Review: A Duke by Default (Reluctant Royals #2) by Alyssa Cole

Duke by DefaultSaying that I didn’t like this book as much as the previous in the series does a disservice to this book, because I still enjoyed it thoroughly. This is completely subjective reasoning on my part, because I did not connect with this heroine as much.  She’s a rich trust fund kid, even though she struggles with previously unaddressed behavioral and mental health issues. I wish that had been more of a plot point, rather than something mentioned and not delved into because more time needed to be spent on the relationship arc. But this is a romance novel, after all.

On the other hand, my favorite part of this story was how the hero is the one who ends up with a surprise title. Tavish was a great, fully developed character who stays true to himself through the course of the story. I cheered him and Portia on from day one, despite the roadblocks that existed from the moment of their first meeting.

A British title is a bit cliche, and I found some of the shenanigans to be unbelievable (especially with a certain character pulled from real life). Nevertheless, this story was a fun ride with lots of great secondary characters to also enjoy. It also did a great job of setting up the pairing in the next installment of this series without detracting from the main plot line.

Rating: 4 (out of 5) stars. Cross-posted to Amazon and Goodreads.

Published by steelvictory

By day, J. L. Gribble is a professional medical editor. By night, she does freelance fiction editing in all genres, along with reading, playing video games, and occasionally even writing. Her debut novel, STEEL VICTORY, was her thesis novel for Seton Hill University's Writing Popular Fiction graduate program in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. Previously, she was one of the co-editors for FAR WORLDS, a speculative fiction anthology. She lives in Ellicott City, Maryland, with her husband and three vocal Siamese cats. Find her online (, on Facebook (, and on Twitter and Instagram (@hannaedits). She is currently working on more tales set in the world of Limani.

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