May 7, 2011

Book Review: What I Did For A Duke by Julie Ann Long

What I Did For A Duke
At First Sight: Alex, the Duke of Falconbridge is out to get revenge ever since he came across Ian Eversea in the bed of his fiancee. Beyond the nuisance of it all - as he's close to 40, has been widowed for close to ten years (and there is a nasty rumor going around that he killed his first wife), and now he has to look for a new wife - Alex wanted to be married and he doesn't like to be cheated out of what he wants. 

Knowing Ian was unlikely to share the news that Alex had spared his life and under what conditions - Alex is quite the accomplished duelist - Alex devised a plan to take from Ian something of equal value to what he had taken from him. His chosen victim is Genvieve, Ian's youngest sister, whom he plans to seduce and then abandon. 
Opportunity to do this presents itself when Alex is invited to a house party at the Eversea home, and he's introduced to Genvieve - only that she doesn't turn out to be anything like he expected.

Genvieve is quiet and almost plain, and she's not at all interested in him, which just intrigues him more, particularly when flashes of her temper and wit show to enchant him when he should be offended.

Genvieve really isn't up to play hostess to the duke -though that's the role her mother forces on her - but has little choice in the matter. Mostly she's looking at her two best friends Harry and Millicent, waiting for the moment they'll break her heart. She has been in love with Harry for years, but he has just confessed that he wants to propose to Millicent.

It's in part because of this that Genvieve ends up spending a lot of time with Alex, and entering a game of seduction with him as he promised to help her show Harry what his true heart was, even as Alex planned to steal hers all along. 

Second Glance: What I Did For A Duke is part of the Pennyroyal Green series, but I haven't read any of the previous books so I don't know how it fares in comparison. However, I can say that the story stands very well on it's own. 

The writing is very good though some technicalities fall a little bit short - little things like the workings of the peerage - I didn't much care, as the story is quite engaging from the beginning and I really liked the interactions between Genvieve and Alex - they were definitely the stars of this book and I liked it for it  though nothing much happens besides that. 

Genvieve was a delight to read about, she's funny and sweet and endearing. Alex I liked because he was quite rake-ish, and a true rake is hard to find these days.

Now, I did have a few problems with the story mostly how Alex was kind of hung up on his ex-fiancee at the beginning (though I think it was pride more than anything) , and how Genvieve was so stubborn about Harry- something happened between them near the end that made me ground my teeth. Also, the ending was a bit rushed and disjointed.

Bottom Line: I found What I Did For A Duke a very nice read from an author I had never tried before, with engaging characters and some really steamy scenes. I think I might check this author again, if I like another story line of hers, though I don't feel the need to go back and read every book in the series.

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