Title: A Lady for a Duke
Author: Alexis Hall
Genre: Period Romance
Source: Netgalley. Received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Trigger Warning: Contains self-directed ableist language, period-typical mentions of transphobia.
Summary: When Viola Caroll was presumed dead at Waterloo she took the opportunity to live, at last, as herself. But freedom does not come without a price, and Viola paid for hers with the loss of her wealth, her title, and her closest companion, Justin de Vere, the Duke of Gracewood.
Only when their families reconnect, years after the war, does Viola learn how deep that loss truly was. Shattered without her, Gracewood has retreated so far into grief that Viola barely recognises her old friend in the lonely, brooding man he has become.
As Viola strives to bring Gracewood back to himself, fresh desires give new names to old feelings. Feelings that would have been impossible once and may be impossible still, but which Viola cannot deny. Even if they cost her everything, all over again.
That is what this book is, above all else. It will have you whipping through the pages wanting to know more, wanting to find the truth, wanting to know when they will both know.
God it was so good.There was so much heartbreak in it, and love in every word on the page. Every detail of this book felt like it was so carefully planned out, and god were the details amazing.
The characters are singular and well crafted, each with their own triumphs and tragedies, and man are they some of the best characters I’ve gotten to know this year. There is such love between most of them, and god, some of them had me laughing out loud. Viola is amazing, her strength and her inner thoughts drew me in and had me wishing I could spend more time with her. Gracewood also carried my heart, breaking it in equal turn, as he tried to fight with himself and his PTSD.
The plot is intoxicating and I loved every single moment moment of it, wanting more and wanting less. There were a few moments that did seem to drag, but more often than not I found myself wanting more.
It is a queer historical romance, so there are moments where your heart feels heavy when the illusion of a happily ever after in this scenario gets broken but god, I could read this book again and again.
But then again, it is Alexis Hall, so…