Review: Forbidden to Love the Duke by Jillian HunterForbidden to love the Duke by Jillian Hunter
Series: The Fenwick Sisters Affair #1
Published by berkley, Signet Select on February 3, 2015
Genres: Historical Romance, Regency Romance, Romance
Pages: 352
Format: Paperback
Source: Advance Reader Copy, NetGalley

Hailed for her “wicked wit and exquisite sensuality” (Booklist), Jillian Hunter, the New York Times bestselling author of the Boscastle Affairs novels and the Bridal Pleasures novels returns with the Fenwick Sisters Affairs, her ravishing new series of four sisters bound by fortune, romance, and scandal....

Lady Ivy Fenwick is desperate. Since her father’s fatal duel, she and her sisters have sold off every valuable possession to make ends meet. With the manor stripped bare, Ivy has one last resort: Apply as governess to the Duke of Ellsworth’s wards.

James should have known better than to hire the desirable lady who had fallen on hard times—and who tempts him at every turn. As her employer, he tries valiantly to remain noble and not let a kiss they shared as strangers years ago entice him. Yet the more he learns of Ivy’s secrets, the more he wants her. And when another suitor proves aggressive, James is confronted with a challenge: Surrender Ivy or fight for the woman he’s come to love against all odds, knowing that it takes a scoundrel to trump a scoundrel.

The blurb for this book sounds right up my alley! I was so excited I actually bumped a book by one of my favorite authors so I could read this one.

This book starts out with a fabulous setup, and I loved the beginning couple chapters. Basicallyady Ivy is kissed by a mysterious man at a masquerade ball in her first Season. They flirt, and it’s sexy.

Lady Ivy’s father is accused of cheating at cards and dies in a duel that night, and Ivy and her sisters are tainted and hide from society.
And then 5 years later the Duke and Lady Ivy meet again, and I began to hate this book.

By chapter 3, I think I was done.

But I really wanted to love this book, so I read the whole thing.

I had a big issue with the hero. He knows he has to settle down and do his ducal duty of marrying and popping out heirs, so his plan is to find the best courtesan in the ton and have a full month of 24/7 sexytimes. But on the way to his estate, he sees a Tudor-era tower, and decides he wants it. So he gets out and sees a woman, chases her down, gets told to leave her and her tower alone, and he sort of does, but with every intention of coming back and claiming both woman and tower.

He heads to his estate, and finds his niece and nephew there. Their father (his brother) is in the army, and their mother is off with her latest lover, so the servants brought the children to him. So he decides he needs a governess to keep them out of his hair while he still plans to spend the next month with the new mistress!

Lady Ivy, meanwhile, has realized that all the creditors their father owed are going to eventually take the tower, so she seeks employment as a governess. Lo and behold, the sexy duke who chased her needs one! ta-da! Problem solved.

To be honest, I love the premise-penniless daughter of an earl becomes governess to the Duke next door. But this book just never gave me all the sexual tension and getting to know each other that I love in books with this trope.

Even after hiring Ivy, who James knows is a lady, and the daughter of an earl, and remembers from that ball, he still plans on bringing the new mistress in for sexytimes. He even tells Ivy this, and then tells her he wants her to be the children’s “true moral compass.” What a pig.

Then he proceeds to compromise Ivy at every chance he gets. She even asks him if he’ll fire her if she doesn’t sleep with him. His answer? Oh baby, don’t worry, you’ll want it.

No. I’m sorry, but no.They don’t have any scenes together at all where he isn’t pressuring her for sex. She flat out asks if he’s going to fire her if she gives in, and he just says, Oh you misunderstand. You’ll want it more than I do. I repeat, he’s a pig.

He’s a pig and she’s not behaving like the daughter of an earl, or like a governess. At only 34% in she’s letting him touch her, and it reads as if she’s unwilling.I just don’t buy it. They  have NO SCENES where they are jsut talking or getting to know each other at all. It’s only scenes of him pressuring her, and her saying she doesn’t want it, but her body betrays her. Gag me.

The title should be changed to Don’t Force the Governess Into Compromising Positions Just Because You’re a Duke.

I couldn’t get on board with this. I love the trope, I love insta-lust, and this book still missed the mark. I can’t get over it.

***ARC courtesy of Berkley Signet Select