With the days getting wintry and gloomy, I’ve been turning more and more to comfort reads, so I was excited to get my hands on The Duke of Kisses on NetGalley. This is a very sweet and well-written romance!
Book: The Duke of Kisses by Darcy Burke
Read before: No
Ownership: E-ARC provided by NetGalley for fair review. All opinions my own.
Although this is the 11th book in the ‘Untouchables’ series, it works perfectly as a standalone, and though characters from earlier installments are present, they are well-rounded enough to belong in this story too, without adding confusion to a reader coming to the series fresh. It’s as though each character really is part of this little world, which works really well to make this feel realistic and engaging. I’d definitely be interested in checking out some others in this series.
Our main characters are Fanny Snowden, a clumsy, bookish, strong-willed girl, and David, the Earl of St Ives, a soft-but-strong cinnamon roll who loves birds. The two of them meet by accident and share a romantic kiss before they know each other’s identities, and are shocked when they meet again in society as Earl and sister to a Duchess! I loved that the two of them fell for each other so hard to begin with – I was almost left wondering what obstacles there could possibly be to their relationship, as they seemed to get along so well! Still, obstacles there are…
One thing that I really appreciated in this book was that both Fanny and David were upfront about their feelings the whole time. So many times in romance you have lovers who refuse to communicate, leading to confusion over whether or not they actually like, let alone love, each other – but here these two are always supportive of each other and always open about their attraction. They have secrets, of course, because this is a romance novel, but the reader never doubts that they are utterly smitten with each other. To see such a nice, sweet, openly loving hero is quite something! I really, really liked David’s characterisation and wish we could get more cinnamon roll heroes! He reminded me a little of Alistair from Dragon Age, but with a love of ducks instead of cheese…
This is just such a cozy read – even though there is the requisite amount of peril, there are plenty of genuinely lovely moments. It’s just so nice to see such a sweet and healthy relationship on the page. There’s space for them to be silly and cute with each other, as well as arch and banterous (the more usual form of dialogue). Aw, they were just so cute! A great read for a pick-me up. Five out of five cats.