When the Duke Found Love
By Isabella Bradford
Book #3 in the Wylder Sisters series
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.
Willful Lady Diana, the youngest of the Wylder sisters, has dallied with a rake one too many times and now her family is in a rush to get her married to salvage her reputation. The dull and dour Lord Crump has agreed to wed her but Diana cannot forget her recent chance encounter with the Duke of Sheffield, a charming, dashing cousin of her brothers-in-law (his identity was unbeknownst to her at the time).
Sheffield upsets Diana's plans as she cannot get him out of her head. Meanwhile, Sheffield has his own issues as his cousin has found a "suitable" mate for him to marry in accordance with the King's wishes following his latest scandal.
I really enjoyed this final story of this series. Diana may be the most spirited of the sisters but she is also the one to feel the most obligated to her family. Crump was a pig but was providing the balm for her reputation and Diana's family was steamrolling her into moving forward with this union, even though it was obvious to them it was a poor match. Sheffield was determined that he could win her over but it was a tougher challenge. I really liked him and though she could be frustrating at times, I liked Diana, too. I got her commitment to family and her unwillingness to make them unhappy. The ruse involving Sheffield's betrothed made the story a bit more interesting, at least providing an acceptable means for Diana and Sheffield's interludes. There were also many hilarious moments involving Sheffield's beloved dog, providing comic relief during some tense moments. It was tough to watch Diana's transformation from an impulsive, fun-loving young woman to the stifled conformist demanded by Crump. While I struggled with what seemed to be the obtuseness of her family, I also understood the norms of the period that drove their insensitivity. It just made the romance between Diana and Sheffield that much more special and I loved their interludes.
This was a fitting end to the series, even though I'm reluctant to let these characters go. The Wylder sisters and their delectable men were a fun escape and I really enjoyed each of their stories.
(I received an ARC from NetGalley)