About The Book
A Duke By Defaultby Alyssa Cole
Publication DateJuly 31, 2018
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I adored the first book in this series, A Princess in Theory, and I will admit that I didn’t find anything at all attractive or redeeming about Portia’s character in that book and thus wasn’t very excited going into this one.
Boy, this is sure one of those times I’m glad to have been wrong.
Portia is AMAZING. She’s a supersmart highly driven history buff bombshell who struggles with some SERIOUS low self-esteem that’s driven in large part by her undiagnosed ADHD and how it has wreaked havoc on her life. She’s so strong and at the same time SO fragile, and I want to tell her “You go girl” while at the same time wrapping her up in a blanket burrito and telling her to breathe and that everything will be OK. She’s struggling with all this guilt because her sister (the “good twin”) got sick and she felt like it should have been her (how sad is that?!) and she’s so afraid to screw up that she blows every small mistake out of proportion and sometimes is her own self-fulfilling prophecy. She’s also energetic and whip-smart and funny and warm and caring and loyal I WANT TO BE HER BESTEST FRIEND. I feel like Portia is definitely a Slytherpuff – am I alone here? Tell me I’m not alone.
Tavish is also a pretty great character. He’s complex and dark and brooding, but (like the best breads) while he’s all crusty outside he’s warm and fluffy and soft inside. He struggles to fit into his family, as his bio-father was a white Scottish man and his mom was a Chilean refuge to Scotland, and she married a black man (I’m sorry I can’t recall what nationality he is off the top of my head?) so Tav grew up in a situation where people would be racist toward his family and since he looks white they expected him to join in. He’s got his own guilt he carries around with him and it makes him kind of walled off and over-protective, both of his family and of himself. He still has a fun sense of humor though, plus he’s #swordbae and what could be hotter than that?
The attraction between Portia and Tav is instant, and it’s a slowwwwww burn. And then –
“We were attracted to each other, we kissed, you humped my leg a little, and everything’s fine now.”
(Everything was not fine.)
This book made me clutch at my chest and cry several times, and I’m sure if anyone had been around they’d have been like “Elley, why are you keening ‘Oh Portia, honey, noooooo’?” Thankfully no one was around and thus no one witnessed me talking to a book. The side characters were interesting, though I did get REALLY upset with Jamie and Cheryl toward the end of the book. Portia’s are also HORRIBLE, and I really with the plotline that involved them had been resolved more (or, um, at all?)
This is the second book in the series, and while it does have some spoilers for the first book, A Princess in Theory, spoilers aren’t much more than you get from the back cover blurb and you can absolutely read this book as a stand alone (without reading book 1 first). That being said, I CANNOT WAIT for book 3, which will be Nya’s story with Johan! SQUEE! ❤ I also require a book about Reggie, post haste! Chop chop!