Title: When the Duke Found Love [Wylder Sisters, book 3]
Author: Isabella Bradford (real name: Susan Holloway Scott)
I waited so long for this book because I really enjoyed the first two books in the Wylder Sisters series, but I found that When the Duke Found Love did not live up to my expectations.
The spirited Wylder sisters continue to scandalize the ton in Isabella Bradford’s witty and winsome trilogy. This time, the most impulsive of the siblings meets her match: a charming rake determined to save her from an arranged marriage.
The youngest of the Wylder girls—and the last left unwed—Lady Diana is also the most willful, a trait that’s leading her ever closer to dishonorable disaster. While her family’s solution is a fast and excruciatingly respectable marriage, Diana can’t imagine being wed to the very staid and dull Lord Crump. But while wedding plans are being made, a chance meeting at a gala turns Diana’s world upside down.
A kiss from a dazzling stranger gives Diana a most intimate introduction to one of the ton’s most resolute and scandalous bachelors, the Duke of Sheffield. Torn between family duty and her heart’s desire, Diana recklessly surrenders to the headiest of passions, recognizing that she has found a kindred soul in the handsome young duke. Soon it’s clear that seduction is no longer the game: Something deep and lasting has come to bind their hearts, and the stakes are nothing less than true love.
Diana Wylder was truly lovely, vivacious, and just seemed so alive. I envisioned her as someone who always has a bright smile and quite optimistic. I even felt like I could relate to her as we’re both vivacious and just want to have fun (cue the song Girls Just Wanna Have Fun in my head). With her ‘wild’ nature, she seems to be developing a reputation for her wild ways – and her family pushes her to settle down with a very boring man, Lord Crump.
Ugh, Lord Crump. I understand the sentiment, but truly, I felt like her family was so blind! They think he is all that is proper, but have they forgotten how improper the husbands of her sisters were when they were courting? They kept insisting that Diana will find love, but Crump just does not inspire that feeling. Plus, her family does not even notice that she has lost her vivacity and spark; they viewed it as a turn for the better. Is that a loving family? *shakes my head*
The Duke of Sheffield, on the other hand, is one of those notorious rakes who finally found love. It’s a cliché, I know, but that’s who he is. One of the consolations for this book is that he was portrayed as utterly in love. I quite liked how he proposed – bumbling and in awe of Diana. I quite like to imagine that if someday, someone proposes to me, he’ll be as nervous and humbled as Sheffield was.
I did not like the other characters in this story. Honestly, my eyes glazed over several times because I was not enjoying the story anymore. I just finished it because I was hoping things will improve. The relationship between Diana and Sheffield felt a bit fast-paced, but they were so truly alike in character that I can just see them having fun and staying in love through the years.
For me, the plot had several unresolved issues. First is, Brecon finds out about what Sheffield did for his fiancée, but Sheffield never tried to find out or punish who that servant was. Furthermore, why did Brecon inquire about Sheffield’s secrets, did he think so bad of the latter?
Second, the issue of what happened with Lord Crump was left unanswered. Based on my readings of several historical romance books, the breaking off of an engagement in those times was rather a huge scandal, with the jilted party deserving a huge amount. When Diana’s family found out that she was married, it’s like they were all just happy and did not mind the scandal. And why did Lord Crump not even arrive on scene? It was like, “Oh you’re married, okay then.” This was weird because Diana’s mother was just mentioning what a big scandal being jilted was.
Third, Diana felt bad that she was to marry Crump but she did not even know his Christian name, or even leave to not call him “lord” anymore. But never in the book has she ever referred to Sheffield by his Christian name. In fact, he only gives her leave to call him Sheffield, while he calls her Diana.
Lastly, the plot felt too fast paced, with the numerous obstacles to their story not given enough time or proper space to be truly addressed. I felt a bit let down with all my anticipation, especially after enjoying the first two books. With all the issues I have with the book, I only give it 3 stars.
Ciao! Happy musings