A Lady for A Duke- Review
A Lady for a Duke
By Alexis Hall
Genre: Historical, LGBTIA Romance
Publication Date: May 24,2022
Source: Received an ARC in exchange for an honest review
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.
I debated between a 4 and 4.5 stars rating but finally decided to go with 4 star because of how long it took me to finish this book. At first, the emotional feels were too much and I needed to space out reading it. After the first 40% of the book, the feels died down a little and I was able to read it faster but it did take me a little longer to connect to the storyline. Unlike my usual feelings about books and wanting more, I actually think A Lady for A Duke would have benefited from being a bit shorter. There was a bit that felt receptive that could have been cut to make the story flow.
A Lady for a Duke follows the reunion of Gracewood and his friend who is now Viola. Guilt is a major plot point in this book and both Gracewood and Viola struggle with it. Gracewood feels that his friend’s death is his fault while Viola suffers guilt over needing cause Gracewood hurt to be able to live her life as a woman. There is so much emotional healing that is needed for both of them and that makes for a bit of slow going in the beginning. Once Gracewood learns that Viola is his decreased friend, the plot of the book picks up. There are absolutely adorable moments between Gracewood and Viola, such as their dance, that really show the connection between the two of them. As their relationship moves to the physical, the role of communication and trust is really highlighted and it provides a good contrast to see how far they’ve come. There are some plot points I questioned towards to end of the book but they didn’t detract from my overall enjoyment. This story was an emotional roller coaster but also beautifully written.