Romance Review | A Duke but No Gentleman by Alexandra Hawkins

Overview: The Duke of Blackbern and the Marquess Norgrave have always had the wildest of friendships. Best friends growing up, they bask in the pleasures the rich, opulent world that London has to offer, consuming drink and women at their leisure. 

But Norgrave has always been a step behind. Blackbern can best him at anything—playing cards, riding horses, and bedding women. So when the stunningly beautiful but innocent Lady Imogen Sunter strays across their path, both men agree a friendly competition for the lady's affections cannot hurt.

But when Blackbern's feelings turn into something deeper and Lady Imogen's desire become clear, Norgrave will do anything to win the wager. Only one man can lay claim to Lady Imogen's heart… and one shocking act will change them all irrevocably…

Purchase Links: Amazon or Barnes and Noble 
Publishing Date: June 30, 2015
Stars: 5
My Review: I loved A Duke but No Gentleman and it deserves a bright and glorious 5 star rating. I remember going on a historical romance novel binge in high school and this book reminded why I did. It has all the key elements, high society, mystery, the rules of said high society, a rakehell, and the ultimate promise of love. Granted, this book took a few turns that not many in this genre do but that's what pushed it to the five star rating for me. 

The scenario is quite simple in that there's a prize to be had, Lady Imogen Sunter, a wager between two ravenous rakes that are friends, The Duke of Blackbern and The Marquess of Norgrave, and the ultimate fall of seduction turned to love. Imogen is spirited, flirty, loyal, and charming. I liked her quite a bit. The Duke of Blackbern, Tristan, is a darkly charming character. He is known for seducing many women with his good looks, his charm, and his delightful bedroom skills. Tristan is easy to like for the most part since he takes care of his own, is quite the passionate creature, and doesn't run when he realizes his feelings for Imogen. Norgrave is the darker character, the bitter man, and cast as the villain. He does vie for Imogen's attention but does so in an underhanded manner and causes issues when he realizes he's been bested. 

Overall, I rather liked the story and fell in love with The Duke of Blackbern. As I said, he's quite the charmer and so it wasn't hard. The novel moves and keeps you held captive in the world of the English gentry.There's humor, passion, and the almighty happy ending. The story gets wrapped up with a very pretty bow and leaves no loose ends.