Would I Lie to the Duke
Jessica McGale’s family business desperately needs investors and she’s determined to succeed at any cost. But she knows London’s elite will never look twice at a humble farm girl like herself. Posing as “Lady Whitfield,” however, places her in the orbit of wealthy, powerful people—most notably the Duke of Rotherby. His influence and support could save her company, but Jess never expected the effect he’d have on her.
Society thinks Noel is a notorious, carefree duke who dabbles in investments, but there’s a side to him that only his closest friends see. When he crosses paths with Lady Whitfield at a business bazaar, his world tilts on its axis. She’s brilliant and compelling, and brings him to his knees like no woman has before. Trust is difficult for Noel, but Jess makes him believe anything is possible. . .
As time ticks down on her Cinderella scheme, the thought of achieving her goal at Noel’s expense breaks Jess’s heart. He doesn’t just want her now, he wants her forever. But will her secret end their future before it begins?
AAR reviewers Shannon and Lisa read Would I Lie to the Duke and got together for a socially-distanced chat about it. Here’s what they had to say.
Shannon: I’m the kind of person who almost always starts at the beginning of a series, but somehow, I never picked up the first entry in Ms. Leigh’s Union of the Rakes series. Luckily, I didn’t have any trouble following the plot in this one, and now I’ve read it, I plan to go back and read book one. Have you read it yet, and, if so, did it add anything to your overall enjoyment of Would I Lie To the Duke?
Lisa: I’ve been following this series from the beginning, and it’s definitely not my first Leigh! I agree that it works perfectly well on its own as a stand-alone, though the first book in the series is a lot of fun as well.
Shannon: I’m really excited to talk about the hero Noel. He’s the opposite of so many of the historical heroes I run across, and I found myself intrigued by his more submissive nature. There’s nothing wrong with a powerful alpha male, but Noel was a refreshing change for me. He definitely had his share of emotional baggage, but he was super comfortable allowing Jess to take charge in the bedroom, and I absolutely loved him for it. How did you feel about him?
Lisa: God, I loved Noel. He was such a good combination of seductive and vulnerable – a light heart with ocean-deep depths. I was drawn to him.
Shannon: Jess was a trickier sell for me. I don’t always love stories that revolve around a lie, and yet I understood what compelled Jess to do what she did. I really enjoyed watching her don the mantle of Lady Whitfield, but I wish she’d come clean to Noel a bit earlier on in the story, even though I can also understand why she held back. All this to say I think she’ll be a difficult heroine for some readers to trust and believe in. What do you think?
Lisa: I sympathized with Jess a little more than you did I think. She lies for a very good (spoilery!) reason, and her dual identity made sense to me. For her family’s safety, she withholds the information she needs to withhold, and the end result is a sticky situation that makes sense in terms of the plot.
Shannon: Would I Lie to the Duke feels steamier than a lot of the historicals I read. The author turns the usual power dynamic on its head, something I’m always a fan of. Jess is incredibly assertive while, as previously stated, Noel is content to take a more submissive role. I could practically feel the sexual tension between them, making the bedroom scenes a pleasure to read. Did the steam factor work for you?
Lisa: The heat level was sort of similar to a Joanna Shupe book for me – spicy, direct, earthy and with an air of femmedomishness. It earns its hot rating amply – the steam factor between Jess and Noel is perfect.
Shannon: I love that comparison! Both Leigh and Shupe create such deliciously spicy stories!
I also enjoyed that the relationship Noel has with his friends is so important to him. In fact, the fellow “Rakes” are the only people who know who Noel really is inside, and yet, I would have liked to see more of the three gentlemen interacting with one another. Ms. Leigh did a lot of telling us how much Noel relies on his friends, but I didn’t feel their connection the way I wanted to.
Lisa: I loved the way Leigh started out with a flashback to Noel’s childhood at school that explains how he and the rest of the Rakes met and became close chums. Their shared friendship was a lot of fun, but there’s a little too much telling and not enough showing in that respect, as you said. Hopefully Leigh will indeed write more about the lot of them over the rest of the series.
Shannon: In terms of a final grade: I think I’m going with a B+. There’s a lot to love about this book, but too much telling and not enough showing detracted a bit from my overall enjoyment of the story.
Lisa: This is a DIK-worthy read to me! A solid A-. Good hero and heroine, a steamy romance, a non-ridiculous conflict, and a beautiful sense of place, time and continuity. You can’t ask for more in a fun historical!