What Eileen says about No Other Duke But You: “… a tale rich with humorous escapades, amusing banter, sexual chemistry and endearing characters giving Delilah and Thomas true love, happiness, and a future together.
Full review and giveaway below…
No Other Duke But You
by Valerie Bowman
Lady Delilah Montebank has her marital sights set on the Duke of Branville. There’s just one problem: he barely knows she exists. But no matter, she’s got a plan to win him over with her charm, her wit—and perhaps the love potion she has in her possession wouldn’t hurt her cause…
Lord Thomas Hobbs, Duke of Huntley, thinks his best friend Delilah’s quest to become a duchess is ridiculous. He’s always said he’d rather give up all the brandy in London than commit to one person for life. Besides, he knows that Delilah’s love potion can’t possibly win over Branville…since she accidentally gave it to him instead. But perhaps this is the excuse he needs to show her he’s always loved her…
Delilah and Thomas are best friends in No Other Duke but You by Valerie Bowman, book eleven, and the final book in her Playful Brides series, uses Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream as a play put on by the story’s characters as well as part of the plot.
Delilah Montebank is a spirited young lady who is constantly belittled and berated by her mother, undermining her confidence. Her mother has given Delilah an ultimatum to obtain an offer of marriage by her birthday or her mother will marry her off to the unpleasant heir to an earldom and son of the man mother is hoping to marry.
Delilah is unconventional and lacks social graces, but she has a heart of gold as well as good intentions. To counter her mother’s threat she unfortunately blurts out that she has set her sights on the catch of the season, the Duke of Branville. Since Delilah and her friend Lady Lucy Hunt have been successfully matchmaking for many of their friends she firmly believes that getting this match should not be a problem.
Thomas Hobbs, the Duke of Huntley, has been Delilah’s best male friend for many years. He has kept himself off the market as the only woman he wants, and secretly loves, is Delilah. Thomas has taken care of his family holdings, his mother and sisters since the death of his father. One major obligation Thomas still has is to arrange a marriage for his overbearing, egotistical older sister Lavina.
Thomas agrees to help Delilah only if she and Lucy will find a match for his sister. He might agree to help Delilah find another man but he will work behind the scenes to find a way for Delilah to see him as her perfect match and believe that he is her one, true love. After all, who but Thomas understands Delilah and accepts her as she is.
While all of this is all happening, Delilah and her friends are trying to put on a play, for charity. Knowing that Delilah’s mother would totally disapprove of such behavior, even for charity, this group of friends needs to accomplish all in secret. Like the play, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, there are plans being made for romance and matchmaking that follows much of the play. People make plans for their perfect match only to ensnare the wrong person. There is even a love potion, mirroring the one in the play. It is a comedy of errors, to borrow the title of another Shakespeare’s plays. The adventures are humorous, laugh out loud funny, and yet sometime heartbreaking.
Ms. Bowman wrote a charming, clever, entertaining and amusing story that is not to be missed. She provided a tale rich with humorous escapades, amusing banter, sexual chemistry and endearing characters giving Delilah and Thomas true love, happiness, and a future together. I highly recommend No Other Duke but You to other readers.
Writing Style: 5/5
Playful Brides Series
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Q&A with Valerie Bowman
Q: How is NO OTHER DUKE BUT YOU, your upcoming novel, different than your previous novels, or can you say anything more about it?
A: NO OTHER DUKE BUT YOU is the final book in the Playful Brides series. It’s book #11, and while it can be read as a standalone, I know the long-time readers of the series have been waiting for this couple’s story. Delilah is my most asked about heroine.
Q: Where did you get your inspiration from for NO OTHER DUKE BUT YOU?
A: Most of the books in the Playful Brides series are inspired by famous plays. This one is inspired by A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which is one of my favorites. I’ve had the plot in mind for a long time.
Q: Who would you cast for Delilah and Thomas in the movie version?
A: I love this question! I’ve set up a Pinterest board for the entire Playful Brides series with the pictures of who I think of as the main characters. In my mind, Delilah looks like Ellen Page and Thomas is Justin Bartha.
Q: What is one thing the heroine, Delilah, can’t live without?
A: Sigh. Thomas. Though she doesn’t know it at first.
Q: Would you say it was more or less difficult writing NO OTHER DUKE BUT YOU knowing it’s the last in the series?
A: Yes! I was worried that the readers wouldn’t like it or think it’s a fitting end to the series. But in the end, I wrote the book I wanted to write to wrap up the series and I can’t wait to share it with everyone!
Q: If you could work with any other famous author, who would it be and why?
A: Lisa Kleypas! She’s just my all-time favorite. Love, love, love all of her books.
Q: What was your favorite scene you wrote, and why?
A: I don’t want to give anything away. But there is a scene involving some magic perfume and sneaking around at a country house late at night and it was just pure fun to write the fall out after that.
Q: What was the hardest scene to write in NO OTHER DUKE BUT YOU, and why?
A: Oh, the last chapter. Not the epilogue, but the last chapter. I wanted it to be perfect. The epilogue is something I’ve had in mind for ages so that was simple.
Q: How did you come up with the idea of a love potion to get Delilah and Thomas’s romance rolling?
A: It’s inspired by the love potion in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which is just a purely fun play that I adore!
Q: Are you currently working on any other projects you would like to share with your readers?
A: Yes! I’m working on a contemporary romantic comedy called HIRING MR. DARCY. It’s about a history professor who has two weeks to turn her brother’s hot best friend into a suitable Darcy for a competition in Bath, England so she can beat her ex and his new starlet girlfriend. It’ll be out this year! I’m also noodling over a new Regency series that’s going to be outrageous fun!
Q: Do you have a final comment you would like to give your readers?
About Valerie Bowman
Valerie Bowman’s debut novel was published in 2012. Since then, her books have received starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly, Booklist, and Kirkus. She’s been an RT Reviewers’ Choice nominee for Best First Historical Romance and Best Historical Romance Love and Laughter. Two of her books have been nominated for the Kirkus Prize for fiction.
Valerie grew up in Illinois with six sisters (she’s number seven) and a huge supply of historical romance novels. After a cold and snowy stint earning a degree in English Language and Literature with a minor in history at Smith College, she moved to Florida the first chance she got. Valerie now lives in Jacksonville with her family including her mini-schnauzers, Huckleberry and Violet. When she’s not writing, she keeps busy reading, traveling, or vacillating between watching crazy reality TV and PBS.