Size Doesn’t Matter (211): Nicola and the Viscount; If the Duke Demands

Size Doesn’t Matter (211): Nicola and the Viscount; If the Duke DemandsNicola and the Viscount by Meg Cabot
Published by HarperTeen on December 28, 2004
Genres: Historical, Romance
Pages: 272
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased

Nicola always gets what she wants.

Nicola Sparks, sixteen and an orphan, is ready to dive headlong into her first glittering London society season. She's also ready to dive headlong into the arms of handsome and debonair Lord Sebastian Bartholomew. Nicola's dream is a proposal from the viscount—a dream she's about to realize at last! So naturally, Nathaniel Sheridan's insinuations about her fiancé's flawed character annoy her mightily.

But when Nicola's natural curiosity gets the best of her, she begins to piece together a few things for herself. To her great surprise, Nicola realizes she's had the wrong viscount all along . . . but is it too late to make things right?

The journey through Meg Cabot’s backlist has been a rocky one but now I’m firmly on solid ground. I loved Nicola and the Viscount and Victoria and the Rogue when I found them as a teen, and Nicola and the Viscount remains thoroughly charming.

Admittedly, this historical romance does not read like a historical aside from the setting and clothes—Cabot’s style is a thoroughly modern one—but it’s all in good fun. I would dearly love more historical romance fluff like this to help bridge modern teens into historical fiction, which there isn’t a ton of in YA. Reading Nicola and the Viscount is like eating a bon bon.

Nicky Sparks dreams of an engagement to her crush Sebastian Bartholomew, and it’s looking up since her friend and his sister invited her to stay with them for the season. Sure, her bestie’s annoyingly attractive brother Nathaniel keeps saying disparaging things about Sebastian, but surely he’s perfect! What Cabot does particularly well is nailing the voice (if not the diction) of a sheltered teenage girl. She really captures the crushes.

Obviously, this book is simple and predictable, but I still do love it. This is staying in my collection.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:


I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Size Doesn’t Matter (211): Nicola and the Viscount; If the Duke DemandsIf the Duke Demands by Anna Harrington
Series: Capturing the Carlisles #1
Published by Forever on February 28, 2017
Genres: Historical, Romance
Pages: 330
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
AmazonThe Book DepositoryAudible


Miranda Hodgkins has only ever wanted one thing: to marry Robert Carlisle. And she simply can't wait a moment longer. During the Carlisle family masquerade ball, Miranda boldly sneaks into his bedchamber with seduction on her mind. Soon she's swept into rock-hard arms for the most breathtaking kiss of her life. But when the masks come off, she's horrified to find herself face-to-face with Sebastian, the Duke of Trent—Robert's formidable older brother.

Shocked to find Miranda in his bed, Sebastian quickly offers her a deal to avoid scandal: He'll help her win his brother's heart if she'll find him the perfect wife. But what begins as a simple negotiation soon spirals out of control. For the longer this reformed rake tries to make a match for Miranda, the more he wants to keep her all to himself.

Well hello new romance author I need to be reading, welcome to my to-read list forever. Anyone who can bring the ship is an author I need to be reading. From the very beginning, I was enraptured by If the Duke Demands and I could not put it down until I reached the end.

Harrington combines a couple of my favorite historical romance tropes here: seducing the wrong guy and falling for an older brother of a friend. In this instance, heroine Miranda actually has a crush on Sebastian’s younger brother and her childhood friend Robert. Since he’s started expressing decided interest in a specific lady, Miranda freaks out and devises a surefire plan to get him to think of her as a woman: she’ll sneak into his room after the masquerade wearing a sexy, skimpy costume, do the sex, and then reveal her identity. It’s all going according to plan until partway through the kissing, she realizes she snuck into the wrong bedroom.

From that point on, If the Duke Demands is very similar ship-wise to Because of Miss Bridgerton, aka one of my very favorite romances of all time. Now, that’s totally okay because I adore that ship, but it’s really remarkably similar. Miranda’s also a bit wild, doesn’t think things through and loves reading. Sebastian had always been mildly annoyed by Miranda, but now he’s having feelings he doesn’t know what to do with. I basically love all ships where people don’t know what to do with their emotions.

However, though I absolutely love Miranda and Sebastian as a ship, it does mean that I can’t help comparing the two novels. While Harrington gets the ship right, the secondary cast is much weaker than in the Rokesbys series. It’s hard to go head to head with Quinn and come out the winner, because she’s just so good at building out not just her ship but the entire cast. Plus, Sebastian does seize on his father’s commandment to choose the right duchess with a narrow-minded persistence that’s more reminiscent of the unfortunate The Viscount Who Loved Me; Sebastian’s mindset really would have made more sense if his dad died when he was really young. As a result, the end does fall apart a bit, but I was caught up enough it didn’t totally throw me off.

I absolutely recommend If the Duke Demands to my shippy friends. It was so cute, and I had the best time reading it. Now I need to find copies of books two and three posthaste.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

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