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Review – What The Duke Desires – Sabrina Jeffries

what the duke wantsWhat The Duke Desires
Author: Sabrina Jeffries
Series: #1 in The Duke’s Men

Review Copy Provided by Publisher Via Edelweiss

Description:
Maximilian Cale, the Duke of Lyons, accepted long ago that his kidnapped brother was dead. When a cryptic note from investigator Tristan Bonnaud claims otherwise, Max seeks out Tristan’s sister, Lisette—and is infuriated to learn that Tristan has also mysteriously vanished. Have the siblings perpetrated an elaborate hoax? Or is the fiercely protective beauty as innocent as she claims them to be?

Fearful that the powerful Duke will destroy Tristan’s career in his zeal for the truth, the clever Lisette convinces Max to accompany her to Paris in a joint search for their loved ones. But their journey takes a seductive twist when they pose as an ordinary husband and wife—not an English Duke with a tarnished family name and the illegitimate daughter of a viscount—and discover an exhilarating passion free from the damning secrets of the past. With the line between danger and desire enticingly blurred, they discover that some mysteries, like those of the heart, are answered tenfold in the bliss of a true and trusting love.

Review:
I’ll be the first to admit that Sabrina Jeffries is a comfort read for me. I don’t know if I have read a book by her that I haven’t enjoyed – they are all solid historical romances – nothing to completely rave about, but nothing that I truly hate either. I just a solid performance. So when I saw a review copy of her newest book available for download on Edelweiss, and having just finished up her previous series not that long ago, I opted to request it. What the Duke Desires takes place in the same time period as her Hellions of Halstead Hall series, in fact, if you are paying attention, there are a few re-occurring characters. Not enough that you need to have read the previous series in order to enjoy the books, but enough that you can see their lives down the road just a little bit.

What the Duke Desires uses more of my more favorite tropes in the historical romance genre, the bastard child(children) who get screwed over when the family member dies unexpectedly. For some reason, I love the vulnerability of heroines in that kind of situation and it wasn’t like everything was made miraculously better. Lisette continued to struggle through-out the entire story with the ramifications. Of course, that still didn’t stop her from doing some dumb-ass shit…lol (of course). And then there were Max – he was on the verge of being a brilliant tortured hero, and walked the precipice quite well – I do wish that he had fallen in, but I did enjoy him as a character. The romance between the two was satisfying and it seemed nature…it didn’t have the wham bam, thank you ma’am that often seems to occur.

I’m definitely interesting in seeing what happens in the rest of the series. I’d give What The Duke Desires 3.5 stars – a solid historical romance read from an enjoyable author.

 
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Posted by on May 14, 2013 in Book Review

 

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Review – ‘Twas the Night After Christmas – Sabrina Jeffries

twas the night after christmas‘Twas the Night After Christmas
Author: Sabrina Jeffries
Series: #6 in the Hellions of Halstead Hall series (can be read stand-alone)

Review Copy Provided by Galley Books via Edelweiss

Description:
Pierce Waverly, the Earl of Devonmont, has been estranged from his mother for most of his life. When his mother’s new companion, Mrs. Camilla Stuart, writes to tell him that his mother is seriously ill, he goes home. But when he learns that the lovely widow tricked him in order to effect a holiday reconciliation, he refuses to stay—unless she meets his “terms.” Somewhere between trying to seduce the beautiful Camilla and struggling with the cruel memories of his childhood Christmases, Pierce discovers that not only does forgiveness go two ways, but that love can blossom even in the coldest of winters.

Review:
Ok, so this is one of the reviews where I admit that I have too many series in progress and that I am an idiot…when I was browsing Edelweiss and came across this book (being as it is book 6 in a series), I could have sworn that I had read the previous books – so my finger got click-itis (I wonder if i can get that as an actual medical diagnosis) and I got it on my kindle…to realize that I hadn’t even started the series…I did have book 1 somewhere in the archives of my kindle, but I hadn’t read it, or the 4 that followed…and being a tad OCD like I am, I couldn’t read it out of order (even though I was told by friends that i could)…so this review is a bit delayed, which I read the other ones in the series, but I am now all caught up… (no laughing from the peanut galley over my antics…its the old adage, too many books, too little time)

Anyways, after that digression (aren’t you glad you read it) – here is my review…I had really enjoyed reading the previous books in the series. i am a sucker for those that feature a family or a close-knit group of friends (a la Lisa Kleypas, or Stephanie Laurens as alternative authors), so seeing how the mystery emerged and was solved was great. However, this book, which loosely linked (Pierce, the main character, was a secondary character in #4 – To Wed A Wild Lord – didn’t really fit into what I was expecting – it was much more of a stand-alone traditional historical romance (not that that is bad, just wasn’t quite what I expected). Although, my favorite character from the series, Jackson, the Bow Street Runner made an appearance.

I did enjoy how the author was able to work in the ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas poem into the story. I grew up with it but honestly didn’t realize that it was around in the early 1800′s – although then called “A Visit From Saint Nicholas.” so it was interesting seeing how some Christmas traditions that still exist today were carried out nearly two centuries again (in about 10 years time…).

I think that my biggest issue with the story was the feud/disagreement/mystery (whatever you want to call it) between Pierce and his mother. While it was a significant part of the story, it was just underwhelming to me. I felt like it, while it could have been center stage, kind of took a backseat to the romance (not that that is bad, I just wanted more). Overall I would give this book a solid 3 stars – it was for me, a comfort read…since I rarely re-read, I can’t say that I would see myself reading it again, but at the same time, it is the type of book that I seek out when I just want to spend the day bumming around doing nothing.

 
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Posted by on February 8, 2013 in Book Review

 

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