A Duke for Diana by Sabrina Jeffries is a historical romance novel featuring Diana, a self-employed society lady, and Geoffrey, a self-made-man-turned-duke. While I did not enjoy this title at all, it may be worth a visit for fans of historical romance.

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The summary, from Amazon:

A successful debut requires a smashing social event, and in this dazzling new series from New York Times bestselling author Sabrina Jeffries, the key ingredient is Elegant Occasions—a talk of the ton trio of creative, enterprising young ladies who’ve rejected working as governesses to become party planners. And if they, and their wealthy clients, happen to find love along the way, it just makes their efforts more rewarding . . .

Self-made civil engineer Geoffrey Brookhouse has unexpectedly inherited the dukedom of Grenwood. But he has a secret that could ruin his family. Hoping to save his timid sister from that fate, he seeks to marry her off to a respectable, protective gentleman. With the London Season imminent, Geoffrey hires Elegant Occasions to orchestrate her debut. Yet Lady Diana Harper, spirited fashion expert, proves more than he bargained for. Suddenly, Geoffrey’s sister is emerging from her shell, and he is beleaguered with social invitations and gossip! Worse, Diana is attempting to transform him into a presentable duke—when all he really wants is to make her his own . . .

Diana doesn’t know what to make of the handsome, disheveled duke. The man bristles at the very idea that his fashion faux pas might spoil his sister’s chances. Yet Geoffrey’s stubbornness simply inspires Diana to ruffle his feathers—by setting him on a course of self-improvement. Although there’s something endearing, even irresistible about his flaws, can a man who hates the ton tolerate a woman who makes her living catering to them? Little does either know that they have more in common than they suspect—and that two can create a society all their own . . .

“Anyone who loves romance must read Sabrina Jeffries!”
—Lisa Kleypas, New York Times bestselling author

Buy A Duke for Diana here.

Diana and her sisters started their own party-planning business after their family became involved in a scandal that made them unmarriageable. Meanwhile, Geoffrey unexpectedly inherited the dukedom shortly after his father’s death. He’s a civil engineer with no experience in society. When his little sister Rosy is ready to have her debut, he hires Diana and her sisters to plan it for them.

Diana and Geoffrey instantly butt heads and… Wow, while I am here for a good enemies to lovers dynamic, I could not stand either of them. Geoffrey is judgmental and the type to make decisions for everyone in his life. Diana is a “shrew” character in the worst way. I kept reading because the steamy moments were enjoyably done, up until the first full love scene, which was incredibly clinical. I only pushed to the end because I was around 85% through by the time I was fully committed to throwing my Kindle across the room in a fit of rage. Diana and Geoffrey get in a post-coital argument that involves page after page of just dialogue.

There’s other things that made this an unenjoyable read for me, too. Rosy thinks she’s fat, and Diana insists that she’s not fat and simply needs to wear flattering clothing. It’s true that good clothing can do a lot for one’s self-esteem and body image, but it felt like the author was implying it’s okay to be curvy but bad to be actually fat – which, rude and reductive much? There’s also some background information that makes Geoffrey consider putting off marriage that is so convoluted and frankly boring. The author spends pages explaining it and pages explaining it away once Geoffrey decides to wed. It was so dry, and was supposed to be emotional as it revolved around (content warning) the suicide of his father. But I found myself not caring at all about it while the characters were teary-eyed about the entire thing.

I genuinely hated this read. It was torturous. I’ll rate it 2 stars simply because something kept pushing me to finish it. What that something was, I’m not so sure.

Find out more about how I rate books here.

A Duke for Diana (Designing Debutantes, #1)A Duke for Diana by Sabrina Jeffries
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I almost DNF’ed this one at 85%. If I make it past 50% I always finish a book and let me tell you… Geoffrey and Diana, both of whom I think are the most annoying people in the world, get into an argument that is pages on pages of *just* dialogue at the 85 % mark. He’s a judgmental jerk and she’s a total “shrew”. I found some of the foreplay/kissing scenes to be well done only to get to a love scene that was entirely clinical. I finished it since I had less than an hour left and had already dedicated so much time to begin with, but… torturous.

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Book Club Questions

  1. Describe the relationship dynamic between Geoffrey and Diana.
  2. Why does Diana initially not want to wed? What about Geoffrey? How are their reasons similar?
  3. Explain the relationships between siblings in this book.
@daily.manifestationx Viscerally hated this one but something kept me going enough to finish. #romancebooks #romancebooktok #booktok ♬ original sound – Marissa

bean bag chair chill

@daily.manifestationx Viscerally hated this one but something kept me going enough to finish. #romancebooks #romancebooktok #booktok ♬ original sound – Marissa