Read Charming the Duke by Holly Bush Online

charming-the-duke

1849 . . . Matilda Sheldon, the middle daughter of the sixth Earl of Bisset, has never been interested in the fashionable society events that so preoccupy her parents and siblings. Her loving, albeit, daft family cannot understand why. But Matilda has little use for silly rules and dramas. She would rather occupy her time with a worthwhile cause such as opening The Sheldon1849 . . . Matilda Sheldon, the middle daughter of the sixth Earl of Bisset, has never been interested in the fashionable society events that so preoccupy her parents and siblings. Her loving, albeit, daft family cannot understand why. But Matilda has little use for silly rules and dramas. She would rather occupy her time with a worthwhile cause such as opening The Sheldon Home for Orphans, much to the chagrin of her mother and grandmother. They are quite certain a venture of this nature will discourage suitors. Matilda is quite certain that if suitors are discouraged it is because she is clever, plain, a bit clumsy, and inevitably compared to her beautiful sisters.The Duke of Thornsby is in tight spot. After receiving the title on the death of his father, he discovers the inheritance is to be gifted elsewhere if he does not marry before his thirtieth birthday. Unfortunately, our man-about-town is embroiled in a scandal, not of his own making, and the marriage mamas won’t let any eligible misses anywhere near him. What’s a Duke to do? Get invited to a house party hosted by the notoriously absent-minded Earl of Bisset, who just happens to be Papa to some young ladies of marriageable age!Thornsby finds himself fascinated, not with the two Sheldon debutantes actively seeking a husband, but rather with the ‘brown wren’ he first mistakes for a servant. Matilda is counting the hours until the house party ends when the necessity of conversing with the guests will be over, and ridiculously handsome men go far away. Can a worldly Duke convince a sensible girl to accept his court? Find out in Charming the Duke....

Title : Charming the Duke
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781497409576
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 289 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Charming the Duke Reviews

  • namericanwordcat
    2019-07-20 12:33

    I was utterly taken in by this witty, fast paced, and ultimately tender romance. The sense of family in the book is especially endearing as is the banter between the Duke and our heroine. I discovered Holly Bush's historical romances last year and she has yet to disappoint. Her great talent is in taking themes that can be tired and shining them until they sparkle and you remember why they became troupes in the first place. Here, she leaves the American West of her other books for a Regency setting. We get the plain bluestocking heroine and a Duke that must marry. We are also gifted with a madcap pace, humor, acceptance, and love of all kinds. The villain of the piece could be more nuanced and the setting more finely drawn. The Duke has a major Twit moment. I would have loved a longer book that allowed the lovely secondary romance more room. But overall, the writing and the love story endears and this is a delicious romance with a fade to black after the vows sensuality that is, to use the heroines own words, charming. I was given this book for my honest review. So, there you have it!

  • Tara Chevrestt
    2019-07-11 14:30

    I broke my "no dukes, no rakes, no rogues" rule and read this novel the last few days. I was drawn in by the cover and the author's solid reputation for being talented.Being a huge Downton Abbey fan, I was pleasantly delighted by the Dowager in this story. Every time she spoke or tapped away with her cane, I pictured the Dowager, a delicate, aged eyebrow arched, as she looks at whomever she's speaking to as if they're an imbecile...and in this case, they rather are.The main story follows Matilda, the middle child of a well-to-do family with no interest in marrying. Instead, she wishes to open an orphanage and sets about doing just that... Meanwhile, a handsome duke seeking a wife falls (against his own wishes!) for her. They argue incessantly. There's scandal, scorching kisses, more arguing, rumors, more scandal...Soon the entire family is involved in some way with the so-called scandal or with attempting to convince the Duke and Matilda to marry.And as I said above, for me the Dowager just took the cake. She is by far the most delightful character in the story and kept me laughing. And I love a good laugh, even more so when I'm not expecting it.I enjoyed this "charming" story. It's lighthearted, funny, and we all need a read like that every now and then. My only quibble? It keeps its distance from the characters. You always feel as though you are watching them, not living within in them. There's not a lot of emotion coming from the characters, even though we know they're arguing and whatnot.For my favorite Dowager bits, visit my blog post: http://wwwbookbabe.blogspot.com/2014/...

  • Ƥʋиʏα [Punya Reviews...]
    2019-07-09 09:48

    My review contains spoilers and they're mostly my thoughts as I went with the book... for more, visit Punya Reviews...Holly Bush’s Charming The Duke was my first book by her, with a heroine after my own heart. I always find a book more enjoyable when I can connect the characters and Matilda was pretty much the type I love to read about. There were some major fun characters in the book too who just doubled my enjoyment overall.Matilda, the second daughter of the Earl of Bisset is nothing like an Earl’s daughter. She’s book-ish and reserved. She’s also, undoubtedly, the most intelligent of her family members. The Sheldon family is a big family full of fluffy characters. Apart from Matilda and her grandmother, Ethel, her mother Frances, father Francis (don’t ask!), sisters, the eldest Juliet and the youngest Alexandra are all... well, imagine the Pleinsworth family in Julia Quinn’s Smythe-Smith books. After you’re through with one of their conversations, you’ll be left to imagine if what you read, indeed, makes any sense. It’s just so utterly confusing, yet super entertaining in its entirety. Generally, Matilda and Ethel’s remarks make any sense in any family conversations.But let me tell you that no matter what, the Sheldon’s are a very tight-knit family. Their affection for each-other just pours forth from the pages. There are plenty of examples of that, through words or deeds that only made me smile. While Juliet and Alexandra are very much into clothes and fashion, shopping, balls and gatherings, Matilda is planning to open an orphanage. Juliet is the most beautiful of the sisters, followed by Alexandra. Both, I assume, are blondes and take after their mother. Both have high hopes of making good matches, though Alexandra has just turned 18. But Matilda, she’s a different matter entirely. She’s considered plain, with brown hair, a wallflower who loves blend in the background. Generally that’s what happens with the eligible bachelors. When her two sisters are present, it’s painfully obvious that no one really notices Matilda. It was also, very obvious, that though she liked to think that she didn’t care, dressing in drab gowns, sporting a severed bun, Matilda had her moments of doubts. Oh she knew of her intelligence. After all, she has helped her father with the estate matters for a long time now. But when it came to the matter of beauty, well, Matilda never passed the ‘standard’ of the society. And so, she sort of resigned in becoming a spinster, her plan of opening taking shape from that idea.When Matilda broaches her wish to open an orphanage to Ethel, she’s supportive of her. But Matilda is not yet sure of her family’s reaction, which is why she secretly starts looking for a suitable house, hiring whatever help she can. At that point, it’s announced that there’s going to be a house-party and she has to attend. Matilda detests these parties and balls because... well, she just doesn’t enjoy the inane activities that inevitably follow. She’d rather be at home, doing something worthwhile. But this time, the Duke of Thornsby, alongside some other prestigious guests is due to arrive, and so, like it or not, Matilda is stuck for good.We meet Frederick, the Duke, as he’s pondering this big quandary he’s in. Just thinking of it sours his mood. You see, Freddy needs to marry soon or else he can kiss his inheritance goodbye. So far, Freddy has always lived a Duke’s lifestyle. Though not entirely vain or addicted to excess, he’s just what the Ton wants him to be; a fast-paced, worldly young man who loves his luxuries, be it premium horseflesh or beautiful women. While Freddy is handsome, he’s not really sought by the marriage mamas. Beautiful widows, oh yes, but because of some past scandals, marriage mamas drag their daughters away from him. I wasn’t sure what this guy did to garner that but Freddy didn’t bother about this until now. He attended parties and balls, affecting his usual stance of boredom with a healthy dose of aloofness. He had had his share of dalliances... Now, none of those will work. He needs to decide what to do, and soon.Then Freddy’s elder sister, Athena, is introduced. She is somewhat like Matilda in her appearance and intelligence. Athena has been the backbone of Freddy’s household ever since she took charge of it after their parents’ passing. Freddy and she share a very strong bond. There’s nothing can deter or stop Athena from being assertive, maybe, except for one- her looks. She thinks she’s unattractive, so much so that she has not been able to acquire any male attentions over the years. Now that she’s nearing 30, there’s no chance left. But Athena is smart as a whip, also very opinionated. Though Freddy tries his best not to do anything rash and suffer her wrath, this can’t be said about his childhood best friend Andrew.Andrew has been in love with Athena since he started coming over with Freddy. It never mattered that Athena is a few years older than him. Andrew is considered a ‘catch’ because of his blonde good looks and a sizeable inheritance, even though he doesn’t possess any title. He has loved her secretly, and we come to learn that Athena has harbored a secret tendre for him too, yet never dared to voice her appreciation. On the outside, if you see them together, you’d never believe it! And that’s where was the fun of their relationship. They’d fight like an old couple, argue in everything… until one day, when Freddy’s inheritance and need for marriage came into the spotlight, the discussion of it prompting Andrew and Athena having this awareness of each-other. When he heard of Athena’s vulnerabilities regarding her looks, Andrew could do nothing but confess what has been on his mind all these years. It was just the right time. Athena didn’t know what to believe, but Andrew is so handsome… Somehow knowing each-other for almost a lifetime made things easier for them. Their coming together and professing of love didn’t feel odd or awkward to me. Honestly, from the first moment I met these two, I knew something is going on. Oh how I wish that Andrew and Athena had their own book cause they were so good together, even after they eloped to Scotland and married.This left Freddy with a problem. Apart from his usual ‘dukely’ activities, two things were constant in his life; Athena on the one side, Andrew on the other. Now it seemed things were going to change. Then, Athena confessed that, though the world didn’t see it often, their parents also secretly loved each-other, making Freddy wish that he could have the same.In between, before Athena-Andrew eloped for Scotland, all three attend the Sheldon house-party in hopes for Freddy catching a bride. It’s ironical that it wouldn’t be him but his two close confidantes would fall instead. Freddy is a bit of a pompous a$$, what you can expect from a Duke and the very first day, he makes the mistake of confusing Matilda as a maid when she comes forward to greet them. It was... I don’t know. TBH, for the first 30 pages I wasn’t even sure if I’d like this story cause Freddy’s words and activities were coming off as callous. After he makes the mistake, as admonished by Athena who knew Matilda from before, he casually throws in a ‘sorry’. What’s he supposed to do? The girl is rather plain to look at, and dresses abysmally!Also, I was thinking, would Matilda live up to my expectations? Or would she be one of those heroines who is ‘said’ to be strong but actually is an air-headed idiot. I’m glad to say that she lived up to my expectations and more. Matilda was NOT impressed with Freddy’s activities, just as I wasn’t. She definitely saw the handsomeness, the suave and sexy Duke. But apart from it, the man didn’t seem to possess one ounce of sense or intelligence. This ticked Matilda in a wrong way. Moreover, it seems like he lives and breathes to make her life miserable by making all sorts of wrong assumptions about her. The last bit about her having an affair with some workman, and expecting, was just too much. She’s angry as well as exasperated at Freddy.This is when the story begins to become much more interesting! Freddy’s wrong assumptions about her when he spied on her at the home that she was considering for her orphanage was the last straw. Though he had good intentions and informs Matilda’s father right away, by the end of her confession, he was made to look like a fool. It also made Freddy come to the conclusion; that this Ms. Sheldon is not for him. No matter that Athena seems to think that she’s the smartest of her sisters... No matter how much she interests him...Though she was still fuming at the Duke, Matilda announces her decision to her family in hopes of some help and support. To her surprise, they’re so interested in her endeavor that her father starts planning on the food supply, while her mother and sisters start planning on the dresses and whatnot. Matilda is overwhelmed by this and the work on the orphanage starts in full swing.When Athena and Andrew returns happily married, Freddy was still embarrassed by his blunder at the Sheldon’s, and with no solution to his dilemma in sight. Moreover, his best friend and his sister are now flaunting off their blissful state on his face. At this point, something else comes up— two orphans at Freddy’s doorstep, from a maid of his house who recently passed away. She made him their guardian (father unknown, if you were thinking the worst of Freddy), and Freddy finds himself in another quandary. What the hell is he going to do with these young kids? In fact, what the hell does he know of taking care of children? Athena has already gone traipsing off to her honeymoon so he expects no help from that quarter right now. The only solution comes to mind is one Miss Sheldon and her newly furnished, about-to-be-opened, orphanage.Oh boy, I knew fun was coming! Freddy, whatever else he has thought of Matilda, was very aware that Matilda was goodness, and Jonah and Alice would do well in her orphanage. But when she refuses to let the children in (she had valid reasons), Freddy stomps away in annoyance. It was so funny to read their banters, and heart-warming to find Matilda’s family coming to her support, even if they were twittering away while doing it. Juliet and Alexandra even start calling Freddy ‘Thorny’ instead of Thornsby, all thanks to his blunder that made him somewhat infamous among the Sheldons. LOLIt’s then Freddy realizes rather well that he has not been handling things well, including the kids. But when the 5 yrs. old Jonah begins giving him those worshipful looks of beguiling trust, Freddy gives in. He decides to take the siblings in his home. Alice, who is a bit older than Jonah, is more cautious of his intentions. Within a few days though, both the kids and Freddy find that they suit each-other just fine. He start enjoying their companionship, many-a-times these little moments making him want a family of his own in earnest. Worse still, he keeps thinking of Ms. Matilda Sheldon while doing it! It was at a ball that they finally end up kissing and things start rolling for Freddy and Matilda. She dresses up a little, thanks to her sisters and instantly catches Freddy’s eyes with her becoming dress-up and hairstyle. And though, in the mix-up, somehow they get caught, with Matilda’s family demanding marriage, it was she who refuses to marry him. To Matilda, they don’t really suit. To Freddy, well, he wants her now but he becomes totally grumpy when she refuses to marry him outright. I was so enjoying this because it was apparent Matilda was no ninny. I liked the way she thought things out, just as she kept thinking if she’s ready to spend the next 40 years of her life with this man or not. Truth was, though she was definitely attracted to Freddy, she didn’t know what to do. On the one hand, she was oh-so-tempted, on the other, she was scared that she’d be a let-down and eventually, he’ll stray. At least, that’s what I thought.I also found Matilda’s grandmother Ethel a total hoot! She was there, urging them on cause her shrewd eyes already knew that these two are meant to be together. Even Matilda’s airheaded mother saw it when Freddy and Matilda argued. Ethel made me laugh so many times with her wisdoms earned with years of experience and her spicy innuendoes on marriage and the marriage bed. She is the one who uttered this innuendo ‘charming’, which later came to be a private joke for Matilda. I just LOVED those scenes.As I was reading, what I found truly charming, was the fact how the author was always answering my questions or doubts in a way throughout the story that I felt she knew what I might feel. If that line even makes any sense. :p I already mentioned how I glad I was about Matilda. Then, Freddy, as a hero, I wasn’t really warming up to him... But the moment he started having those doubts and self-reflections, things started changing, proving to me that he wasn’t just another arrogant, douchebag Duke.The trouble, for Freddy and Matilda, arrives as the form of Freddy’s ex-mistress; a sly, arrogant and ambitious widow. Yes, didn’t like reading about her and Freddy but she was also a reason why Freddy’s self-reflections about his life took a center stage, when at one point of the story, she hurts Matilda in a ball by insinuating stuff about her time with him. Ethel was there to give the widow a taste of her own medicine (I expected nothing less from her) to shut her up. I would feel the same as Matilda did; hurt and so confused. She just dressed up for the first time to look nice for Freddy and his past comes to strike back at her. At a public place no less. Matilda is left to contemplate the result of such confrontation and what this might mean if Freddy and she are to marry.Then, considering everything, Freddy also begins having doubts. Does he really want to propose to Matilda? Would Matilda even want him after this? He definitely had fallen, yet couldn’t come to terms with his feelings. As a desperate act, Freddy ends up proposing to that widow. In his mind, Freddy thought he’d have the kind of marriage the Ton would expect of him; cold, distant, ‘wait for an heir and a spare, then live their own life’- type. Respect, adoration, devotion but most of all, love won’t come to play a part in it. Only that Freddy wasn’t sure he wants to face the scandal when questions arise about the actual paternity of his heirs. His new fiancée is not really known for her fidelity.When, only after a week, that woman starts taking his household matters ‘in her hands’, that included booting Alice and Jonah of the house and plans of changing the entire household staff, Freddy decides enough is enough. Does he want that type of cold and shallow lifestyle with her? The answer comes as a reverberating ‘no’. He immediately breaks off the engagement and goes in search of Alice and Jonah, not knowing that the children are now with Matilda at her orphanage.The widow doesn’t take this well. After the broken engagement, she threats Freddy. Threats that Freddy doesn’t take seriously, though he should’ve.Meanwhile, Matilda had just heard of Freddy’s engagement... She tells herself that she has no business to be unhappy, yet she is. She was also coming to realize that she feels something for him after all. Long ago, Matilda decided that marriage is not meant for her. Freddy was a temptation, a risk she couldn’t take on her poor heart. Yet the next time, when Freddy comes to her orphanage to take Alice and Jonah home, Matilda can’t keep herself distant. This time, Freddy too, was sure he’s going to get a ‘yes’ out of his Matilda... but then, things go wrong for them... again.The widow strikes with vengeance at a vulnerable time, blackmailing Matilda with a secret knowledge of something regarding Alexandra and a certain viscount, also an heir to an Earldom, a fact that might also come to play in marring Juliet’s future. It was already known that an heir to a Marquisate has made his intentions quite clear for her and Juliet returns his affections. Matilda is torn, heartbroken, yet decides to do what the woman asks of her just to save her sisters’ reputations. She rejects Freddy once again.But fortunately, though Freddy is heartbroken too over her rejection and drinks himself into a stupor, Ethel doesn’t give up. She barges in, demanding an explanation for her favorite granddaughter’s depressed state. She then urges Freddy to find some logical explanations, giving him some news that she came by rather recently. Freddy, Athena and Andrew could only bow down to her superiority… Freddy, specifically, is angered to know who is behind this treachery. They all come together to form a plan to help Matilda, who had no idea about any of this. Unaware, Matilda finds herself half scared to go to this particular house-party thrown by Juliet’s would-be affianced’s parents.You gotta read the book to find out how things play out in the end. For me, I absolutely adored it. Honest, heart-warming and hilarious, Charming The Duke will be in my mind for a long time to come. I’d most certainly be checking out Holly Bush’s backlist! 4.25 stars.Before I conclude, I believe I will give you a sample of Ethel’s wicked sense of humor. Trust me there are plenty of those in this book. ;)Matilda shrugged. “I told Mrs. Smithly I would consider his court.”Frances edged on her seat. Ethel leaned forward.“Did you, dear?” Frances said with a look to her mother-in-law.“Good. I believe you two are suited. The two of you will be fighting mad and arguing all the while dragging each other to the bedroom,” Ethel said.“Mother Sheldon, really,” Frances said.Ethel pulled her shawl about her. “High time you had this conversation with your other two daughters, Frances. Juliet will undoubtedly tie a bow about her husband’s rod the first time she sees it.”Frances jumped from her chair, red-faced and sputtering. She closed her mouth and squared her shoulders. “Good day, Mother Sheldon,” Frances said and hurried to the door.I received a review copy from Goddess Fish Promotions in exchange of an honest review as a part of a blog tour, April 2014, which didn't influence my review and rating in anyway.

  • Yackie
    2019-06-21 15:42

    CAUTION MILD SPOILERSI read and loved Ms. Bush's other book, Train Station Bride. I was excited to see another book had just come out. Sadly, I was disappointed with this one.The "world" was not very established and things that happened weren't really believable. Towards the end we're supposed to worry about a scandal involving one sister that can affect the whole family which was a lie made up by the villain. But Matilda had already caused a scandal of her own by being compromised by Thornsby. The only way to save the family from further scandal would be to marry him, but she refuses. Yet that was not mentioned, a scandal did not happen and the family was not affected by having a compromised daughter who remains unmarried.The characters were one-dimensional. They were either clever or stupid. Very few were clever and everyone else were complete idiots. The characters were pretty boring and I did not care for any of them. Matilda and Freddy (or is it Freddie? because the spelling changes throughout the book) had no chemistry together. I did not feel love or passion between them. Yet we are constantly told that they will have a good marriage because their "coupling" will be good because of the chemistry they had. Thornsby's sister, Athena, and Smithly had way more chemistry than they did (although that's not saying much) and they're not the main characters.At the end we see Matilda leaving in a carriage from a Garden Party filled with drama, and Thornsby saying good-bye to her with a promise to call on her the next day where he will possibly propose. The next chapter happens 45 days later, they have already been married and we're treated to the one and only sex scene in the book. Which is short and still without any chemistry. The proposal,wedding day and any time spent together after the proposal and wedding were left out along with any chance to make this couple believable.The only thing I did enjoy about this book was the kids, Alice and Jonah, and how Thornsby was with them.It pains me to say this, since I absolutely loved Ms. Bush's other book and her writing in it, but this one was totally lacking in every way.

  • Vins
    2019-06-27 09:27

    Smart , Sassy , Sweet hM/F-M/M-M/M/F-etc: M/FHEA/HFN/etc Ending: HEAContains Cheating: NO! Contains Children: (view spoiler)[Yes- The H is the guardian for 2 kids(hide spoiler)]Jealy/Possy/OTT Rating: 3Angst Level Rating: 3Feel-Good Level Rating: 4Steam Factor Rating: 1Kink Level Rating: 1Amount of Sex In The Book: (view spoiler)[Kind of none.Its inferenceand some kissing(hide spoiler)]Overall Smex Rating: (view spoiler)[0 (hide spoiler)]Hero Description: DukeHero Likability Rating: 3.5Heroine Description: Loved her, Enjoyed reading about her.She is frank and straightforward.Heroine Likability Rating: 52nd CHARACTER(S):2nd Char. Description: h's Family. Her sisters and parents are sweet people. They support the h in their own way.which made this book an enjoyable read.I found their interactions hilarious.Buildup Instant/Just Right/Too Long: Just RightAny H/h Separations: NoneAmount of Time H/h Spends Together: Just RightOverall H/h Relationship Rating: 4.5Current OW/OM/Ex: Yes but its no biggy. Does not spoil the story.Any Triggers/Warnings: NoneTechnical/Editing Quality: 4Writing/Content Quality: 4Overall Rating: 4Do You Recommend This Book: To Some.If you like romance without sex in them this book is a must read.Will You Re-read This Book: NoWould You Read More Books By This Author: Yes======================================= COMMENTS/NOTES: This is an entertaining, funny, good romantic story.The book was even more better for me because i loved the h.She is smart and not the fainting type found in historicals. I enjoyed reading the H falling in love with the h .The h's family made it even more entertaining.=======================================

  • Debbie McCreary
    2019-06-30 09:36

    Matilda loved her life. Sure she has 2 dim-witted sisters and her mom and dad almost as bad. But Matilda is content, starting her orphanage. Until she meets the Duke of Thornsby. The duke disrupts her life from the moment they meet. Misunderstandings plague them from then on. The duke attempts of courting are filled with mishaps. Charming the Duke is very well written. This is the first book of Holly Bush I have read and I will read her again.

  • Hasnamezied
    2019-07-05 11:48

    This book started really good,then I don't know what went wrong in it? It became boring and boring to the limit you can't take it any more. Sorry but the best thing about this book it's cover.

  • M.A. Nichols
    2019-07-06 08:34

    This is a standard hate-to-love romance with all the standard flaws that you would find with that trope. Not to mention having a healthy dose of the ugly duckling heroine trope, which I don't generally like.First off, the romance is hard to swallow. I finally gave up about 75% of the way through the book, when it became absolutely clear that the heroine and hero are only in lust with each other--not love. Every single interaction they have is short and full of fighting and insults. While the author almost pulls off the Mr. Darcy style hero (in that he's rude and doesn't really mean it), it just doesn't quite work for me. He's constantly angry; I think he shouts half of his lines. Not attractive.Second, the heroine was hard for me to get into. I get a little tired of the heroine who claims to be "ugly" and "unattractive", but in reality it's just that she chooses to dress frumpy and the minute she has a decent dress on everyone is falling over themselves for her. I didn't feel like her opinion of her looks was believable. It just didn't feel real to me. It was like the author wanted an spinster/wallflower/bluestocking heroine, but couldn't really commit to making her a regular, average looking woman. If you're going to have a story about a heroine who is awkward and unattractive, then stick to it. I'm all for the hero seeing past that and falling for her, but the whole "ugly duckling" heroine is one I have a hard time getting emotionally invested in. Especially since this heroine even admits that she actively tries to repel people.However, the main issue I had with the romance is that it's all built upon this idea that it doesn't matter how little you have in common with someone, as long as the sex is good, you'll be happy. Almost every couple in the story are polar opposites who at best have nothing in common and at worst are constantly fighting, but they're happy with their spouse, because the sex is good. It's unrealistic and ridiculous. The heroine hates the hero. He's been rude many different times and they don't get along, yet because his kiss made her stomach feel like "mush" (I kid you not, that is a direct quote), she's told she should marry him by everyone around her. At that point, I knew it was time to put the novel down.And I won't go into how many times the author makes major historical mistakes when it comes to society and etiquette from that time period. I've read so many of these books that a lot of the problems she makes seems a bit bizarre and like a major oversight.

  • Robin Malek
    2019-06-22 14:37

    So charming!Loved the story and the characters. I was so totally charmed by the whole story. Independent Matilda and the scoundrel Thornsby both learning how to "deal" with each other and all of the children. Thank you!

  • Kimberly Rocha~ Book Obsessed Chicks
    2019-07-12 07:50

    Miss Matilda Sheldon could care less what people think about her. Unlike her sisters who always the height of fashion and comportment, Matilda thrives to disappear into the background wherever she goes. Her only interest is opening and running an orphanage and to care for those orphans who have nothing. Her lovely but dim-witted sisters are on the lookout for suitors and consistently peck at Matilda about her drab appearance. The Duke of Thornsby needs to find himself a bride, one that would fit into his lifestyle well but not overtake his life. The clock is ticking for the duke though, for unless he marries by the time he turns thirty he stands to lose his inheritance, but his scandalous reputation keeps the eligible ladies and their marriage minded mothers at a distance ans the pickings are slim for the handsome duke. The Sheldon sisters, daughters of the 6th Earl of Bisset are quite the trio. While two are quite attractive and social, they are pretty much airheads, and Matilda, the middle daughter while dull in appearance, is intelligent and quite mouthy when she feels it's necessary. When the duke meets the outspoken Miss Sheldon, neither of their lives will ever be the same. While the duke needs to marry, and quickly, Matlida wants nothing to do with it. When the pair are caught in a compromising position placing Matilda's reputation at risk, instead of going the marriage route, she runs the other way leaving the duke in a state of confusion. Matilda is quite confused herself, for even though she says she will never marry, she has developed feelings for Thornsby and doesn't know what to do about them. In the wings, Matilda's beloved grandmother and the duke's sister champion for the pair to wake up and smell the proverbial coffee.When Matlida refuses Thornsby's suit he needs to find an alternate solution to his problem. His subsequent proposal to an unsavory lady of the ton prompts quite a few displeasing incidents, one of extreme import is the disappearance of the two children who were left in the duke's care by their mother. a servant of the duke's who passed away, leaving the children alone. When the duke realizes his huge mistake in his proposal to the obnoxious lady he quickly dismisses her, but not before she threatens to make his life miserable. Now Thornsby must make an attempt to court Matilda, for as he finally realizes, she is definitely the lady for him.CHARMING THE DUKE by the smart and sassy Holly Bush, is a fabulous read from beginning to end. Holly's unbeatable sense of humor and her remarkable storytelling shine through in CHARMING THE DUKE.. I thought the duke was going to be a stodgy bore of a hero and was so pleasantly surprised by his reaction to Matilda that he has wormed his way into being my new book boyfriend. Matilda's bright determination make her such an interesting heroine. Miss Bush is as comfortable in Regency England as she is in the American Mid-West and I will follow this brilliant writer anywhere. ~KIMBERLY~

  • Peg
    2019-06-27 09:37

    Charming the Duke is a humorous historical fiction novel that takes place in England during the 1800s. The Duke of Thornsby was speechless when he discovered that in order for him to receive his inheritance, he would have to be married by his thirtieth birthday. The very thought of it made him shudder. However, he’d be damned if was going to lose his fortune just because of a technicality. The Duke had less than a year to find and marry a woman who wasn’t aware of his appalling reputation. He needed a plan.Thornsby smiled at the invitation to the Earl of Bisset’s house party. The pea-brained Earl had two beautiful dimwitted daughters and a featherhead for a wife. No one in that entire family would even have the wherewithal to look past his title and see that he was a notorious rake. What could be more perfect?Thornsby’s eyes glazed over while the two half-wit daughters, Juliet and Alexandra, chattered endlessly to him about bows and ribbons. His head was splitting. He needed to get away from them. How could he have ever thought, marrying one of these airheads would be a good idea? The only daughter he could even consider marrying was Matilda, the middle one – the daughter he didn’t know the Earl had before he insulted her. How was he to know that Matilda wasn’t hired help? Moreover, what was she doing dressed up like a maid in the first place?Matilda wanted nothing to do with The Duke of Thornsby. He was a pretentious, rude, stick-in-the-mud, who was only interested in himself. She, on the other hand, had an orphanage to build, children to help and a life to live. Why would she ever want to be tied down to a man? And a controlling one at that.Thornsby found himself growing fond of Matilda. She was caring and even pretty when she wasn’t wearing grey. He was doing his best to win her over when his past came roaring back, threatening to destroy all that he had held dear.I found Charming the Duke funny, a little too silly at times, but enjoyable just the same. I would recommend this book to readers looking to lose themselves in a light and humorous fictional story.

  • Farrah
    2019-07-09 08:29

    A light, sweet, and enjoyable read, Charming the Duke was a good historical romance. I didn't love it, but I did like it. It was a sweet romance.The characters were okay. I liked the Matilda was strong and independent, but it frustrated me that she was a bewildering combination of self-deprecating and self-conscious about her looks but disdainful and downright arrogant about her intelligence. It especially didn't sit well with me that she constantly called her family dim-witted and was almost condescending about them, but they were never anything other than loving and supportive. So, I wasn't her biggest fan.Thornsby was better. He was sweet, protective of those he loved, and generally a kind and clever man. He had his moments of unbelievable idiocy (with the whole situation with Millicent), but he was wonderful otherwise and rather adorable.The romance was okay. I wasn't totally feeling it, but I did think that they were well matched in terms of their equally strong wills.My favorite part of the book were the two children that Thornsby took in, Alice and Jonah. They were utterly adorable and endearing and the best part of the book.The plot was okay. I wasn't hooked, but I was kept interested the entire way through. The world wasn't quite set up accurately, with how people talked and the way they reacted to things. But, I still enjoyed the story and the ending was sweet.Charming the Duke was a sweet and enjoyable romance. It wasn't perfect, but I did like it. Romance lovers, if you want a light and quick read, then you might want to check this book out.*I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review

  • Deanna Sletten
    2019-07-13 11:44

    It's 1849 and Matilda Sheldon is not interested in snagging a suitable suitor like her two sisters are. Fashion, gossip, and all the other trappings of her social status do not interest her, especially putting on a show to find a husband. She feels she is not as pretty or graceful as her sisters and therefore puts her energy into other more serious pursuits like starting an orphanage. But when The Duke of Thornsby, who desperately needs to find a proper wife, meets Matilda, he finds himself not only irritated by her manner, but also drawn to her at the same time. CHARMING THE DUKE is another delightful romance novel by Holly Bush. Holly is a talented writer who is able to draw you back in time with the language and nuances of her prose, yet make the characters so believable they jump off the page. I like the no-nonsense Matilda and the prim and proper Duke. Humor and drama are combined to create a wonderful, historical world you can lose yourself in for a few hours.I highly recommend CHARMING THE DUKE to anyone who loves reading historical romance. You won't be disappointed.

  • Karen
    2019-07-09 11:26

    Charming has taken on new depth an euphemism for blissful bed sport.Matilda, a forthright woman in a family of flighty finds it hard to connect with her family until they lovingly rally around her orphanage project with more heart than skill. The Duke must have a wife. Amongst the the glittering, twittering debutantes it is the wren who fascinates him and continually dismisses him. Matilda breaks through his cool disdain, unsettles and fires his passion. Though the road to happiness is thwarted by his unflattering remarks, two orphans & an engagement in desperation with a calculating virago.Entertaining.

  • Jess F. (From Me to You ... Book Reviews)
    2019-07-09 07:34

    "3 out of 5 stars. Matilda and Frederick (Thornsby/Freddy) will charm you in this quaint historical romance!"Read more of this review, a teaser, and a an excerpt here: http://frommetoyouvideophoto.blogspot.com/2014/04/blog-tour-made-grade-charming-duke-by.html -- Posted as a part of a blog tour on April 30th.

  • Dianne
    2019-06-26 08:28

    Holly Bush's "Charming the Duke" is a most enjoyable book. I enjoyed the storyline, the characters and I loved the ending. My only concern is that I felt there were too many similarities to Jane Austin's "Pride and Prejudice" at times.

  • Agnes Campbell
    2019-07-19 15:35

    Enjoyed reading this book. It had some very funny bits in it. Lost my way towards the end . Otherwise been 5 stars.

  • Annette Drake
    2019-07-09 13:46

    It was charming.Entertaining. Delightful banter and a delicious hero. There is something endearing about a man who loves children. Just an enjoyable read.

  • Pilar Seacord
    2019-07-21 08:43

    Matilda Sheldon is the smart one of a not so bright family. Except for Grandmama Ethel. Duke of Thornsby needs to be married by his thirtieth birthday or forfeit his inheritance. His sister Athena and best friend Smithy who are always arguing are trying to come up with suggestions. Thornsby says they are going to a party at the Sheldon's. When they get there Matilda ends up opening the door and Thornsby mistakes her for the maid. Then he puts his foot in his mouth even more. It got to be rather annoying how many times insults Matilda. For a charming fellow you would think he would watch what he was saying. Half way through the book it got less interesting and Thornsby got himself engaged to a harlot who fired his people without his even knowing. He breaks off the engagement and Millicent Marsh the harlot goes after the Sheldon sister's trying to cause trouble. Thornsby and Matilda finally get together after he sees what a beauty she really is then they have a really racy love scene that seemed at of place with the book. Was disappointed in the book. Had potential.

  • Luxica
    2019-06-21 09:40

    3.5 starsCompletely agree with other reviewers. Didn't believe the love between the h/H even remotely. It might have been lust but it just felt like they were together because they were pushed together by others. Matilda was encouraged to marry by the idea of intimacy in marriage. Freddy (urrgh, what a name) was suddenly interested in the idea of love and falling in love when he knew about his parents love story. I think he was desperate to be in love and Matilda was available at the right time. Honestly when she rejected him repeatedly I couldn't understand why he kept going back to her. I didn't think he was in so deep- he could have found another intelligent, spinster-type. I don't understand why he found it hard to get prospects either. He obviously was honourable- and family's would do anything to get a duke, especially when it became known he was on the market for a wife. I guess he was attached to Matilda because she must have seemed like his sister, who he admires and respects, and also because she has a life outside of him (her orphanage work) and she has intelligent conversations with him (unlike the young debutantes). Perhaps he liked the chase. She also must have shone in comparison to her other family members.It's quite disappointing the way the novel closed up. It just didn't click or flow for me. I'm sure they would have found more time together over the days when they marry and may truly settle into love, but I didn't feel it at the close of the novel. Perhaps those were the way love interests were held back then. Perhaps love was an amalgamation of timing, family matchmaking and encouragement and infrequent time spent with the one you 'love'. Quite disappointing for a Holly Bush novel. She writes well but the main relationship went awry somewhere.Read it anyway. It was kinda-sorta a fun read. The family antics were delightful. Makes me wish I had a family that supportive and loving.

  • Wyrdness
    2019-07-02 11:46

    I really liked the characters in this book, but the story itself was sadly rather bland and unbelievable in places. There was no heady romance, no real angst, not even any particularly tiresome misunderstandings (there were a few misunderstandings but none that seemed extremely contrived or overly stupid). It was really just two lonely individuals considering the idea of marriage and love whilst wondering if the other could ever find them "suitable". Though the writing was technically decent I still found it a bit of a chore to keep reading from the half way point since, to my mind, nothing was really going on and as a romance the ending was pretty much a foregone conclusion. There was a tiny bit of drama and comeuppance in the last chapter or so, but even that wasn't particularly gripping and I found it too little too late. (view spoiler)[Especially since the ton would have already been scandalised by Matilda's "ruination" and refusal to marry Thornby, even without the malicious rumour about her sister cooked up by the villain. Yet for some reason, despite being "discovered" having a passionate embrace in an empty room at the most exclusive ball of the Season, all of society seem to immediately forget about it. (hide spoiler)]I consider this a bit of a "palate cleanser" read. Try this if you like historical romance involving titled women with an independent streak and just want a bit of a pleasant time-waster to pick up and put down, but don't expect too much high emotion or drama from it.

  • William Simmons
    2019-06-24 14:32

    Sadly I found what should have been a great book just okThe plot wag good and for a while the storyline seemed to be following along. Then it just lost it. Actually looked back to see if I had jumped ahead too far. After Miltilda leaves the bus party with the knowledge that the Duke is supposed to talk with her father their next day it jumps 45 days. Naive me, even then I thought it must be taking use to the wedding. Imagine my surprise to find out they have been married 46 days.Besides missing the wedding, we really missed th courtship. They had only been to the one ball together and one walk. It would have been nice to read about a few romantic outings with Ethel as chaperone.The characters were fairly well developed, if a bit one sided.The author didn't get all the titles right and I would think that would be one the you would want to learn if you decide to dive into this genre. She also had a problem keeping her characters names straight.I did find the female villain interesting and I also found the book funny; sometimes to the point of silliness. I liked Alice and Jonah and the way Matilda's family rallied around hear orphanage.I may as well say as think it, at least that's what my mother always said. I wondered if some of the ideas for this book came from TO CATCH A SPINSTER by Megan Bryce?

  • Lulu
    2019-07-03 09:51

    The heroine's grandmother tells her, that even if your husband is a Trottel, marriage is not that bad if the "coupling" is "charming". And oh god, the hero must be a crack shot in this department because a Trottel he is!(view spoiler)[1. He is 29 years old and starts NOW looking for a bride because he will lose his heritage if he is not married at his 30th birthday2. Consequently he insults and slanders the daughter of the only family that would be silly enough to let him marry one of their daughters3. When the "brown wren" appears on a party dressed up like a courtesan, she is suddenly irresistible to him, so he compromises her, proposes marriage and is...4. ...flat out caught in surprise as she rejects him.But that does not really concern him, because he (5.) proposes marriage the very next day to a bitchy cow he does not even like (time is running short).I will give him some credit. In the end he realizes that the bitchy cow is really a bitchy cow. He tells her that now he knows that she is a really bitchy cow he cannot marry her. Of course she is thrilled by the news and starts a campaign against the heroine. What a surprise! (hide spoiler)]Two stars for Matilda and her grandmother who are the only reason I read the book to the end.

  • Lobna Amer
    2019-07-19 07:26

    Maybe I'm in no place to judge. I have not finished the book (stopped at page 60). The heroine is the most obnoxious, pompous, know-it-all, cynical female that I've ever read of. The hero's interest in her is just NOT understandable. Her family is the sweetest, yet she derides them as frequently as she thinks, which is super oftenShe thinks EVERYONE is a dimwit just because they like taking about balls, dancing and fashion. B****, PLEASE! Get off your high horse!She is aggravatingly rude but described as strong and independence-asserting. I beg to differ.All in all, the writing style was, indeed, captivating (this my first period romance novel) but you just can't read of main characters that you hate. Forgive me.

  • Sonia
    2019-07-10 12:39

    Mathilda was about as unlikeable as possible and Thornsby wasn't much better. Mathilda is an unattractive spinster who gives up on marriage since she doesn't believe that she can retain her independence once married. Thornsby is a Duke who needs to marry by 30 to collect on his inheritance. Typical story told in a typical way. What made this awful was that Mathilda was such a shrew and Thornsby was such an idiot. Mathilda looked down her nose at her family - loving them but thinking them dimwits. Thornsby came across as shallow. Sure they both redeemed themselves their prejudices, but by the time they did I was no longer interested

  • Dee
    2019-07-18 15:26

    More of a 2.75 stars really.This was...charming (an in joke that is a little belabored in places in the book, but adequately describes the whole story). It was sweet, it was very old-school regency in feel - no overt sex scenes, barely even kisses. The big issue I had with this was the ending. What the heck happened? One moment we're heading nicely towards matrimonial bliss by way of a presumably lovely proposal after a huge denouement...then suddenly we're in bed and already wed. Where was the after denouement scene? We're supposed to just skip to what should've been an epilogue just so we can use the "charming" joke again? Really? It was disappointing in the extreme.

  • Gail
    2019-07-10 10:45

    For the most part, it was a good fun period story- the end got a bit descriptive however. A young lady- who has some brains- and isn't all that into looking good- playing society games-- decides to do something with her money and sets up an orphanage. As she is working, she meets a duke. At first he is obnoxious and yet she starts to grow interested in him. Their plans are thwarted by a conniving woman who tries to stop the progress of their relationship.

  • Sheila Hatke
    2019-06-26 13:48

    An interesting story.When I first started reading this book I was not sure I would like it, but quickly found myself rooting for the Duke and Matilda. Their first impressions of each other and the ups and downs of their relationship as they found their happily ever after made for a fun read. The Dowager Countess was especially entertaining.

  • Sheeba
    2019-07-01 12:34

    I couldn't get past the 'compromising situation'... The characters were really annoying and it was hard to see Matilda being placed in that situation.. she is smart, witty and independent and can find the man on her own without being forced to by a 'placed situation'.... unfortunately I couldn't finish this book... 2 stars just for Matilda.

  • Megan B
    2019-07-04 14:51

    Ok readEnjoyed this until the graphic sex scene at the end. The sexual insinuations are unnecessary and dirty up the story. But the story line was interesting and the characters well developed.