“I know,” Cecily conceded. “It’s just that I … I am afraid. Afraid of having my heart broken again. I did not think I would survive the last time…”
“But isn’t that the risk of falling in love?”
I’m pretty new to the Historical Romance genre so I’m still discovering new authors. Thankfully, there’s a list of Historical Romances for 2012 on GoodReads. During the starting weeks of my #50bookpledge, I browsed this list and took note of the books that interested me to include in my book list. This way, I’d discover new books and authors.
So, for book 14 of my #50bookpledge, I decided to read Manda Collins’ How to Dance with a Duke which is book 12 on the list I mentioned above. This is the first book in her Ugly Ducklings series which is going to be a three part series. The series is about Cecily Hurston and her cousins who are considered “ugly ducklings” by the ton. This first book is about Cecily Hurston who, on her quest to clear her father’s name, meets Lucas Dalton who is on his on quest to find the truth about his brother’s disappearance.
Here is the synopsis of the book from GoodReads:
What’s a wallflower to do when she’s suddenly in need of a husband? Use all the pluck and moxie she can muster to get what she wants…
Miss Cecily Hurston would much rather explore the antiquities of Egypt than the uncharted territory of marriage. But the rules of her father’s exclusive academic society forbid her entrance unless she weds one of its members. To clear her ailing father’s name of a scandalous rumor, Cecily needs to gain admission into the Egyptian Club—and is willing to marry any old dullard to do it.
Lucas Dalton, Duke of Winterson, is anything but dull. He’s a dashing and decorated war hero determined to help Cecily—even if that means looking the other way when she claims the dance card of Amelia Snow, this season’s most sought-after beauty. But Lucas has a reason for wanting Cecily to join the Egyptian Club: His brother went missing during one of Lord Hurston’s expeditions to Egypt. An alliance with the explorer’s bluestocking daughter could bring Lucas closer to the truth about what happened…or it could lead him to a more dangerous love than either he or Cecily could have imagined…
“I have known many a happy match to be made between couples who started out with nothing but quarrels.”
“But that makes no sense,” Cecily objected. “What is there about quarreling that speaks of love?”
“Oh, it’s not the quarrels that bring them together,” Violet said with a knowing grin. “It’s the making up.”
Based on my research, this is Manda Collins’ first book. For her premiere as an author, it’s a pretty good read. I enjoyed the story as there was a good mix of romance, comedy, and adventure. There were plot holes (what book doesn’t?) but it didn’t take too much away from the story. The personality of the characters did not fall flat and I can’t wait to know more about the other characters (like Cecily’s cousins) in the next books.
I liked Cecily’s independence but I loved that Lucas still wanted to help her with her quest. It’s an amazing feeling to know that even though you know in you that you can do something without someone else’s help, there’s someone who is there to support you and help you in case you need it. I think everyone just wants to know that there’s always someone there for them. It’s a pretty common feeling isn’t it? 🙂
Another thing I loved is Cecily’s backstory. The way her heart slowly opens up to Lucas, and to love, after being betrayed and hurt by love before in her life, I think speaks to a lot of people. It just goes to show that one should never be afraid to open themselves up to love. If Cecily didn’t give love another chance, she might never have her happy ending. Also, even if you’ve been hurt before, I think that if you meet the right one, the hurt in your heart will ultimately heal. As much as love can bring pain, one shouldn’t forget that it can also bring happiness.
There was nothing weak about Cecily. And yet, he found himself wanting to rescue her all the same. Perhaps because she seemed so determined to hide the fact that she needed it.
I’m pretty excited for the next book. One because I’m intrigued by the story, and two because the two characters in the next book were the two other characters apart from the main characters that I wanted to know more about. It’s coming out at the end of next month so that’s pretty cool. Another new book to add to my book list. 🙂
Well, that’s it for today. I’mma go now. Until next time dear readers. (^^)/~~