A Duke by Default: Reluctant Royals by Alyssa Cole
We met Portia Hobbs as the best friend of Ledi Smith in the first book of the Reluctant Royals series: A Princess in Theory. Portia is used to living life on her own terms and unfortunately has been a disappointment to her family and friends at times. “New” Portia is trying to figure things out and get out of her twin sisters shadow. She’s also tired of not meeting her parents expectations. Tavish McKenzie comes across as a macho Guy who doesn’t want to admit when he needs help. He certainly doesn’t think he needs someone like Portia to help him with his business, apprentice or not. Tav and Portia are both trying to work through the issues they have.
Ms. Cole’s writing style makes the reader interested in the theme of the book. Ms. Cole includes good metaphors that makes the reader stop and think about the visual, and that makes for an enjoyable reading experience. There are also good visuals and descriptions of Scotland.
As the book goes on, I enjoyed Portia and Tavs flirty banter. When these two finally share a first kiss, the reader knows there is no turning back. Once Portia discovers a big secret about Tav, there is a role reversal and he becomes the apprentice as Portia helps him navigate this new world. They gradually become friends, and so much more.
Overall, A Duke by Default is a very good continuation of the Reluctant Royals series.