Review: A Duke in Shining Armor by Loretta Chase

My Rating: 2/5 stars

Verdict: Buy Borrow Bypass

Synopsis (from Goodreads):

Not all dukes are created equal. Most are upstanding members of Society. And then there’s the trio known as Their Dis-Graces.

Hugh Philemon Ancaster, seventh Duke of Ripley, will never win prizes for virtue. But even he draws the line at running off with his best friend’s bride. All he’s trying to do is recapture the slightly inebriated Lady Olympia Hightower and return her to her intended bridegroom.

For reasons that elude her, bookish, bespectacled Olympia is supposed to marry a gorgeous rake of a duke. The ton is flabbergasted. Her family’s ecstatic. And Olympia? She’s climbing out of a window, bent on a getaway. But tall, dark, and exasperating Ripley is hot on her trail, determined to bring her back to his friend. For once, the world-famous hellion is trying to do the honorable thing.

So why does Olympia have to make it so deliciously difficult for him . . . ?

My Thoughts:

I enjoy reading romance novels. Really, I do! I find them to be a wonderful example of escapism. I typically read historical ones and delight in reading about elaborate wardrobes, outdated codes of behavior, and the eventual union between two headstrong individuals who swore they would never get married. And yet, when I read A Duke in Shining Armor, I found myself quite disappointed.

The characters are uninspired. Our hero, Ripley, is supposed to be a despicable arrogant man. Spoiler alert? He’s charming, confident, and borderline boring. The plot is slow going. It took FOREVER for Ripley and Olympia to arrive at their destination with about 500 unnecessary speed bumps along the way. Considering that this book’s book is a runaway bride, there’s absolutely no running or real sense of urgency. And the romance doesn’t even sizzle! It took far too long for Ripley and Olympia to kiss, thus robbing this reader of any enjoyment.

I think my biggest issue with this book is that it felt remarkably rooted in patriarchal norms and standards. And yes, all historical romance novels are purely based on their setting, but this one actually contained a duel. An honest to god duel over a woman occurred because each man had to defend her honor. To make matters worse, the duel wasn’t even exciting. The whole thing was eye-roll inducing. This book also feature a considerable amount of language surrounding the notion that there exists a certain kind of woman who can tame a man. This idea is inherently sexist because women do not exist to be gatekeepers for male behavior. What’s even more troubling is that this book presents that idea as reasonable.

Wrap Up:

Overall, I thought this book was mediocre. It was by no means bad, but it also wasn’t great. This was my first book by Chase and I don’t think I’ll continue with more of her work. As such, I would not recommend this book.

This book is…

slow

patriarchal

easily skimmed

lackluster in the description of romance

forgettable

Publisher: Avon

Genre: fiction

Page Count: 400

ISBN: 0062457381

Available here from Book Depository.

Have you read A Duke in Shining Armor? Do you enjoy reading romance novels?

I am an affiliate with Book Depository and as such, receive a tiny commission should you choose to click through any of the above links and purchase the book(s). Thank you for supporting A Word is Power!

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