Duchess of Love, Book 1
Synopsis: Pleasure Is On Her Dance Card
Determined to find a husband, Miss Eleanor “Ellie” Bowman attends a ball put on by the Duchess of Greycliffe, fondly referred to as the Duchess of Love. But she roundly dismisses the suitors the matchmaking hostess has invited on her behalf. For it’s the duchess’ dashing son, Ned, Lord Edward, who long ago captured Ellie’s heart—and roused her desire. All it takes is a pair of conveniently misplaced silky red bloomers to set the handsome widower’s gaze on this unusual girl who is clearly more than meets the eye.
After four years of mourning, Ned must find a wife. At first glance, the birthday ball his mother has thrown in his honor is decidedly lacking in suitable mistresses. But he senses something unexpectedly alluring beneath the veil of Ellie’s plain exterior—and suddenly she’s invading his dreams in a decidedly scandalous manner.
Review: I had the chance to read the second book in the series before the first one. Yes I know for this author I really read all the books out of order. But I really enjoyed the novel about Frances and Jack, so when I learned about the French release of Bedding Lord Ned, I did not hesitate one second.
As shown in the title, this time we follow Edward, or Ned, the second son of the Duchess of Love. Four years after the death of his wife, he now decides to find another woman to try to have children with her. Who is better than his dear mother, a great matchmaker to help him in this great challenge. But it’s not just him who is in this condition and his old friend, Ellie, is also looking for a husband. After spending her life waiting for Ned to look at her differently than like a sister, and even after his marriage with her best friend, she has not lost hope. But with Cecily’s death, his wife, she thought it could be her turn, but it didn’t work that well. This year for the ball, she is determined to help the Countess so she can find her a husband. Whatever the cost! And if she does not like him, it is not the most important; she is 26 years old and dreams of a family of her own. She has to go ahead and to try to forget about her feelings. But it is ultimately easier said than done, especially when the two men that the Duchess has invited for her, are very special (and that’s something!). But even more than that, the cat of the castle, a big thief, seems to have taken a liking for her outrageous red silk pants that Ellie took by mistake. And of course, every time he steals them, he goes directly as always for his other findings in the Ned’s room. And it causes a lot of hilarious scenes.
I really enjoyed this novel and all its colorful characters. They all have something special and it was very nice to get to know them all. Ellie is a young woman who is not shy and is very determined when she wants something, yet Ned always manages to completely change her. He suffers from the death of his wife and constantly reminds himself that he wasn’t able to save her, not realizing that a person is just waiting for a gesture from him. However, we often want to shake him so he could realize what is happening and so stops hiding the truth. Sometimes it is very annoying to see what he decides to do. It was, however, very funny to see them charmed by others while attending their mood swings. They turn around each other but nothing ever happens. But the Duchess of Love is very talented in her plans and I loved seeing them performed brilliantly. She and her husband are two completely extravagant and unique persons. People love them and we can only do the same. Of course, each of their sons are introduced to us here and it is true that I was quite surprised to see how Jack was brought here after seeing him so different in the second novel. Of course we also have Ash, this character is so secret and discreet. He has a difficult relationship with his wife. Knowing also that the third volume is from his point of view, I’m looking forward to the release of the book! I’m curious to know more about Jess and to understand what happened to them.
It was a very good first book that I recommend it. It is filled with amazing situations completely and characters we love or hate but never leave us indifferent. Although I do not read a lot of romance, Sally MacKenzie is definitely my favorite author in this category of books.