The Scoundrel Falls Hard: The Duke Hunt, Book 3 Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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New York Times best-selling author Sophie Jordan is back with the enchanting third book in the Duke Hunt series about a marriage of convenience between a fierce female blacksmith and a handsome scoundrel.
A devil’s bargain burns the hottest....
For years, fiercely independent Gwen Cully has worked as the village blacksmith, keeping her family’s business going. But when a local rival threatens her livelihood, Gwen has nowhere to turn...until a devastatingly handsome fugitive takes shelter in her shop and sparks fly.
Unrepentant rogue Kellan Fox’s entire existence has been a dangerous game of deception that leads him into a fight for survival—and straight into the arms of a tall, fiery beauty. When Gwen protects him from an angry mob of villagers, Kellan sees the perfect solution to both their troubles. A marriage—in name only—that will last a single year.
Only a marriage of convenience can’t hide their searing attraction. It glows hotter than Gwen’s forge and reaches deep below the tempting mask Kellan wears for the world. With every sizzling glance and scorching kiss, Gwen surrenders more of herself to the molten passion she finds in Kellan’s strong embrace. But can she ever truly trust her heart to a scoundrel?
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From the manufacturer
|Listening Length||7 hours and 34 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||August 23, 2022|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #66,801 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#552 in Regency Romance
#626 in Historical Fantasy (Audible Books & Originals)
#2,278 in Historical Fantasy (Books)
Reviewed in the United States on August 23, 2022
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It's either hit or miss, for me, regarding Sophie Jordan.
We did get a hint there might be something more when we met the 'real' Duke, but it didn't go anywhere. Nor did the curious reaction his housekeeper had when the Duke appeared at the heroine's home. Honestly, it felt too much like we were being prepared for an upcoming book, but the scene seemed a bit flat and rather pointless to this story.
However, the thing I think that aggravated me the most was the epilogue. I generally love when we get a glimpse into the character's lives in the future. But not this time. I couldn't move past how easily they seemed to forgive his cruel, conniving, selfish, thieving father (who abandoned him, nearly getting him killed in the process, then cavalierly dismissed the hero's feelings about all of that, before stealing the heroine's hard-earned money off of his son).
Yet in the end they actually welcomed him into their lives, and their home! There was nothing that suggested the man had changed. In fact, because they couldn't trust him not to steal from them again, they actually locked him into his room at night. It was a rather disturbing way for the book to end. IMO, it would have been better not to mention that despicable character again.
I usually love Sophie's books, but this one (I'm sorry to say) left me feeling a bit empty.
Jordan develops their fiery chemistry and connection through steamy, gentle, sexy, sweet, and intense interactions, banter, and love scenes that contribute to Gwen and Kellan’s development. Their sexual attraction is strong, but they also connect on an intellectual and emotional level, which scares Gwen because she believes her life to be just fine without a man. Unfortunately, we don’t get to see or experience Gwen working in the forge creating the smithery they sell together, which is a bit of a disappointment, as that’s one of the things that drew me to the character.
As the village blacksmith, Gwen has worked hard to keep her family’s blacksmith business prosperous and legacy intact. However, when a local rival threatens her livelihood and independence, Gwen feels she has nowhere to turn with no family left. But can she rely on the handsome fugitive who takes shelter in her shop to help her? Unfortunately, Kellan’s life since childhood has been a dangerous game of deception, leading him to flee, hide, and fight for survival desperately. He takes shelter from his pursuers in a smithy. No one’s more surprised than him when the tall and beautiful blacksmith Gwen protects him from an angry mob of villagers—except for maybe Gwen herself. Kellan and Gwen agree to a year-long marriage—in name only—to save his life and her family’s blacksmith operations.
While I love the development of the relationship between Gwen and Kellan, their characters, and their connection, I don’t love the novel as much as book 2—perhaps because my expectations were high. The resolution came a bit too quickly and without enough interaction between Kellan and Gwen leading up to the conclusion, or perspective from Kellan, considering the angst behind it. Maybe it would have worked better with a bit more of Kellan’s perspective.
Overall, The Scoundrel Falls Hard is a steamy, angsty, sexy, and sweet historical romance with some nicely written moments of suspense and action.
Advanced review copy provided by Avon Books via Netgalley for review.