The Duke Is But a Dream: A Debutante Diaries Novel

The Duke Is But a Dream: A Debutante Diaries Novel

by Anna Bennett

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The Duke Is But a Dream: A Debutante Diaries Novel 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 63 reviews.
Anonymous 4 months ago
Loved this story. The hero and heroine have amazing and vibrant chemistry that leaps off the page. A pure joy.
MLH438 9 days ago
Lily Hartley likes to stretch the rules and push the limits. She writes the Debutante's Revenge, an advice column where she champions all the shy debutantes and meek wallflowers. and all of society wants to know who writes it. She is a woman before her time, but she can't let anyone know! In The Duke is But a Dream, the second book in Anna Bennett's Debutante Diaries series, Lily is left home alone, each side of her family having assumed she would be looked after by the other. She takes the opportunity to explore on her own and goes to a tavern masquerading as a chimney sweep. When a brawl breaks out in the tavern, she is knocked out, and Eric Nash, Duke of Stonebridge discovers the "lad" is actually a woman. You need to suspend belief as Eric takes this "beautiful stranger" with amnesia who makes him "feel things" into his home, takes care of her, and introduces her to his sister. Bennett's writing will keep you turning the pages, as a steamy relationship develops between Eric, who had scorned the notion of love and was known as Duke of "Stoneheart" and "Caroline", the name amnesiac Lily gives herself. Their relationship is not without obstacles and surprises, as they deal with Lily's past and Eric's sister, Delilah. I received a copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous 25 days ago
This was an enjoyable read. The author did a good job with her characters. Nash is the Duke of Stonebridge and when he decides to go to a pub he has no idea that his life is about to change. Lily is the author of a article in the news paper that is the talk of the ton. When she delivers her article to the paper she goes dressed as a boy. When she was done delivering her article she decides to be adventurous and goes into a pub to eat and to observe the people. However things go wrong when she is approached by some patrons to take her money. kWhen another patron steps in to protect her she hurt and Nash discovers she is a she not a he. Since no one knows who she is Nash takes her to his home to have his Dr. take care of her and when she comes to she has no idea who she is. During her recovery while staying at Nash’s they cannot stop the attraction for one another. This was a good read. I received this book from Netgalley for an honest review.
RobinLovesReading 25 days ago
Miss Lily Hartley is the secret columnist behind The Debutante's Revenge. The column offers advice for young women seeking to marry. One night, when delivering her column, Lily is injured in a barroom brawl. She is saved by a handsome stranger, who is the Duke of Stonebridge, Eric Nash. Nash thinks he is saving a boy from being beaten. He quickly realize that it is actually a woman, but not before she is hurt. He takes her home to the protection of his family, but she begins to panic. She has no idea who she is. Nash does everything he can to help her discover her identity, all while offering her his protection. Lily calls herself Caroline for the duration, and she endears herself to Nash and his sister Delilah. Just before Lily left home the night she was hurt, her family had gone away, so they have no idea that she is missing. While Nash tries to locate them, they find that they cannot resist one another. This is something really, because Nash has a very good reason for never thinking he could actually find love. Also, Lily and Delilah's friendship is just so touching. I enjoyed this book and the characters grew on me rather quickly. Lily's need for her memory to return kept my interest and I felt for Gray and his deep sadness. It was a delight to watch Lily warm his heart. This is the second book in a series and it reads well as a standalone. The other books in the series are First Earl I See Tonight and the upcoming When You Wish Upon a Rogue. That book will be Lily's friend and fellow columnist Sophie's story. Many thanks to St. Martin's and to NetGalley for this ARC to review. This is my honest opinion.
Historical_Romance_Lover 30 days ago
While dressed like a boy, Lily gets caught up in a tavern brawl. Lucky for her, the Duke of Stonebridge steps in and rescues her after she is knocked out. Eric is shocked when he finds out that the person he accidentally knocks out is a woman. He immediately takes her back to his home and calls for a doctor. Unfortunately the knock on the head, has left the woman with amnesia. As Eric and Lily spend time together, they grow closer and start to fall for the other. But what will happen when Lily gets her memory back? Will it put a stop to their budding romance? I loved Eric and Lily story! With Lily being a a proper young miss, she often puts a hold on her impulses. But with her memory loss, she doesn't know her background, so goes ahead and does what she wants. It sure made for interesting reading!! This was a great addition to the Debutante Diaries series and I can't wait for the next one to come out!
blonde_betty 3 months ago
I enjoyed Anna Bennett's story. It is well written with great characters. The snippets from The Debutante's Revenge were particularly entertaining. Good quick read!
Anonymous 3 months ago
grandmareads102 3 months ago
Lily Hartley isn't a typical debutante. She has a mind of her own and isn't a blind follower of society's rules. I liked her attitude and spirit. She wants to help educate other young women by writing a column called The Debutante's Revenge. However, it must be a secret to protect her reputation. She meets the Duke of Stonebridge in a bar brawl. Unfortunately she's injured and as a result lost her memory. Nash may want to keep a low profile but he can't leave her. It showed that he's really a caring man. Why did he hide his true nature? Lily bonds with Nash. Their chemistry is so powerful. They are drawn to each other. Their attraction pulled me into their romance. I wondered if Nash would open his heart. I knew his past made him wary of loving anyone. I understood why. It bothered me how protective he was of his sister, Delilah. This story has well written characters, a passionate romance as well as secrets and heartbreak. I enjoyed the writing of Anna Bennett. It's an exciting read. This is the second book in the Debutante Dairies series. I received a copy of this book which I voluntarily read and reviewed. My comments are my honest opinion.
AmyHi 3 months ago
Lily is a strong, opinionated, and impulsive heroine who develops temporary amnesia. Nash is a guilt ridden Duke who takes her in. Even though Nash doesn’t know who Lily is, he falls in love with her and plans to marry her. A real feel good story! I received an ARC for my honest review.
TLadageRandolph 3 months ago
I received an advanced copy of this book. This is the second book in this series. I read this book as a stand-alone, however, and didn’t feel lost. In this book, Lily is the mastermind behind the advice column for young ladies in London. However, she and her sisters write it anonymously. To keep her identity secret, she delivers the column dressed as a boy. It’s all well and good until she has dinner one night in a pub and ends up in a bar fight and loses her memory! She ends up in the home of a handsome man and becomes friends with his sister. Sparks fly with him as she tries to recover her memory, it will that get in the way of their romance? This is a wonderful book and I highly recommend it!
MalkaShayna 3 months ago
Anna Bennett is a new author for me and she did not disappoint. I read it as a stand alone and the author provided enough back story so that was not an issue. Lily Hartley was adopted by the wealthy Hartley family when she was left on their doorstep as an infant with a single bootie and a note that her name was Lily. She didn't find out this until her step mother carelessly mentioned when she was 9. She adores her parents and sister Fiona. She secretly pens THE DEBUTANTE'S REVENGE a once a week article in the London Hearsay. Fiona is an artist who contributes an illustration. It is a very popular column. Fiona is a newlywed. When their parent decide to go on a trip, Fiona and Lily plan on a girls' week, while Fiona's husband, Gray is in Scotland. But he surprises her by wanting her to come with him. Lily urges her to go and feeling a bit adventures, decides while she is out in disguise delivering the column to the paper, to stop in a Pub, a place a society girl could never be seen in, to get some material to write about. However, she is stopped by 3 large bullies, trying to steal her bag. That is when brooding Nash, Duke of Stonebridge steps in to help, but accidentally ends up pushing her into a table, her cap falls off revealing she is a woman and she in unconscious. Feeling responsible, he takes her to his mansion. However, when she finally awakes, she has amnesia. Five years ago, Nash became the duke after the suddenly death of their father and his twin sister. He feels guilty about the situation and has kept his younger sister, Delilah, 5 years his junior cloistered in their country estate. But now that she is 18 and ready to come out, he has reluctantly come to London with her. However, for himself, after losing his beloved twin sister, Emily, he has built a wall around his heart, claiming that he is incapable of loving a woman. Nash and his sister Delilah are charmed by their temporary guest. Apparently in that society, if it became known that she was living there unchaperoned it would cause a scandal for both women, so when her memory doesn't return they have to find another way to determine her identity. Delilah encourages their patient to think of a temporary name and she comes up with Caroline. Her kindness and plucky spirit liven the mood of the household and she tries to make Nash understand his sister. Naturally, since this is a romance, they fall for each other, but until she knows who she is and he gets over this idea that he he is incapable of love, there is no future for them. The author weaves a charming tale with lush descriptions of the surroundings and rich character developments, so that the reader can not only picture what each person looks like, but what they are made of. I read a free ARC from This is my unbiased and voluntary review.
Cali-Jewel 3 months ago
This was a very enjoyable, light, fun and engaging summer read that was highly entertaining from beginning to end. Really enjoyed all the interesting charters, witty banter and intriguing twists and turns. Great reading.
Hfowler 3 months ago
This one was cute, a bit slow, but had good characters. The plot was interesting and something I haven’t seen much of--the whole loss of memory thing--which added to the conflict. The passion was good. I am not sure what exactly made it seem to move along slowly, but I did struggle to keep with it from time to time. I did enjoy returning to the Debutante’s Revenge group of women and definitely want more from the series, but I want to say I liked book 1 more than I liked book 2. I can't put my finger on why this one was a bit of a struggle to read, if you have read it yet, what are your thoughts? Am I crazy about it seemed a bit slow?  Would love other's thoughts on this one.  I do look forward to continuing with the series so this definitely was an enjoyable read, just not my favorite.
Booktalk_with-Eileen 3 months ago
The storyline is very unique. Lily Hartley, a young woman with the knowledge of her sister and friend, is the writer of The Debutante’s Revenge, a rather risqué advisory column in the newspaper. Amusingly, Lily has never been in love, but she can imagine how it should make a young woman feel. She imagines her dream man, then advises women to seek him out by his qualities and how he makes her feel. The column is highly read and appreciated among young ladies and is totally frowned upon by the stronger sex and mothers. With her family away for a couple of weeks, she decides to take several weeks of column over to the Hearsay newspaper office and do something fun to enjoy her freedom. As usual she’s disguised as a delivery boy; on her way home she happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. But once I’ve said that, perhaps she was in the right place at a very right time! She was caught up in a pub brawl and suffered a very hard blow to the head. The kind of blow which creates amnesia and needs immediate attention. In walks hero Eric Nash. Once Eric Nash, Duke of Stonebridge, realizes a young boy knocked to the floor and unconscious was a she and not a he, and feeling responsible for getting him/her injured, scoops her off the floor and takes her home before anyone could identify her. Nash wasn’t much into parties, he’d just come back into London after being away for many years. He realized it wasn’t fair to Delilah, his sister. She needed to see society, go to balls and think about marrying. Nash’s problem was he couldn’t let go of his protective streak which grew stronger after his father and twin died. His visit to the pub that night only adds to his worries. He brings a young woman into his household without a chaperon. And apparently, a name. He couldn’t let anyone know she was there for fear of her reputation. He wasn’t sure if she hailed from the ton or working class. When Lily wakes she’s confused. She remembers nothing of her life, let alone the pub brawl. I’ve got to give the girl credit. She sure has pluck! One thing Lily did know. She is attracted to Nash. In this void, a friendship and trust forms between the two, and something deeper begins to emerge. You will definitely be caught up in this sweet romance! Delilah and Lily get along splendidly. As Lily is relearning who she is, Nash is swept into her vibrant personality. Author Anna Bennett creates a fun situation, ensuring the reader lots of smiles and chuckles. This is a sweet story, a page-turner riddled with mirth. Nash learns to love without fear and possessiveness, Delilah learns the meaning of real love the hard way, and Lily finds her prince charming. You, dear reader, will have hours of entertainment.
georgia1 4 months ago
Imagine dressing as a chimney sweep and walking the streets of London. Well Miss Lily Hartley did just that so she could deliver her latest column in "The Debutante's Revenge" to the paper. What she didn't expect was to end up unconscious when she went into a Tavern ( yes she was having an adventure!) and ended up being knocked out unconscious and waking up at a Duke's house not knowing her name. Eric, Duke of Stonebridge had been in that Tavern and saw the blow knock her out. Of course he then finds out it is not a lad at all but a beautiful woman! He takes her home and calls the doctor and he and his sister learn she cannot remember her name. Let the adventure begin! I adored this story and could not read it fast enough. A man who has put up strong barriers around his heart and a woman who truly wants love and experience all there is in life. A truly fated meeting. Will Lily remember her name and will Eric let go of his emotions and let his feelings for her be known? Don't miss this second story in the Debutante Diaries. I cannot wait for the next one!! Lori Dykes.
Anonymous 4 months ago
The Duke is but a Dream By: Anna Bennett This was a fun read, contained some of my favorite tropes: amnesia. I really enjoyed reading this book, the plot of this story was fast paced and full of surprises and mysteries. The story was romantic, heartfelt, and showcased a lot of family and sisterhood relationships. I recommend this book for a romantic summer read. Thank You to NetGalley for allowing me to read this novel for an honest review
annie2015 4 months ago
I haven't read a historical romance in a while so I was excited when I was offered the chance to read The Duke is but a Dream. I enjoyed reading this book. The characters were interesting, there was heat and heart, and an amnesia plotline (which I also haven't read in a while). I would happily read another book by this author. I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. My thoughts and opinions are my own and without bias or remuneration.
Momma_Becky 4 months ago
2.5 stars I don't read many historical romances, but the amnesia plot of this one caught my interest. The story does require a tremendous suspension of disbelief, but I expected some of that just from reading the blurb. What I didn't expect was how eye-rollingly over the top it would turn out to be. It's mostly fluff, and there's nothing wrong with that except it had so much potential to be something more. We have the gruff but redeemable hero, and a strong-willed heroine trying to break free of the bonds of the time period even if she has to do it in secret. But here's the problem, we're never given exactly what time period that is. Judging by several things in the story, I'm assuming sometime in the 1800s, but then some character actions would be better suited to something more current. The amnesia angle that drew me to the book in the first place was interesting, but I don't buy everything that happened in the two weeks that Lily didn't know who she was. Even that fact that she was allowed to stay with the Duke and his sister gave me pause, let alone everything else that happened. Then there's the Duke. I love a redeemable grouch, but the whole too emotionally broken to love anyone has been done and done again. Add to that the sheer amount of personal growth Nash went through in just two weeks, and I give you yet another eye roll. Yes, this pair fell madly in love in two weeks - two weeks that Lily didn't even know who she was or where she came from. And that led to another problem for me. Going on my assumption of setting, Lily's background pushed it over the edge for me. I'll leave those details out to avoid spoilers, but it seems pretty far-fetched. As it turned out, Lily's secret life as a columnist was the most interesting part of this one for me with the rest amounting to a fluffy, instalove story. The book is well-written, and the premise is good, I just really hoped for something more.
DCBookNerd 4 months ago
The Duke is But a Dream is the second in a series (The Debutante Diaries). Lily Hartley is a young woman who secretly writes a tell-all advice column for young ladies, delivering them to her publisher dressed as a boy to avoid discovery from society. One night she stops in a tavern while in her disguise and inadvertently gets caught up in a brawl. She's knocked out and is rescued by the hero, Eric Nash, the Duke of Stonebridge. Stonebridge takes her home to care for her and when she wakes up they realize that she has lost her memory and work together to discover who she is. Lily is the younger sister of the main character from the previous book in this series. During that book something is revealed about Lily (it's really what kicks off the plot of the first book) that I expected to be much more central to the story. Instead it's relegated to the side, something that's brought up and wrapped up with unexpected speed. Overall the book was pleasant and both characters were nice, but it was less engaging than I was hoping based on the previous book. Lily was "spunky" and interesting, but the amnesia storyline bogged things down and there just wasn't a lot happening to pull the reader in and make it really compelling (I'm not the biggest fan of amnesia storylines in general). If you are looking for something to read to pass an afternoon or weekend, this book is a nice light read, but if you haven't read the author's earlier series (The Wayward Wallflowers), I would recommend that one much more strongly. Please note: I received an electronic ARC of this book by the publisher via NetGalley for free in exchange for an honest review.
DebiDG 4 months ago
A great book with humor and romance. I laughed out loud at some parts, fell in love with the characters and read this in one sitting. The descriptive writing had me feeling like I was part of the story and made it extra enjoyable. Will Lily find her happily ever after? Can the Duke let her go when the time comes? Fantastic storyline, excellent writing and best of all, this can be read as a standalone. Even though it’s book 2 the series, I did not read book one. Great epilogue too. A fantastic read!
ShariB 4 months ago
The Duke is But a Dream by Anna Bennett 3 stars This is Eric Nash, Duke of Stonebridge and Miss Lily Hartley’s love story; second in the Debutante Diaries Series, a standalone, happily ever after, no cheating, historical romance with plenty of sizzle. Although the story itself is well written, I didn’t feel the connection between Nash and Lily. Lily’s actions throughout her memory loss just didn’t seem real. The speed at which the sensual scenes appear don’t resonate well, there was no sexual or romantic tension beforehand. He was a hypocrite in regards to his sister and with Lily, quite incongruous behavior for a duke (also for a young maiden from that time). A bit of a mystery was thrown in to add a modicum of interest to the story. I received a copy of this story through NetGalley for my honest opinion.
CynYoung 4 months ago
I received an advanced reader’s copy of this book. Lily writes a column called The Debutante’s Revenge. She needs to keep her reputation a secret and delivers the column dressed as a boy. After delivering the column, she decides to go an an adventure and visits a tavern. While there gets accosted by thieves. Nash, the Duke of Stonebridge aids her but Lily gets caught in the altercation and suffers a blow to the head. The duke takes her to his home. When Lily awakens, they discover she has amnesia. They set out to try to find out her identity and return her to her family. Prior to her amnesia, Lily schemed to get some freedom from her chaperones. For someone with her background she took reckless risks with her reputation. I was surprised at how easily Lily is able to leave her home dressed as a boy without being caught and how this was accepted by some members of her family. Nash’s behavior also deviated from societal norms for someone of his station in that he took Lily, a stranger, into his home and allowed his sister to spend time with her. Nash and Lily seemed concerned about her reputation in some situations yet disregarded it in others. Nash and Lily are likable characters. Nash is closed off emotionally at the start and slowly opens up as he and Lily begin their relationship. Lily desires Nash and enters this relationship despite not knowing anything of her past which is risky since she doesn’t know if she’s involved with someone else. The ending wraps up the story satisfactorily although it doesn’t have an epilogue. The story and plot is well-written, despite the characters not fitting in with the social expectations of the era.
Horsebranchjess 4 months ago
The Duke is But a Dream inspires warm fuzzy feelings as a strong willed heiress falls for the handsome Duke. Miss Lily Hartley is daring and bold enough to write a scandalous column giving debutantes advice and hand delivers it disguised as a boy. When circumstances give Lily a few days unsupervised, she sets out to find a little adventure in her boyish disguise. After dropping off her column, she enters a tavern for a little taste of the forbidden. Accosted and then rescued by a duke, Lily suffers a head injury that leaves her with amnesia. Her strong personality emerges even as she cannot remember who she is and soon she daring to steal a kiss and experience new things with her Duke. Nash is scarred by his past of both losing his twin sister to a carriage accident as she was eloping and his father in the pursuit to stop the wedding. Nash wants no part of love or forever after. But as Lily slowly remembers who she is, Nash cannot help developing feelings for the headstrong beauty with her secrets. With just enough conflict to keep things interesting, The Duke is But a Dream develops a sweet HEA between two strong personalities for an enjoyable read. My voluntary, unbiased review is based upon a review copy from Netgalley.
Charlotte-P 4 months ago
A lovely historical Regency romance with Lily an independent sparky women who wants a say in her future and choice of husband. Lily is writing a column The Debutante’s Revenge for the local paper on the quiet to advise other young ladies with their choices. After a night in disguise she ends up at the home of the Duke of Stonebridge. Can she have met the man of her dreams who accepts her with all her modern ideas. This is an enjoyable romance which you will be glad you picked up. I was given an ARC of this book by Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
ThreesmomDC 4 months ago
I found this book to be quite charming and very entertaining. Lily, her sister and their best friend have been secretly writing and illustrating a column in the paper entitled the Debutante's Revenge. After delivering the latest installment dressed as a delivery boy, Lily is involved in a brawl at a tavern and is knocked unconscious. She is rescued by Nash, a Duke who was nursing his melancholy at the tavern and caused the accident that injures Lily. Upon awakening at the Duke's home the next day, Lily does not remember who she is so she and the Duke's sister choose the name, Caroline. Since Caroline has no memory, the Duke finally decides to have a lawyer friend run a description of her in the paper to see if they can get any answers. In the mean time, Nash and Caroline become intimate, but Nash maintains that there is no way that he will ever fall in love as it only brings misery and heartache. He lost his twin sister and father because of it and might lose his younger sister because of the "love" she feels for a young gentleman. This story includes a daring chase, a fight or two, an awakening of a closed off heart and the revelation of a mother. I hope that there will be more books to go with this one. I voluntarily read and reviewed an advanced copy of this book from NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are my own.