A Duke by Default (Reluctant Royals Series #2)

A Duke by Default (Reluctant Royals Series #2)

by Alyssa Cole

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Overview

A NPR Best Books of 2018

A Bookish's Favorite Books of 2018

A Bookpage Best Romances of 2018

Award-winning author Alyssa Cole’s Reluctant Royals series continues with a woman on a quest to be the heroine of her own story and the duke in shining armor she rescues along the way…

New York City socialite and perpetual hot mess Portia Hobbs is tired of disappointing her family, friends, and—most importantly—herself. An apprenticeship with a struggling swordmaker in Scotland is a chance to use her expertise and discover what she’s capable of. Turns out she excels at aggravating her gruff silver fox boss…when she’s not having inappropriate fantasies about his sexy Scottish burr.

Tavish McKenzie doesn’t need a rich, spoiled American telling him how to run his armory…even if she is infuriatingly good at it. Tav tries to rebuff his apprentice—and his attraction to her—but when Portia accidentally discovers that he’s the secret son of a duke, rough-around-the-edges Tav becomes her newest makeover project.  

Forging metal into weapons and armor is one thing, but when desire burns out of control and the media spotlight gets too hot to bear, can a commoner turned duke and his posh apprentice find lasting love?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062685575
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 07/31/2018
Series: Reluctant Royals Series , #2
Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 26,912
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Alyssa Cole is an award-winning author of historical, contemporary, and sci-fi romance. Her books have received critical acclaim from The New York Times, Library Journal, BuzzFeed, Kirkus, Booklist, Jezebel, Vulture, Book Riot, Entertainment Weekly, and various other outlets. When she’s not working, she can usually be found watching anime with her husband or wrangling their menagerie of animals.  

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A Duke by Default 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
miztrebor 3 months ago
In my continued attempts to read more diverse romances I bought a copy of the (at that time) new Alyssa Cole novel, A Duke by Default. With “Duke” in the title, I wasn’t jumping at it right away, but I’d heard great things. I haven’t been big into historical novels, where dukes are normally found. Even though this was contemporary, I was still hesitant. Luckily, I pushed that aside and realized I shouldn’t have held off on starting the book. As the series title, Reluctant Royals, suggests: This duke doesn’t want to be a duke. He likes making his swords and grumping around. For me, this alone, helped ease me into the high society niceties and formalities that normally annoy me. They weren’t really in this book to begin with due to how the story plays out. I really enjoyed that this duke was a normal person who gives in for the right reasons. I also thought the slow burning desire between Portia and Tav was expertly carried out. There was great payoff in the end. Another thing that I think made this book great for me was that even if the romance wasn’t anywhere in the book and only friendships and character growth was included, this would still be one of my favorite books. There are so many strengths to Cole’s writing of character, setting, and plot that it’s almost like a bonus that there’s romance in here. The book made me want to continue “living” in this armory in Scotland, seeing how Tav’s newly appointed title helped change things for the better. And also to see Portia continue to grow into the person she wasn’t sure she could become. No all romance books leave me caring as much about the couple as their own people by the end. Did this book blow me away? Yes. Did it make me go buy the rest of the novels and novellas while reading it? Of course.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved reading this story! It was so entertaining that I stayed up all night to finish it. Im definately going to purchase Nya's story next.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is the only book ive read in the series but I truly enjoyed it
beckymmoe More than 1 year ago
Somehow, I loved this one even more than A Princess in Theory! Ms. Cole did a fantastic job of making poor-little-rich-girl Portia 100% relatable to her readers. Though I loved her in the last book, it was clear that she had some major things to work out, which she is determined to do from the very first page with her dedication to Project: New Portia. It's not easy, though, which is also very clear--and watching Portia struggle (with the support of her friends, Tav, and sister but sadly without that of her parents for much of the book) is both painful and inspiring. The book truly could have been enough with Portia's personal project and her apprenticeship (and her slow burn, reluctant, and delicious relationship with Tav), but naturally the "Reluctant Royals" portion of the series title have to come into play here too. I was so into the story that I had nearly forgotten the book's title when the whole "duke" part came into play--and OMG, does that part of the plot ever throw a royal wrench into the works. I almost worried that Ms. Cole wouldn't be able to get us to an HEA, but of course she did, and did so with fabulous, sigh-worthy style. (And can I just metnion...the bits with the Queen? Absolutely fabulous...) The secondary characters in the story are wonderful (as they were in the first book) and I can't even say how excited I am that the next book ( A Prince on Paper ) is going to be Johan and Nya's. Is it wrong to hope that the fictional-duke-loving librarian who only shows up in a single (but pivotal!) scene could get an HEA too? ;) Rating: 4 i/2 stars / A I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
beckymmoe More than 1 year ago
Somehow, I loved this one even more than A Princess in Theory! Ms. Cole did a fantastic job of making poor-little-rich-girl Portia 100% relatable to her readers. Though I loved her in the last book, it was clear that she had some major things to work out, which she is determined to do from the very first page with her dedication to Project: New Portia. It's not easy, though, which is also very clear--and watching Portia struggle (with the support of her friends, Tav, and sister but sadly without that of her parents for much of the book) is both painful and inspiring. The book truly could have been enough with Portia's personal project and her apprenticeship (and her slow burn, reluctant, and delicious relationship with Tav), but naturally the "Reluctant Royals" portion of the series title have to come into play here too. I was so into the story that I had nearly forgotten the book's title when the whole "duke" part came into play--and OMG, does that part of the plot ever throw a royal wrench into the works. I almost worried that Ms. Cole wouldn't be able to get us to an HEA, but of course she did, and did so with fabulous, sigh-worthy style. (And can I just metnion...the bits with the Queen? Absolutely fabulous...) The secondary characters in the story are wonderful (as they were in the first book) and I can't even say how excited I am that the next book ( A Prince on Paper ) is going to be Johan and Nya's. Is it wrong to hope that the fictional-duke-loving librarian who only shows up in a single (but pivotal!) scene could get an HEA too? ;) Rating: 4 i/2 stars / A I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book.
book_junkee More than 1 year ago
I had seen a lot of talk over this series and I was eager to give this one a try. I loved Portia and Tavish. She’s so smart and sassy and he’s a pretend stoic who is actually a gooey marshmallow. Together they have loads of chemistry. I really liked the secondary characters and I’m so excited that Johan is the next book. Plot wise is was the slowest burn that ever burned in a contemp. I swear, this was like a regency book with the longing filled glances. My main complaints is that there just wasn’t enough conversation between Portia and Tav. This is sort of a part in the plot, but they have such fantastic banter than I would have loved more time with them pushing each other’s buttons. Overall, it was a story that kept me interested and made me crazy when the ending felt so abrupt. I hope we get to see more of these two {and some idea of their future} in the next book. **Huge thanks to Avon Books for providing the arc free of charge**