Don’t Tell a Duke You Love Him (How to Reform a Rake Book 1)


Maximillian “Max” Abelman, Duke of Longley, is used to running away from everything.  The gypsy in a brothel predicts Max will kiss Lily Ducat. As he holds the tarot card that tells his cursed destiny, he decides to go anyway to the Mayfield Canterbury estate where Lily and her family are staying. Lily loves Max from the moment she meets him and wants to be with him, but her mother has other plans.  As Lily gets closer to Max, she eventually does kiss him but also knows in her heart that she must give him up to her sister. Will Lily ever be able to finally tell Max the truth of what she feels for him, or will this heart crossed match lose their chance at true love?

This is a nice, quick, historical romance with a lovely holiday setting that will put any reader in the true spirit of Christmas! Unfortunately, the story moves a little too fast to really have much character development, plot formation, or for a strong relationship to develop beyond physical desire between the main characters. There obviously are some deep- rooted family issues that are never fully explained. How they affect the handsome brash Max is left for the reader to surmise. Max also seems to be leaving everything so one wonders if his relationship with Lily will last. Lily, the sweet, quiet heroine, seems stronger than Max and shows her mettle when she finally stands up for herself, quite admirable and likable.  Readers will still enjoy the short story and look forward to the happily ever after!

Roslynn Ernst