4 / 5 stars
Read in December 2020
Book #2 in The Isle of Synne series
Published January 26, 2020
I’m back to reviewing and so looking forward to all the books I’ll be reading in 2021! The last few months of 2020 were quite busy, but life has calmed down and I’m excited to dive back into books and writing.
As one of my final 2020 reads, Someday My Duke Will Come was an absolute gem. I’m so glad I ended my year with such a heartwarming historical romance! I stand by what I said in my review of book #1; Christina Britton is a talented writer whose imagery blends perfectly with the emotional aspects of the story to paint a compelling and beautiful picture. Main characters Quincy and Clara have both endured heartbreaking experiences that give them flaws, yet they are entirely believable characters who’ve remained kind and loyal despite their struggles. Honestly, they might just be my favorite historical romance couple of all-time! Also, Clara is an “older” heroine at thirty-one (I say this appreciatively as a woman in her late 20s), and Quincy is actually younger than her by a few years. These details were refreshing because I don’t know about you, but I’m a little tired of heroines in their early 20s falling for men aged 30+.
In addition, Britton incorporated the fake engagement trope very well. The pacing is steady and the circumstances are believable with enough subplots and lovable side characters to keep things interesting while never straying too far from the central story. I loved that Quincy and Clara’s friendship was the foundation of their ruse, and it made watching them fall in love even sweeter. The setting on the Isle of Synne remained as magical as it was in the first book, so I’d highly recommend this story for anyone looking for a historical romance set outside of London.
Although the external conflict of the fake engagement is excellently handled, Christina Britton truly shines with the internal conflict of this story. It made my heart swell as Quincy and Clara came to terms with the ghosts of their pasts and fell more in love with one another. I had to set the book down multiple times to let out an emotional sigh or a wide smile. If you want to feel things, pick up this book ASAP!
I have two very minor criticisms of this book: one, although it definitely works as a standalone, many of its supporting characters who are important throughout the story were actually developed in book #1. If you haven’t read the first book in this series, it might be difficult to keep all of the side characters straight in book #2. This disappointed me as unfortunately I didn’t love the first book nearly as much as this one, mainly because of the hero (though as a side character he was much more tolerable in SMDWC). Again, you could read this book without having read book #1, but you won’t appreciate the supporting cast nearly as much.
Two, and maybe this just comes down to my not really liking epilogues in general, but I didn’t love the epilogue of this story. I know these types of epilogues are typical in romance, but in this case it felt heavy-handed as it tied a neat bow on every conflict from the story but several years in the future. I felt giddy after finishing the final pre-epilogue chapter and would’ve preferred to imagine Clara and Quincy’s future together rather than having it spelled out so definitively. I’ll probably skip it when I reread this book in the future. But in the end, it didn’t lessen my love for this book!
Overall, I would definitely recommend this book and this series. It’s unique, emotional, refreshing, and an all-around excellent read. I’m so happy book #3 will focus on Margery, as I’ve hoped she would get her own story since she was introduced!
Thank you to Forever (Grand Central Publishing) via Netgalley for providing me with an eARC in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.