How to Dance with a Duke by Manda Collins

May 21, 2012
Don't read two books at once. It slows the process of finishing them.
It took me forever to read How to Dance with a Duke, and that was because at the same time I was listening to the audio of Game of ThronesBig mistake!  Talk about mind/mood switching.  And, my the way was any one else disturbed by the graphic sex scene of a thirteen year old girl in Game of Thrones or is it just me?  I'm also getting a little irritated with the convenient argument of "oh, they did that in that time period."  Really.  And, that makes it ok to insert gratuitous underage forced seduction sex now because?  It's a fantasy book?  The audience is different?  Whatever the reason, I found that particular passage, offensive.  But, that's a rant for another time.

Back to How to Dance with a Duke, a debut novel by Manda Collins which was a pleasant read.  Nothing really earth shattering.  Ms. Collins writing reminded me a little of Sabrina Jeffries pretending to be Amanda Quick.  And, my apologies for comparing one author with another, but I couldn't help it.

I enjoyed both the hero, Lucas and the heroine, Cecily.  There were parts of their relationship that were fun, peppered with some entertaining dialogue.  And, when that happened I had a great time reading How to Dance with a Duke.  However, there were also parts that just sort of meandered.  The book had a little bit of an uneven feel about it. 

There were times in the book when I became annoyed with Cecily, and I didn't really understand why she couldn't admit to loving Lucas.  Out loud, that is.  She knew she loved him, but just the saying of those magic words somehow opened her to being hurt.  Here's the deal: people who fall in love may get hurt whether they admit they are in love or not.  So, admit it.  Then, there was the promise on Lucas' part of withholding sex if Cecily didn't show affection for him.  Thought that was a little jerk-er-ish.  The story also lacked any strong character development, but relied instead on an outside mystery to be solved.  Sort of.  But, before we can solve the mystery of the missing brother we have a romance, and some silly husband hunting.  Somehow, I  thought that finding one's missing brother should take priority over matters of the heart.  And, then there was Cecily's father.  We actually never get to met him, but he's always talked about.  Granted he was in some kind of comatose state, but I would have liked to have at least stared down at him at some point. 

While a lot of the book meandered along, and sometimes the characters did things that didn't make sense, the author actually shows some promise.  I was quite interested in Cecily's step-mother and her sisters...thought their stories would have made a wonderful tale.  I also think that more time should have been spent on building the relationship between Lucas and Cecily, they were a lovely couple and deserved more word space.

So, bottom line - this is a charming story, and it will pique your interest in the next two in the series.  Ms. Collins shows promise and I will be picking up the next in the series.

Time/Place:  Regency England I think.  I know it's England for sure
Sensuality Rating:  Hot


Tracy said...

I hadn't heard of this one. Thanks for the review, I might pick it up. :)

SidneyKay said...

She has one coming out in July, which I'm picking up. I want to see how she's grown.