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while the duke was sleeping book coverReviewed by Bethany Kelly

What happens when you save the man whom you’ve only ever admired from afar from certain death and then subsequently get mistaken for his fiancé? Flower shop girl Poppy Fairchild experiences this firsthand in While the Duke Was Sleeping by Sophie Jordan.

Poppy has had a schoolgirl crush on the Duke of Autenberry since he first began coming into the flower shop. Aside from the occasion polite nod or order, he hardly even pays her any attention. However, when she saves him from getting hit by a carriage, and then gets saved by his brother, Struan Mackenzie, things quickly change. She may have saved him from certain death, but the Duke is still in a coma, and when her mutterings about being destined to marry him are heard by a member of his staff, things get complicated.

Struan may have been abandoned by his father as a child, but that didn’t stop him from amassing a fortune. In fact, Struan moved to Britain to prove that he didn’t need his father’s help to be successful. What he didn’t plan on was for his father to die before he could show him how well he could do without him. However, when a fight with his half-brother ends in his brother being in a coma and Struan’s mind lingering on his half-brother’s betrothed, Struan doesn’t know what to think.

Let’s start off with the positives…I thought that both Poppy and Struan were good characters. They were each unique. Poppy was prickly, and Struan was a bit scary. They didn’t really seem like a good match when they were apart, but when they were together, they had really good chemistry.

When I heard the title of this book, it seemed oddly familiar. After I read the synopsis, I realized why. It sounded almost exactly like the movie While You Were Sleeping with Sandra Bullock in it. For the most part, this book lined up pretty well with that movie. The time period, names, and a few minor details were different, but the basic synopsis was the same. The fact that the book wasn’t very original was a bit of a bummer.

On top of this, the overall story line – especially considering the time period – was unbelievable. It was really hard for me to understand how the family of a Duke would believe that a marriage proposal in this time period could stay a secret. In this time period, marriage was an extremely serious matter. There weren’t random proposals that didn’t start out with a proper courting, so it made the overall premise hard to believe.

In all honesty, the only parts of the novel that I enjoyed were the steamy scenes between Struan and Poppy, only because they had incredible chemistry. The other details of the novel were pretty unrealistic for the time period and were overall unoriginal. I’ve heard really good things about Sophie Jordan, so I would be willing to read another one of her novels, but this one just wasn’t for me.


Bethany Kelly is currently getting her MFA at Goddard College and has a BA in English. She is a writer, editor, and stay-at-home mother and wife who spends her spare time (when she has some) reading and cooking.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Avon. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.