An NPR Best Book of the Year - A Bookish Favorite Book of the Year - A Bookpage Best Romance of the Year
Award-winning author Alyssa Cole’s Reluctant Royals series continues with a woman on a quest to be the heroine of her own story and the duke in shining armor she rescues along the way…
New York City socialite and perpetual hot mess Portia Hobbs is tired of disappointing her family, friends, and—most importantly—herself. An apprenticeship with a struggling swordmaker in Scotland is a chance to use her expertise and discover what she’s capable of. Turns out she excels at aggravating her gruff silver fox boss…when she’s not having inappropriate fantasies about his sexy Scottish burr.
Tavish McKenzie doesn’t need a rich, spoiled American telling him how to run his armory…even if she is infuriatingly good at it. Tav tries to rebuff his apprentice—and his attraction to her—but when Portia accidentally discovers that he’s the secret son of a duke, rough-around-the-edges Tav becomes her newest makeover project.
Forging metal into weapons and armor is one thing, but when desire burns out of control and the media spotlight gets too hot to bear, can a commoner turned duke and his posh apprentice find lasting love?
In Cole's rollicking second Reluctant Royals contemporary (after A Princess in Theory), Portia Hobbs leaves New York for Scotland and a sword-making apprenticeship, determined to recreate herself and her life. However, "Project New Portia" takes a hit when she finds herself wrong-footed with her new boss, Tavis McKenzie, on the first day. Tavis doesn't want an apprentice, especially not one whose freckles and curves set his mind to wandering lustfully. But Portia's talents soon prove to be exactly what Tavis's business needs, and when Tavis admits there's more to her than sexy good looks, the smoldering tension between them explodes with a fiery kiss. As Portia slowly begins to see herself as more than a flighty screw-up, she sets in motion events that change Tavis's future and that may just push her out of his life for good. Cole includes just the right amount of sass, sex, and heart to satisfy romance readers.
Great story, chemistry, dialogue - read in a day :)
Alyssa Cole is fantastic
I’ve read most of what Cole has to offer and she consistently writes well rounded, relatable, strong willed, grounded women, not just as her main characters, but auxiliary players as well, and Duke by Default is no exception. Her books are some of my favorites and I will continue to be a loyal reader.
This book is a pretty quick read, and would recommend to all who enjoy contemporary romance