Anything But a Duke (Duke's Den Series #2)

Anything But a Duke (Duke's Den Series #2)

by Christy Carlyle

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Self-made man Aidan Iverson has seen more closed doors in his thirty years than he’s ever cared to count. As a member of the elite Duke’s Den, he has all the money he could possibly need but the one thing he can’t purchase is true power. If roguish Aidan can’t buy his way into society’s hallowed halls, he’ll resort to a more extreme measure: marriage.

Brought up to be a proper lady, the only thing Diana Ashby desires is to be left alone to the creation of her own devices. But when her dreams are crushed, she must find another way to secure the future of her invention. Knowing his desire to enter her world, Diana strikes a deal to arrange Aidan’s marriage to the perfect lady—as long as that lady isn’t her. She doesn’t need any distractions from her work, particularly of the sinfully handsome variety.

As Diana and Aidan set out to find him an aristocratic match, neither are prepared for the passion that ignites between them or the love they can’t ignore.

In the Duke’s Den, can happiness ever be a winning prospect?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062853974
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 04/30/2019
Series: Duke's Den Series , #2
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 55,540
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.50(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Fueled by Pacific Northwest coffee and inspired by multiple viewings of every British costume drama she can get her hands on, USA Today bestselling author Christy Carlyle writes sensual historical romance set in the Victorian era. She loves heroes who struggle against all odds and heroines who are ahead of their time. A former teacher with a degree in history, she finds there’s nothing better than being able to combine her love of the past with a die-hard belief in happy endings.

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Anything But a Duke 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
gaele 19 days ago
The second book in this series focuses on Aiden, friend to both Nick from A Duke Changes Everything and Rhys, who’s story is yet to be told. These three are rich and determined, if not always ‘palatable’ to the tastemakers in London society. As we learned from Nick’s story, it is more a matter of finding a woman who both intrigues and accepts them, with the ability to rein in their most ‘common’ impulses. And that, in itself makes for an interesting clash of wills between the two. But Aiden, a self-made man with a desire for an aristocratic match and all the trappings that entails. He’s got the riches, his partnership with Nick in the gambling clubs has brought that, but the ‘self-made man of business’ so revered in today’s world was seen by the aristo classes as nothing more than an up-jumped commoner: a merchant and useful only when and if he can be controlled by his desire to be ‘accepted’ into the lofty world of the tonne. Diana Ashby is from the world Aiden so wants to be a part of, and as a ‘woman of marriageable age’ is the perfect target for his plans. Not being born to a title isn’t too much to ask, if one can marry into the family and thus gain the entrance into those hallowed levels. But she wants no part of marriage or even romance, she has more important things to do. Diana is an inventor, smart, clever, determined and utterly her own woman, unconcerned with the whims and wishes of society and the constraints with which they would bind her. But, perhaps there is a happy middle -she can help Aiden find the entrance to society, and a bride, and she can walk away unscathed and unmet by the altar. He will invest in her ideas: giving her some respectability and cache as an inventor of note, a goal her father never achieved. She agrees to help him and pushes his very distractibility and their obvious compatibility to the side to continue her work. Oh this was fun – both Aiden and Diana are wonderful together and feel like the perfect match, even as she has no desire to be married. Moments when they are together sparkle, and the burn is there, even as both tend to ignore it as their eyes are on different goals. Much of the book is involving us with a family that Aiden never knew he had, and their struggles and needs push the conflicts and the connection with Diana further along. I do wish more of their relationship and times together in quiet moments were more frequent, but from the start the intrigue between the two, and their obvious match for one another in intelligence and determination is evident and clear. It’s going to take some doing (and plenty of thought) for their connection to come to fruition, but like all of Carlyle’s books, the read is a wonderful one and very entertaining. The usual angst, struggles and distractions appear, without huge swathes of heat and steamy moments on the page, but the underlying burn felt by them both is clearly present and encourages readers to cheer on this couple to a very happy, and quite fitting end. I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.
Anonymous 13 days ago
London - 1845 Diana Ashby is off to attend a scientific lecture presented by a past tutor she had. Her interest lies in being an inventor and she spends most of the day in her workshop. Her father had been the second son of a baronet which had afforded her a good education. However, the man had not managed the family funds well and now they are in need of money. Diana’s twin brother, Dominick, tends to spend most of his time gambling and drinking himself into a stupor. While her mother has tried to be understanding of her desire to be an inventor, she now tells her that it is time that she marries a wealthy man. Aiden Iverson is looking for what might have happened to his mother, or even who she was, before abandoning he and his sister at a workhouse. Today, Aiden is a very wealthy man because he worked hard and invested wisely. He is also the third owner of Lyon’s Gentleman’s Club. Yet even with all of his money, his lack of nobility ends up with doors shut in his face. Thus, his friends tell him he needs to wed a noble bride. Lyon’s holds events that allows inventors to display their inventions and if Lyon’s is interested, they may offer investment money. When Diana shows a household vacuum system to them, she is furious when the unit is dropped and broken, thus not allowing her to demonstrate it. But she is very persistent and asks Aiden to visit her workshop so she can demonstrate it there. He is unsure if he wants to invest in it because he usually goes with much larger projects, such as bridges. So, when she learns from him that he needs to marry a titled lady, she promises to introduce him to her friends. If it results in marriage, he will then fund her invention. Both Diana and Aiden are strong, intelligent, and hard-working, In addition, they are attracted to one another yet Diana feels that her situation does not fulfill what Aiden seeks. Is that true or are they both holding back? I really enjoyed this story and found the plot to be a bit unusual, but very well crafted. I am sure that readers will like this book. Copy provided by Edelweiss and Goodreads in exchange for a fair and honest review.
MoniqueD 14 days ago
Aidan Iverson had met Miss Diana Ashby a year ago when she had saved his hide. He hadn't known then who she was, but it took only a moment to recognise the lady who is asking for investors for her invention. Diana is passionate about her work, she wants to succeed, and her family desperately needs the money. Her mother doesn't quite approve, and she agreed to Diana's endeavour on one condition: if Diana fails to secure backers, she will need to marry a wealthy man. Aidan is a businessman, and coming from nothing, he will never have enough money, but two things matter more to him: find his mother and sister, and hopefully know who his father was. He also needs to establish himself in Society if he is to have access to places that, in spite of his wealth, remain closed to him. Diana, while a commoner, has aristocratic friends who need rich husbands. So Aidan and Diana shake on it. If only they could forget about that one impulsive kiss... In ANYTHING BUT A DUKE, Christy Carlyle displays all the qualities that have made her a favourite author of mine. Unlike Huntley, I can't say that Aidan had made such a strong impression on me in the first installment of The Duke's Den, but Ms. Carlyle certainly rose to the occasion to present us with a wonderful hero. Although he does have a temper, Aidan is well-mannered, kind, and most appreciative of Diana's talents. I love that the romance was unhurried, and evolved organically, respecting the constraints of the Victorian era. There is no lack of chemistry between Aidan and Diana, but it resides in meaningful looks, straightforward exchanges, light touches; everything that I find truly romantic. Aidan and Diana also enjoy a first class supporting cast: Diana's rogue of a brother, Dominick (I loved him!); her friends Grace, and Ladies Elizabeth and Sophronia; and let's not forget the irresistible Huntley! I loved Diana's persistence; she is determined to succeed, but not pushy or unduly reckless. And Aidan was enchanting; he is everything I look for in a hero; he surprised me in the best way. I also loved how his search for his family was handled; it was present but did not overshadow the romance. ANYTHING BUT A DUKE is a superbly well balanced story, evenly paced, and chock full of pertinent and entertaining historical details. The writing flows effortlessly as the author lets the characters act and speak for themselves. The first sex scene, I'm afraid, brought my rating down a little bit. It's beautifully done, but I felt Aidan and especially Diana behaved somewhat out of character. We know how it will end, but at that point, they didn't. There was also an issue with one of Diana's friends that was left dangling, or I maybe I missed something...As much as I nearly swoon every time I look at the spectacular cover by the inimitable Jon Paul Ferrara, you can safely judge this book by its cover, because I feel it represents perfectly the tone of the book, and reflects the beautiful romance within. I give 4 1/2 stars.
Noire 21 days ago
I received an ARC of this book to read through Edelweiss+ in exchange for a fair review. Anything But a Duke by Christy Carlyle is the second book in her Duke’s Den series. This one could be read as a stand-alone, but I did enjoy reading the first one and recommend it. Aiden Iverson is a self made man, abandoned in a workhouse as a child he has become a successful business man who provides funding to inventors. He and Diana first meet when he is attacked by a couple of thugs and she comes running to his rescue umbrella in hand. Diana Ashby has no interest in marriage, she likes in make things that are useful and has hopes of saving her family from ruin with one of her inventions. She seeks financing from Aiden and offers to help him find a blue-blooded bride in exchange for his help, however they have a chemistry between them that cannot be denied no matter how much they try to be practical. I very much enjoyed this story. Medium Steam Publishing Date April 30, 2019 #Edelweissplus #AnythingButADuke #ChristyCarlyle #HarperCollinsCanada #AvonImpulse
Joana_Varela 22 days ago
I received an eARC at no cost from the author, in exchange for an honest and voluntary review. Thank you. 3.75* I love books with self-made heroes/heroines. And this book has both! It was interesting to see how Diana worked hard to not lose focus, and to present her work in the best way. I really like the kind of story that is about “deals” to find a husband/wife for the opposite character. And this is that kind of book. It’s always amusing to see them trying to find someone for each other, but thinking/acting like they could never be the one for each other. And when they realize they are a match, and that any obstacles that might come their way can be dealt with, as long as they are together, then the story unfolds and we have our happy ending. Aidan tries to help Diana with her inventions, and she tries to help him get the right bride. Of course, his definition of “the right bride” changes throughout the book, as he finds himself more and more in love with the woman that rescued him – literally. This was the first book I’ve read written by this author, and it was a pleasant surprise. I shall be reading more for sure.
book_junkee 22 days ago
I had read the first book in this series and was eager to get to this one. I loved Diana and Aiden. They’re both so smart and looking to belong in their own way. I loved that she was an inventor and that he built himself a living. They had excellent conversation and the though their relationship evolved in a short amount of time, it felt organic. Plot wise, I just wanted more of them together. The thread about Aiden’s family fueled most of this story and I wasn’t really into that; however, I loved seeing the matchmaking attempts. Overall, this was a quick read with characters who were easy to root for. I’m hoping the next book is going to be Dominic’s **Huge thanks to Avon Books for providing the arc free of charge**