Dukes of War #3: The Captain’s Bluestocking Mistress by Erica Ridley
Apparently I read this 6 years ago and gave it 3 stars because I was dumb and thought “oh romance novels can’t have more than 3 stars because how do I compare them to the literary greats?” smh. I wish I could tell my past self that you don’t have to compare your favorite romance novels to Charles Dickens: there are different ways to be great. shocker.
Anyway. This book was lovely. My absolute favorite thing about Erica Ridley’s books is that she consistently imbues her characters with so much life and personality in such a short space (and usually a short time period as well). Xavier and Jane leap off the page – not to mention Egui, who does his share of leaping even on-page – and endeared themselves to me very quickly. The premise is tropey but the execution gives it so much more gravity and oomph than might be expected. I read it in one sitting and was absolutely delighted with it the whole way through.
Dukes of War #5: The Brigadier’s Runaway Bride by Erica Ridley
I really wasn’t sure about this one at first but something kept me reading. And… I liked it, mostly. I loved the scenes with Sarah and Edmund and the twins. They were sweet and there was so much love and laughter there. It was very heartwarming. The scenes where Sarah and Edmund kept pulling away from each other over what was really a very small misunderstanding that could have been cleared up in a few sentences of discussion (instead of stretched out into a novel of back and forth plot) were… tedious. But the family scenes made up for it, hence the four stars.
Dukes of War #2: The Earl’s Defiant Wallflower by Erica Ridley
This was cute but I was never completely invested in the romance. It was too much lust and ‘he wants to save her’ and then ‘she wants to save him because she’ll be leaving.’ And the ending resolved with almost all the important events happening pretty much off-screen which was disappointing and made the whole story a bit hollow.