Thursday, November 5, 2020

Review: The Duke Effect by Sophie Jordan

The Duke Effect by Sophie Jordan
Series: The Rogue Files, Book 7
Publisher: Avon
Genre: Historical Romance 
The Duke Effect cover
ISBN: 9780062885456
Source: Publisher
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She doesn’t care about love…

Despite being surrounded by her happily wed sisters, Nora Langley prefers botany to ballrooms and would rather spend a lifetime in her laboratory than consider affairs of the heart. An expert herbalist, Nora has been masquerading as her late physician father for years, dispensing invaluable medical advice. She corresponds with people all over the world, including an old army colonel. But when the man shows up on her doorstep, he is nothing like she expected—he is a young, handsome heir to a dukedom who suddenly threatens everything she holds dear.

He only cares about duty…

Constantine Sinclair arrives on the Langley doorstep in a desperate bid to save the woman who raised him, the Duchess of Birchwood … only to discover that the venerable doctor he expected is a bold and lovely charlatan. Furious at the deception, he vows to reveal her secrets. Determined to prove her skills, Nora promises to save the duchess in exchange for Con keeping her secret. Con reluctantly agrees… and soon Nora’s brilliant, headstrong ways are throwing his carefully controlled life into chaos. What happens when the rigid soldier begins to lose his grip on his heart?

Sparks fly when an unconventional young woman with a sharp mind clashes with a rigid heir to a dukedom in The Duke Effect. Sophie Jordan’s seventh Rogue Files novel is entertaining and light on its feet, though ultimately the story suffers a bit from its rushed pace.

I adored Nora and Ms. Jordan makes it easy to do so. She’s intelligent, curious, and wants to be needed. Nora learned from her physician father and she’s a gifted, learned healer who would make an excellent doctor if it weren’t for the sexist rules in England preventing women from attending medical school. Since the death of her father she has been dispensing medical advice in his name, which lands her in hot water when one of her correspondents shows up on her doorstep. Constantine is a bit harder to like at first. The colonel who finds himself as the heir to a dukedom after the deaths of his three cousins is a man of exacting character. Con grew on me as the book went on and he began to reconcile his sense of duty with his own wants, needs, and moral compass.

Nora and Con are good together and the pages of The Duke Effect flew by, which is why I was surprised to find I was three-quarters of the way through the story before the romance kicked in. I loved it when the sexual tension began to simmer, enjoyed the heightened awareness between Nora and Con, but the love story did feel incredibly rushed. If there had been another hundred pages focused on the romance it would have done the story a world of good. I felt sped through parts that I wanted to savor and the “I love yous” didn’t feel earned. It’s a pity because the romance had so much potential and what we do have in the story I thoroughly enjoyed. I struggled with rating this because I did really enjoy what I read, but I cannot deny Nora and Con’s relationship was underdeveloped. The epilogue did, however, leave me with a smile on my face and ended this book on a high note.

FTC Disclosure: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.