Would I Lie to the Duke by Eva Leigh is the second book in the Union of the Rakes series. It can be easily read as a standalone though.
This is the story of Jessica McGale. Her family business is in need of investors, after it collapses due to a fire. Jessica is determined to acquire investors for her business at any cost. When she realises that London’s elite will never give a chance to a humble farm girl like herself, she does the unthinkable. She poses as “Lady Whitfield” and joins the elite on the table. She especially tries to get close to the Duke of Rotherby, as his influence and support could save her company. But one thing Jess never expected to happen, is to grow feelings for him.
Noel is the carefree and notorious duke, but only his close friends truly know him. When he meets Lady Whitfield at the business bazaar, his world shifts. She makes him want to obey every command she tells, which is something he never imagined doing. He struggles to trust people, but trusting Jess is so easy.
But what happens when the business bazaar is over, and so is the fake portrayal of Lady Whitfield? How do you cope when someone has lied to you, but you want them in your life forever? Read this amazing book to find out!
I was so hooked about this book, and I finished it in two days. While the plot is a bit predictable and it has a Cinderella vibe to it, I still enjoyed it a lot.
I could completely understand where Jess was coming from, and in order to save her business, I don’t think there were any other options, given how much rejection she faced in the first chapters. But as soon as she started developing feelings, she should’ve been honest with Noel. The person in me felt uncomfortable for her every single time she would deliberately put herself in an awkward situation and not tell the truth when she had a chance to. And the business trip to the farm? Oh, that got me biting my nails again. I also understand that continuing with the deception was a crucial part of the plot, to produce the drama that it did, but I am just not a fan of dishonesty.
Noel was an amazing character, even though, at times, he seemed like the typical rich boy.
I loved the way his relationship with Jess progressed during the couple of days, and how he started opening up. Honestly, I didn’t believe it at first, given that it was based on a lie. I thought that given the fact how much trust issues he had, he could never get past her betrayal. And for me, his way of coping and resolving the issue didn’t fit with his character. I have the feeling that people who are lucky enough to have a high income and live in the elite societies are much more wary of “gold diggers”, and everything Jess does (even though for a good reason), seems to be for her business. So I wouldn’t have blamed him if he reacted in a way more different way and just told her to “bugger off”.
Overall, I enjoyed Would I Lie to the Duke and it was a very pleasurable short read to get me away from reality. I don’t always dive into historical romance, and this was a surprising change that ended on a positive note. Honestly, I am glad that it sparks a debate in my mind and makes me think of “what I would have done” on either side of the relationship. I would have acted very differently. And maybe that’s the reason I’m not married to a duke (yet). 😀