Mad About The Duke by Elizabeth Boyle

Setting: Regency

*The second book in The Bachelor Chronicles: The Standon Widows trilogy*

Summary:

Level-headed Lady Elinor Standon will not allow her greedy stepfather to wed her younger sister to the highest bidder! The only way to stop this evil plan is for Elinor to to gain control of her sister’s guardianship, but to do that she needs to get married. Convinced that nothing less than a duke will do, she hires Mr. St. Maur, Esq. to help her land her lofty lord… However her plans go awry as she discovers that beneath her solicitor’s rumpled coat and haughty demeanor is a man all-too-desirable to ignore and she finds herself falling for more than his unconventional legal advice.

James Tremont, the ninth Duke of Parkerton, is astonished by the freedom and anonymity he’s gained simply by donning his brother’s ill-fitting jacket, especially when an exquisite, peer-hunting beauty mistakes him for a solicitor… Now he finds himself tangled up by more than her legal woes. For until he can undo the straight-laced yet delectable Elinor, his identity must remain a mystery—because by not having revealed it immediately, this dedicated bachelor may have already sabotaged his one chance for the madness of finding his one true love.

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Review:

I really wanted to like this book. I really did. I bought the book, without having read any of the author’s previous books, based on the blurb (who doesn’t love a classic mistaken identity story?) and the cover/stepback (simply gorgeous!) and in this case I have to say I learned my lesson-NEVER judge a book by its cover! This book was like a creamy dessert that looks amazing and is amazing for the first couple of bites but ends up having a bad taste in your mouth.

What a brilliant premise! Hero disguised as a low class solicitor helping the desperate heroine to find a rich husband, but ends up falling for her himself. But so badly pulled off. I felt like the author was rushing to fulfil her book contract and didn’t bother thinking the story through. There were so many plot holes and so many ‘What the heck’ moments, I was quite tempted to just stop reading altogether! I held on though, thinking things would get better, but they sadly didn’t.

One of the biggest plot holes was the fact that NOBODY recognized the duke even though his ‘disguise’ was a worn out, shabby coat he borrowed from his brother. This could have actually worked IF he had been in the country, but there he was in London of all places walking around in this ‘disguise’ I found it unbelievable no one recognized him! Then there was the fact that if the hero had simply told the heroine right at the start he was a duke (exp since they both fell in love at first sight) and could solve her problems, the problem would be solved and there would be no need for the whole book to happen! If only there had been a few tweaks here and there-the story would have been much more plausible. I simply didn’t get why the he didn’t confess to her until about halfway through when we are given a paltry excuse that the hero was badly hurt by his first wife and then we are never given details and it doesn’t go deeper than that.

Then, there was the predictable misunderstanding fight-though it wasn’t about the heroine discovering the hero’s identity, but the alternative was much worse. Why, Elinor, why oh why? You claim to love the hero and then suddenly abandon your faith in him and believe your EVIL stepdad when he tells you he’s a liar and a fake???

Now, I’m not saying the entire book was a mess-there were brilliant parts-in particular, the writing was a joy and I loved the author’s wit and sense of humour-in fact, if it weren’t for the writing, I might have given up long ago! Some of the side characters and scenes were entertaining as well, and I must add that even though this was part of a long series, you didn’t have to read the others to understand this one-it managed to stand alone. I also really liked the hero, despite his stupidity at certain times, and the heroine was a nice enough character, except the believing-the-evil-stepdad thing.

All in all, this was such a great opportunity missed, thanks to bad plotting. I hope your next book is better, Ms. Boyle.

Sensuality Rating: Warm (Love scenes are short and non explicit)

Verdict: Don’t bother-unless you like collecting pretty covers and sexy stepbacks

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars

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Romances Coming in May 2011!

And another month has arrived, bringing with it more new releases, including one debut author and one re-issue… Let the book-buying begin!

*UPDATED*

1) Out May 3 *Book One of Ladies in Waiting series*

Summary:

Lady Cecily Francis is resigned to become the wife of Lord Drury, the man she suspects her sister is pining for. But upon her first scandalous encounter with the exotic Earl of Augustine–the American everyone is whispering about–Cecily is intrigued by the possibility of a more exciting life. If only she could contrive some way to marry the unconventional earl instead…

Around town he’s known as Earl Savage. Although he inherited his title legitimately–and with it the responsibility for his three half-sisters–Augustine is half American and part Iroquois. He can’t wait to settle his father’s estate, marry his sisters off, and return to his native soil. Until charming Lady Cecily has him considering a prolonged stay in England…

Click cover for excerpt and more details


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2) Out May 3

Summary:

She is difficult, demanding, and at times, quite fierce.  And Dr. John Blackmore can’t take his eyes off her.  The Countess of Randolph is the most striking woman he has ever seen…and the most infuriating patient he has ever tended.

Mired in responsibility, Bathsheba doesn’t have time to convalesce in the country.  She should be in London, hunting for a wealthy new lover to pay off her late husband’s vast debts, not dallying with a devastatingly handsome doctor.

But it is only a matter of time until the good doctor and the obstinate countess will have to contend with the sparks that fly between them.  Once their bodies surrender, their hearts may follow…

Click cover for excerpt and more details


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3) Out May 3

Summary:

Jason Cummings, Duke of Rayne is feeling the weight of his responsibilities – one of which is to get married. Being the most sought after bachelor in London can be trying, so who can blame him if he seeks refuge from the voracious hordes of young debutantes at the decidedly female-free Historical Society? Female-free, that is, until Winnifred Crane marches up to the door, demanding entrance.

Despite her prowess as a historian, Winn is denied membership to the Society. So she daringly offers an unusual bargain: if she can prove the authenticity of a certain painting, she’ll be granted recognition, fame, and respect. But to do that, she must go abroad. And to go abroad, she must have an escort, even a stubbornly unwilling one…

Jason has no desire to accompany Winn on her adventure across Europe, but even he is not immune to Winn’s passion for her profession. As the journey proves more difficult than planned, they must work together to stay one step ahead of their rivals… and the closer they get to the proof Winn seeks, the closer she and Jason become. But as their adventure turns dangerous, can Jason keep this headstrong bluestocking safe? And what will become of their growing bond when the adventure ends?

Click cover for excerpt and more details


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4) Out May 23 *Book Three in Wellingham series*

Summary:

As the third brother in the Wellingham series Cristo is a dark, dangerous and lonely character. When Lady Eleanor Bracewell-Lowen is deposited without clothes on his bed in a Paris Chateau his whole world changes…

Click cover for excerpt


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5) Out May 24 *DEBUT SERIES-BOOK ONE IN REGENCY ROGUES SERIES*

Summary:

Lord William Randall, the Duke of Clairemont, is a wicked rake with little regard for society—a most unlikely suitor for the prim and proper Lady Lucinda Gray. But his latest assignment for the Young Corinthians, an elite spy organization, involves protecting her from a kidnapping plot and to do this, the notorious “Iron Will” must get close to Lucinda, and convince her that he’s a man worthy of her attention. It is a simple enough task to use his devilish charm to seduce her, but William never would have guessed that he’d become enthralled by the lovely Lady Grey—or that he’d lose his own heart in the bargain.

Beautiful and fiercely intelligent, Lucinda has managed to gracefully sidestep even the most persistent suitors. Until the Duke of Clairemont, that is. His rugged features, sinfully sensuous mouth, and piercing eyes are as alluring as the champion thoroughbred he tantalizingly offers in exchange for the honor of courting her, and she finds it hard to resist either temptation. The feelings he stirs in her both excite and arouse, urging her on despite the very real danger he represents. But when the truth is revealed, will Lucinda risk her heart and her life for a chance at everlasting love?

Click cover for excerpt and more info


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6) Out May 24

Summary:

From the moment Abby meets her new employer—the mysterious, brooding Earl of Brendall—she is appalled by his brutish manner…and even moreso by her own attraction to him. Has she lost her senses? As a governess, Abby has no choice but to play by the rules. But as a woman, she cannot deny the fiery sensations he ignites—or the fantasies he inspires…

From the moment Elliott lays eyes on his new young governess, he knows he’s in trouble. Abby is intelligent, defiant, and utterly captivating, though Elliott must do his very best to resist her. But as the two grow closer, the passion burns hotter. Soon, the only thing that can destroy their love is the darkest secret of his past—and the secret desires of a governess…

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7) Out May 24 *RE-ISSUE* (Two books in one)

Summary:

MORE THAN A MISTRESS
Hired to serve as nursemaid to the wounded Duke of Tresham, Jane Ingleby tries to pretend it’s strictly a business arrangement. Surely there could be nothing more perilous than being the lover of such a man. Yet when she gets past his devilish façade and sees the noble heart within, she knows the greatest jeopardy of all—a passion that drives her to risk everything on one perfect month with an improper gentleman who thinks that love is for fools. 

NO MAN’S MISTRESS
Lord Ferdinand Dudley is accustomed to getting what he wants—until he tries to claim his rightful estate from the bewitching Lady Viola Thornhill. Refusing to cede him the home she calls her own—and unwilling to consider marriage—Viola knows that this is a battle she cannot afford to lose. Each day under the same roof brings its share of frustration—and temptation—as both sides in this contest of wills find their resolve melting in the heat of passion’s bright flame.

Click cover for excerpt and more info


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8 ) Out May 31 *Book One in Smythe-Smith Quartet*

Summary:

Honoria Smythe-Smith is:

A) a really bad violinist
B) still miffed at being nicknamed “Bug” as a child
C) not in love with her older brother’s best friend
D) all of the above

Marcus Holroyd is:

A) the Earl of Chatteris
B) regrettably prone to sprained ankles
C) not in love with his best friend’s younger sister
D) all of the above

Together they:

A) eat quite a bit of chocolate cake
B) survive a deadly fever and the world’s worst musical performance
C) fall quite desperately in love

It’s Julia Quinn at her best, so you know the answer is . . .

D) all of the above

Click cover for excerpt and more info


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9) Out May 31 *Book Three in Standon widows series*

Summary:

A diplomat and a spy, the dashing Lord Langley is happy to be home after years spent abroad, though less so to discover the ladies he so callously loved and left have been anxiously awaiting his return. Hoping to put his checkered past – and his persistent ex-lovers – behind him, he proposes to staid, serious Minerva Sterling . . . and maneuvers her into a compromising position to ensure her assent.

At the brazen rake’s mercy – since anything less than a wedding and her reputation is destroyed – Minerva agrees, but only under strict conditions: no more attempted seductions, no kisses or scandalous behavior. But Langley’s a man ruled by passion – especially when he realizes how fiercely he burns for his reluctant intended . . . and how willing he is to risk life itself to truly win her heart.

Click cover for excerpt and more info


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10) Out May 31 *Book One in The Lords of Sheffield Square series*

Summary:

Claire Ashcroft has good reason to despise Viscount Grayson Sutherland—and not because of his arrogance, charm, and irresistible allure. A wildly unpredictable man with a frightening reputation, Sutherland is responsible for the death of someone Claire loved deeply. She’d kill him if the could. Instead, she’ll employ her feminine wiles to make him pay. And once he’s deeply, irreversibly in love with her, she’ll shatter his vulnerable heart and leave him broken. Her scheme works perfectly… too perfectly.

For who would have imagined that beneath Sutherland’s dangerous exterior was a lost man haunted by his sins?

Or that one night in his arms would ignite a scandal so dire she’d be forced to wed the handsome blackguard?

Or that she’d find herself helpless, falling under the spell of the very rogue she means to destroy?

Click cover for excerpt and more info


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11) Out May 31

Summary:

A woman of pristine breeding, Lady Rosalind Devine is also an unrepentant meddler and snoop–which is why her brother refuses to leave her to her own devices while on his wedding trip. But Rosalind will not make things easy for any unseen, unwanted “nursemaid”–and vows to use her considerable wiles to expose her mystery guardian.

Nicholas Kincaid, the Marquess of Winterbourne, agreed to secretly guard his friend’s spoiled, stubborn sister, though her infuriating penchant for mischief is causing him to question his decision. Though bound by the rules of society–and friendship– Rosalind’s spirit and sensuality have sparked a fierce desire in Nicholas to play a very different role in her life, one that entails passion, ecstasy . . . and unavoidable scandal.

Click cover for excerpt


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12) Out May 31 *Book Two in Brides of Nevarton Chase trilogy*

Summary:

Having already been deceived by a heartless fiancé, the young heiress Genevieve Wallington-Wallis knows better than to trust any man—which is why her attraction to John Ready is so very disturbing. Though devilishly handsome, he is far too mysterious—and a humble coachman, no less! But one inadvertent kiss and Genevieve is lost.

John dares not reveal his true identity to anyone or it’s the gallows for certain! He must concentrate on clearing his name—and prevent the fiend who sullied it, the notorious Raventhorpe, from working his evil on another innocent victim. But being this close to the clever, courageous, and exquisite Miss Wallington-Wallis is driving him to distraction. And surrendering to his desire—not to mention to love—may prove the most dangerous risk of all.

Click cover for excerpt and more details


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HAPPY MONTH OF READING!

Published in: on April 25, 2011 at 10:24 PM  Leave a Comment  
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