Tuesday, August 2, 2022

Review: A Lady for a Duke by Alexis Hall

A Lady for a Duke
Alexis Hall
Release: May 24, 2022
Goodreads Amazon
A lush, sweeping queer historical romance from the bestselling author of Boyfriend Material—perfect for fans of Netflix’s Bridgerton, Evie Dunmore, and Manda Collins!

When Viola Caroll was presumed dead at Waterloo she took the opportunity to live, at last, as herself. But freedom does not come without a price, and Viola paid for hers with the loss of her wealth, her title, and her closest companion, Justin de Vere, the Duke of Gracewood.

Only when their families reconnect, years after the war, does Viola learn how deep that loss truly was. Shattered without her, Gracewood has retreated so far into grief that Viola barely recognises her old friend in the lonely, brooding man he has become.

As Viola strives to bring Gracewood back to himself, fresh desires give new names to old feelings. Feelings that would have been impossible once and may be impossible still, but which Viola cannot deny. Even if they cost her everything, all over again.
Y'all! My heart! This book was everything I could have ever wanted in a historical romance! In fact, I would say it's probably the best regency romance I've ever read. It was incredibly tender and unapologetically queer and so full of hope and joy. The banter and humor was absolutely delightful and had me cackling in places! And y'all! The yearning and the pining was so well-written that you can't stop reading once you start. You have to know what happens next and if they will be able to get their happily ever after. This story made me feel all of the emotions.

I'm becoming more and more convinced that Alexis Hall can write anything they want and will make it totally fabulous. This book was no different. The amount of heart and vulnerability in this story is both astounding and beautiful. I was a bit worried that this would be really angsty given the premise. But while Viola is worried about being judged for choosing to live as her most authentic self, it wasn't the whole plot of the book and I can't tell you how much I appreciated that. There are still some heavy topics discussed in this book and some angst but it was so perfectly balanced out with sweetness and joy. It was heartwarming that everyone who Viola came out to not only accepted her but supported her so fully in her quest to live the life she was meant to.

Viola and Gracewood are war veterans and we see how that has affected them. Gracewood was shot in the leg and has to use a cane for the rest of his life. He also suffers quite severely from PTSD. I am grateful that the author didn't gloss over or minimize those affects like I have seen in several of the Regency romances over the years. Viola does not have PTSD in the same way that Gracewood does but how her actions and choices in the war haunt her is never seen as being less than his trauma.

The romance between Viola and Gracewood was everything! This book is a master class in how to write a romance novel. I saw it described in someone's review that described this romance as a second chance at first love which is a wonderfully apt description. The romance is full of instant attraction but manages to still be a slow burn and very intimate and tender. Watching Viola and Gracewood discover that there is so much more to the other that they didn't know was *chef's kiss*. They aren't perfect but they are perfect for one another. I adored watching them fall in love so much!

It was mentioned in the author's note that this could be the beginning of a new series and I really really hope it is! I loved so many of the secondary characters! And I cannot tell you how much I need a Mira book and a Lady Lilimere book in my life! I can't recommend A Lady for a Duke enough! If you want to read a truly unique and well-written queer historical romance, this is the book for you.

ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley.

  5/ 5 Stars!

No comments:

Post a Comment

I love to read comments!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...