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August 25, 2022

Aphrodite and the Duke by J.J. McAvoy ~ a Review

by MK French

Everyone praises her looks, but Aphrodite du Bell hates her name and finds it difficult to live up to the name of the goddess of beauty. Her beauty didn't stop the Duke of Everely from jilting her four years ago, and she would happily avoid London. However, she's called back to help with her sister's debut, and the Duke is everywhere. He's a widower now, and the connection between them still exists. But the reason he jilted her still exists, and can still tear them apart.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

book cover of Regency romance novel Aphrodite and the Duke by JJ McAvoy
August 2022; Dell; 978-0593500040
audio, ebook, print (384 pages); Regency romance

The language here is a lot more formal than in many other Regency romance novels, but there's still a lot of teasing and live within the du Bell family. At the same time, Aphrodite is told at the outset to get a husband, and it's her only purpose in life. Her mother insists upon it and is the de facto head of the household. Even her father, who shares her "uncommon" love of books and reading, gives her an edited dictionary. Society is all too eager to whisper and gossip. She's constrained on all sides, expected to walk the fine line of womanhood and never complain. That definitely sounds familiar for all of us.

Aphrodite gives up the easy path quickly and demands that Evander disclose why he married someone else four years ago. The reason he jilted her has not been resolved, but as we approach the halfway mark of the book, even though she doesn't care about it, we know it's going to potentially ruin her happiness again. She's as stubborn as she's celebrated for her beauty and grace, and a lit of the connection with Evander at first feels like familiarity and attraction. His feelings for her are still the same. It's never a question of emotions in this novel, only external dangers to trigger fear, bad memories for some characters, and anger in others. Aphrodite had a loving upbringing while Evander didn't, and both are stubborn. While it does lead them to avoid speaking to each other for a few days, there is no traditional wedge driving them apart. Mistakes have consequences, even in a romance novel, but it ends neatly and there's still a happily ever after.

Buy Aphrodite and the Duke at Amazon

Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and a golden retriever.

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