Rating: 3 stars
Buy Link:
Amazon | iBooks | Amazon UK
Length: Novel


Nate is coasting through life, working in a warehouse, but he’s not really happy. It comes as a shock to learn that he has inherited a castle in Italy; he’s the only remaining legacy and he is now a duke. The stipulation is that Nate has to live in the castle for three months, so off he goes to Italy with the castle caretaker, Jacopo.

Jacopo is thrilled to find an heir to the castle. He’s ready to leave the small town he lives in and to distance himself from his family. He’s looking forward to the end of the three months when his caretaker duties will end. But Jacopo didn’t expect Nate to be so enticing and to challenge all the walls he has built and all the ideas he had for how he is expected to live his life. It’s going to be a long hot summer.

Duke for the Summer by Emily Spady is another foray into a new-to-me author and I was looking forward to a fun, summer-style read involving Nate been whisked off to Italy in a fantasy style story as he learns he is a duke and inherits a castle. However, the structure of the story was weak for me from the start and it didn’t strengthen too much as I was reading. The setup with how Nate learned he was a duke and went off to Italy was just too thin for me.

The relationship between Nate and Jacopo is worked into the story and it too fell flat for me. Jacopo has been forced into the closet and there is a story there. His parents are rude and homophobic and no one stands up for Jacopo when his father says one cruel thing to him after another and then everyone wonders why Jacopo doesn’t want to engage with his family. Even his siblings, who at one point say they support him, never ask anything about his life and make a tremendous number of assumptions with nothing to base it on because they have never truly spoken to Jacopo.

Then, there are a lot of things missing from the story for me and, even by the end, I had more questions than answers. I never understood why Nate had to specifically live in the castle for three months and there were no requirements for the castle, just…here’s a castle and a large bank account to go with it. I also never understood why Jacopo’s family was tied to the castle and why they were only the caretakers when there was no duke present.

This book wasn’t the fun, summer read I was looking for, but a different reader may have a different experience.