Saturday, April 23, 2022

Review: All the Duke I Need by Caroline Linden

All the Duke I Need by Caroline Linden
Series: Desperately Seeking Duke, Book 3
Publisher: Avon
Genre: Historical Romance 
All the Duke I Need cover
ISBN: 9780062913661
Release Date: April 26, 2022
Source: Publisher
Buy it here: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Audible

She’s a duchess in all but name
Philippa Kirkpatrick has been raised at Carlyle Castle by her doting guardian, the Duchess of Carlyle. Preoccupied with the succession of the dukedom and the duke’s health, the duchess has left the estate in Philippa’s hands—and Philippa is determined not to let her down.

He's not a duke at all…
The arrival of a new estate steward should be a relief, but instead it threatens to upend everything. William Montclair is handsome, brash, and scandalously bold. The horrified duchess wants to sack him on sight. Philippa is just as shocked…but also, somehow, charmed.

But could he be her hero?
Carlyle cannot be her home forever, but Philippa is determined to leave it in good hands. She means to teach Will how to run the estate properly and love Carlyle as she does. The more time she spends with Will, though, the more she likes him… trusts him…even loves him. Unfortunately, she’s also more and more certain that Will is keeping secrets that could break her heart.

The mystery of who will inherit the Carlyle dukedom is solved in All the Duke I Need. I was entertained by Philippa and Will’s story from beginning to end, thanks to the excellent chemistry between the leads.

After her father married into the Duke of Carlyle’s family, Philippa Kirkpatrick was adopted by them and raised by the dowager duchess after her father and stepmother’s death. She’s had a front row seat to the search for the heir to the dukedom. Meanwhile, Carlyle estate needs a new steward, but the man hired for the job is nothing like she imagined a steward should be. William Montclair is a brash, bold American whose blunt tongue raises the dowager duchess’s hackles. But Will is also dedicated, hardworking, and determined to repair and modernize Carlyle. He and Philippa lock horns once in a while (especially as she tries to help him not get fired by her grandmother), but mostly their banter made me smile. There’s an effortless chemistry to their interactions thanks to author Caroline Linden’s writing. It was easy to become lost in their story and watch them fall in love. Both are likeable leads with good hearts, quick wit, and senses of humor – how could you not be swept away by them?

I wavered on how to rate All the Duke I Need because I adored the romance and the family dynamics at Carlyle. Philippa’s love for her adoptive family warmed my heart and the way Will just fit at the estate made me smile. However, there were some elements of the story that felt rushed and underdeveloped. Will’s relationship with his brother, Jack, and their family’s shipping business never felt fully realized. And then there’s the resolution to the missing heir storyline. I’m treading carefully to avoid spoilers and I will say that I liked where Linden took us with this plot. However, it was rushed, left me with questions, and the book ended so abruptly I thought I was missing some pages. So while I thoroughly enjoyed All the Duke I Need overall, I felt like a few more chapters would have taken this book from very entertaining to fantastic.

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.