What The Duke Desires
Author: Sabrina Jeffries
Series: #1 in The Duke’s Men
Review Copy Provided by Publisher Via Edelweiss
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.
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.