Always Be My Duchess by: Amalie Howard

Releases: July 12th, 2022

Taming of the Dukes book 1

I received a finished copy, ahead of release, for being part of the Forever Publishings influencer program.

Lord Lysander Blackstone, the stern Duke of Montcroix, has only one interest: increasing his considerable fortune. After a series of betrayals, he keeps his emotions buried deep. Money, after all, can’t break a man’s heart—or make promises it can’t keep. But when his reputation for being heartless jeopardizes a new business deal, he finds himself seeking a most unusual—and alluring—solution . . .

Once an up-and-coming ballerina, Miss Geneviève Valery is now hopelessly out of work. After refusing to become a wealthy patron’s mistress, Nève was promptly shown the door to the streets. When she accidentally saves the life of a handsome duke, she doubts the encounter will go any better than her last brush with nobility. But instead of propositioning her, Montcroix makes Nève an offer she would be a fool to refuse: act as his fake fiancée in exchange for fortune enough to start over.

Only neither is prepared when very real feelings begin to grow between them. They both stand to win . . . but only if they’re willing to risk their hearts.

Content Warnings: Sexual scenes, ableism, sexism, violence, classism, sexual harassment. Mention of physical/mental/emotional abuse and loss of a loved one.

Fauxmance to romance is one of my favorite tropes and I absolutely adored the way it was used in this book. Neve and Lysander’s meet-cute is hilarious and full of heated glances.

Watching these two fight their attraction and growing interest in the other had me laughing, swooning, and occasionally wanting to lock them in a room until they talked it all out.

I love that the author actually put content warnings in the front of the book and that she was inspired to write a neurodivergent hero after going through one of her child’s neurodivergent diagnoses.

Although there wasn’t an understanding of neurodivergence at that time, historically, I loved being able to see Lysander’s process through different conversations and situations. As someone who constantly misunderstands, or is misunderstood, during conversations that lead to anger from others or me…it was wonderful seeing that representation.

I also loved how we’re able to see in action, and in thought, how much Lysander cared. Too many people see neurodivergent people as uncaring or unemotional which isn’t the case, we merely process and express things differently than our neurotypical counterparts.

This was my first Amalie read and I’m so excited to start devouring her backlist as I wait for the next installment of this series to release next year!

Published by Noelle Loves Books

Growing up, Japanese and Indigenous, it was hard to find books that showcased stories and worlds that accurately portrayed Noelle’s experiences. Fantasy quickly became her main love, as you could really be anyone, anywhere. As the years went on, and technology grew, Noelle was finally able to see more stories and authors that looked and felt like her. Noelle is open to all genre’s though she can mostly be found reading own voice, fantasy, and romance. Ratings: 5 Stars: Completely blew me away 4 Stars: Loved the story but didn't feel completely blown away by it 3 Stars: Liked the overall concept of the story but either had poor execution, had a lot of plot holes, or was written poorly 2 Stars: I struggled to understand the plot, poorly written, or just had really unlikeable characters along with a poor writing 1 Star: Horribly written, major plot holes, or extremely unlikeable characters and plots.

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