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Released: May 25th 2021
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Duke Dynasty #4
“While the blend of mystery and romance is amiable, it falls a bit flat in this occurrence to me.”~ Under the Covers
Undercover Duke is the fourth book in the Duke Dynasty series by Sabrina Jeffries. Sheridan Wolfe, the Duke of Armitage, is committed to solving the deaths of his mother’s three husbands. During his investigation, he is assigned to look into a suspect that could crack the case and save the lives of his family. However, to get close to the person of interest, Sheridan will have to deal with her daughter, Vanessa Pryde. Vanessa is a confident woman determined to get Sheridan to see her as more than a young lady. She is willing to resort to a bit of scheming to do so, especially if it means igniting his jealous streak. Vanessa and Sheridan soon find themselves embroiled in an unexpected partnership, where attraction simmers beneath the surface, as does the lies.
As a full fledge Bridgerton fan, I was more than excited to delve into historical romance. It had all of the makings of a top-shelf historical romance: arrangement of convenience, a dashing duke, assertive and resourceful female, secrets, and an impending threat. Sheridan constantly struggles against the obvious passion he feels towards Vanessa. He has sworn off love and is unwilling to reopen his heart again. Vanessa’s mom is determined to marry her off to the highest bidder, or the match that would secure an advantageous social position. Vanessa is determined to show Sheridan the happiness they could have together if he just let himself fall in love with her. The multiple points of view helped offer a free indirect perspective of both main protagonists.
I was immediately drawn in by the push and pull of Vanessa and Sheridan’s relationship. I was intrigued to read more. I admire Sheridan’s fortitude to discover the murder and do everything in his power to protect those he loves. But, closer to the middle of the book I felt like it didn’t necessarily add depth to his relationship with Vanessa. I read Undercover Duke as a standalone book. While I was able to grasp the characters and plot easily, perhaps not having read the other series in order I didn’t feel like, as a reader, I had an opportunity to bond with the other family members so frequently mentioned in the book. Instead, the other family members felt like a block to their romance. I would have liked to see more interaction between Sheridan and Vanessa’s other suitor, Mr. Junker. Their relationship was dynamic and funny. It brought out Sheridan’s less refined characteristics, which I didn’t mind seeing.
While the blend of mystery and romance is amiable, it falls a bit flat in this occurrence to me. I did appreciate the strength of Vanessa’s character and her grit to fight for what she wants and what she thinks she deserves. I found Sheridan’s immediate switch in emotions from desire to avoidance a bit flat and mercurial. There seemed to be a slow burn that snowballs into a marriage of convenience.
I would consider reading the first book’s first instalment to gauge the difference between what is covered in the first book to the fourth.
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