ARC Review: Duke with Benefits by Manda Collins

Posted July 19, 2017 by Suzanne in Reviews / 3 Comments

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
ARC Review: Duke with Benefits by Manda Collins
Duke with Benefits
by Manda Collins

2.5 Stars


Released: June 27th 2017
Series: Studies in Scandal #2
Published by St. Martin's Paperbacks
Pages: 320
Format: eARC

Duke with Benefits just didn’t hook me in.”
~ Under the Covers

Lady Daphne Forsyth is brilliant. With Math’s and puzzles. However, she has always had trouble with other people, the combination of blunt speaking and difficulty with recognising social cues has never made her very popular. However, none of that seems to bother the charming and handsome Duke of Maitland. And when they must work together to solve a mysterious cipher and with try and solve a murder at the same time, things start to heat up.

I normally love a super intelligent yet socially awkward/incompetent heroine, it makes such a nice difference to the beautiful debutantes you find scattered around historical romance. I was especially intrigued by this heroine as she seemed not just to be shy and awkward but I believe that Collins was describing someone with Asperger’s. And, although this can pop in heroes within the romance genre, I haven’t seen many books where this is something the heroine suffers from. However, Duke with Benefits just didn’t hook me in.

I tried to immerse myself in to the book, but I just wasn’t that interested in Daphne and even less so in Maitland. As for the cipher mystery, it was all a bit anticlimactic. Everything was very…nice. The romance was nice. The friendships were nice. The cipher hunt plodded slowly onwards. Where was the excitement? Where was the intrigue?  I don’t think it was helped by the way it seemed to read as a list of events they did that day…in the morning they were in the library talking about the cipher and then the afternoon over dinner they did this and then in the evening they all spoke about that. I just didn’t draw me in.

Although I have enjoyed Collin’s books in the past, Duke with Benefits just didn’t hit the right spot with me.


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About Manda Collins

Manda Collins spent her teen years wishing she’d been born a couple of centuries earlier, preferably in the English countryside. Time travel being what it is, she resigned herself to life with electricity and indoor plumbing, and read lots of books. An affinity for books led to a graduate degree in English, followed by another in Librarianship. By day, she works as an academic librarian at a small liberal arts college, where she teaches college students how to navigate the tangled world of academic research. A native of coastal Alabama, Manda lives in the house her mother grew up in with two cats, sometimes a dog, sometimes her sister, and always lots of books.


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Gosh, we all seem to be admitting our ages…and I hate that I am at the point in life when admitting my age is a “thing”…whodda thunk it? I was kind of hoping I would remain 21 forever. However, I have moved out of that New Adult stage of my life and am now strictly in the Contemporary Romance age zone of 28. I would prefer to be in an Urban Fantasy arena, but I don’t think I own enough black leather. However, I could probably squeeze into some PNR, I am fully prepared to give a horn job to my favourite demon, or suck on my sexy vamps…fangs and I am definitely up for some heavy petting with some fine looking shifters. Than again their’s always Sci Fi…I am fully prepared to do the right thing and help some poor alien race with more 6 packs than a supermarket repopulate their planet. Not that I am loose woman or anything.

Annnnnd I will stop myself there, before I start waxing lyrical about my love of historical romance and fantasy as well; no one needs to know about my elf fantasies. As you can tell, I adore and day dream about most romance genres, and my three big loves are 1) reading about romance 2) writing about romance and 3) talking about romance with my gals. Which, is why I love Under the Covers so much, I get all my bookish needs satisfied and don’t get judged when I talk about my favourite characters like they are real people. Which they are right?
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Hope the next one is better. Thanks for sharing your thoughts Suzanne


I loved the first several books by her; but lately they juat haven’t been as good as those.

Amy R
Amy R

Bummer, thanks for the review.