I don’t read a whole lot of historical romance as of late but Duke with Benefits was getting some twitter buzz from readers I trust and I decided to dive in and request it. I am really glad I did! Manda Collins is a totally new to me author but I am super glad I gave her a try.
Lady Daphne is determined to never marry. She is a brilliant mathematician and feels she will lose her goals in life if she is forced to marry. But that does not mean she wouldn’t mind a little dalliance with the Duke of Maitland, Dalton. He is scandalized, to put it lightly, that she would propose a tryst when he is interested in much more. Daphne intrigues Dalton and he would like to get to know her better. He is especially intrigued with her mind, quite different from most of the women he knows.
Daphne is mortified when Dalton turns her down and it only reinforces in her mind that she needs to focus on math. In particular, she is determined to find the Cameron Cipher which could potentially uncover great riches for her and her friends. Of course, it’s not as easy as it seems.
This is a super sweet romance. It features one of my favorite types of historical heroines, the brilliant bluestocking. This dates back to my love of Amanda Quick historicals. I can definitely see a hint of Amanda Quick in Manda Collins which made me enjoy it all the more.
I also really liked the rather unconventional path Dalton and Daphne had in falling in love. I loved how Daphne took the lead and told Dalton how she felt attracted to him even if it didn’t go the way she planned. That is a brave act for any woman! And I really liked that her bravery wasn’t a turn-off for Dalton. He was definitely still quite intrigued! There is just a really great sweetness to their romance and it plays well against the mystery back drop. Dalton wants to be a hero to Daphne but it turns out what she needs is a partner and I liked how that worked out through the course of the story.
Duke with Benefits is the second book in the Studies in Scandal series. I have not read book one but this book stands very well on its own. And for a Manda Collins newbie, I think it was a great introduction to her writing.
This is a book (and most likely a series!) worth taking a look at.
ARC provided by Netgalley.
Tagged: Manda Collins