Fortune Favors the Duke by Kristin Vayden

A Slow-Burn SWEET Tale of Love After Loss

Fortune Favors the Duke was a well-written story about finding love after loss. The second brother of a duke, Quin finds himself suddenly forced to take up his elder brother’s mantle when a fire claims the lives of a group of first born sons. Not only is Quin bereft, but so is Catherine Greatheart (awesome last name, and there are lots of Catherine the Great references scattered throughout the book), Quin’s older brother’s fiancée.

Catherine and Quin’s brother had a match made on a premise of liking not yet loving, and so while she is grieving, she is not heartbroken. A friendship based on shared loss burgeons between Quin and Catherine. Quin is a very repressed, alpha hero–though I’ve seen some reviewers call him a beta. Catherine is a very practical, intelligent heroine who is very easy to sympathize with and to like–especially when she finds herself in a conflicting predicament involving a trustee handling her and her grandmother’s estate.

The book starts off a little slow but the central conflict is exciting, engaging, and I actually had to stress-speed-read a bit.

Based on the average rating, I was nervous going into the book–but most of the negativity seems to be based on the book’s appearance as a steamy romance when it is in fact more of a sweet romance (though there is intense kissing / groping and use of the “Lord’s name in vain” (which I’ve noticed is a dealbreaker with some clean readers), so I am not sure it qualifies as “clean”). I agree with reviewers about the cover being misleading and this is really unfair to the writer. Readers expecting steam won’t get it, and readers expecting “clean” will not get that either. Which is unfortunate as Vayden is an excellent writer and this was a great story.

My review is based on the quality of the story and writing, not the steam level. Please don’t punish the author for the unfortunate cover choice / misleading blurb. However, I have included these points in my notes to Netgalley and urge other ARC readers to do the same. Thanks to Netgalley for the early review copy.

Steam Level: 1/5, Petting/Kissing

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