what he asked of her, with a curious look of deep study and concentration. For a moment, her expression was damnably disconcerting as she tried to think up a compliment to give him, as if she had never truly noticed him before as a man. Which inexplicably irked him to no end. How could she have not noticed him before as someone other than the Duke of Trent, other than just a friend?
ÔÇ£What youÔÇÖre asking of me is impossible.ÔÇØ She shook her head with a soft sigh of defeat. ÔÇ£Every man in this room knows the rank you hold, the power and influence youÔÇÖre gaining in Parliament. As for the ladies, you should have seen the way they all watched you when you crossed the room to ask me to dance.ÔÇØ She shrugged. ÔÇ£What could I possibly add to what everyone has already told you about how wonderful you are?ÔÇØ
He stared at her, momentarily stunned speechless. What sheÔÇÖd just said was exactly the kind of compliment a man wanted to hear from a beautiful woman . . .
And he didnÔÇÖt believe a word of it. When he saw her lips twitch with amusement, his eyes narrowed. ÔÇ£You are incorrigible.ÔÇØ
She laughed happily. ÔÇ£Perhaps.ÔÇØ Her eyes shined, and for a brief moment, she shifted closer, somehow rising up on tiptoes as she danced to bring her mouth close to his ear. ÔÇ£But it is all true, you know.ÔÇØ
Then she pulled back into her original position and looked at him shyly through lowered lashes even as the tip of her tongue darted out to wet her lips. The paradoxical effect of innocent seduction was mesmerizing, and for a moment, he forgot they were dancing in the middle of a crowded ballroom. For a moment, there was only Miranda. And the pull of her was undeniable.
Extra author goodies:
Anna will be hosting a release party on Facebook, there will be giveaways, contests and guest posts from romance authors in addition to a special sneak peek at the end of the night.
If you canÔÇÖt attend the Facebook party, or are just interested in learning behind the scenes information about AnnaÔÇÖs books, be sure to visit the ÔÇ£extrasÔÇØ page on her website for deleted scenes, insider info, and bonus shorts.