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The Duke in Denial by Alexandra Ainsworth
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The Duke in Denial

by Alexandra Ainsworth

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2.5 HEARTS--What to expect a lot from The Duke in Denial": pacing, confuzzlement and so-so characters.



Alexandra Ainsworth's debut novel is a gay regency...romance(?) about a country gentleman widower who just became a duke and a damaged solider who is gay but does not reveal his preference because...you know it's a Regency romance. And you'd get jailed, hung or worse for being gay back then. The widower Sebastian is a quiet sort of fellow who does not care about which lady he marries as long as he gets it over with so he can father an heir to secure the line. And he might or might not admire the male form. He'll never tell a soul because...it's just not done. And the solider, William, is a frequent visitor of molly houses (male brothels) wants a man to call his own.

And finds it the moment he sees Sebastian on the street. It was insta-dick from then on. William is so in love with Sebastian. Sebastian is drawn to William but does not want to go to jail so he gets engaged to William's sister. The two flip flop so much they could also be known as fish so much in this book. They will say one thing to each other, then question it over and over...*smh* William is there loving Sebastian for what reason I do not know because Sebastian offered nothing as a character. Nothing. I love a good quiet character but he was dull as a butter knife. I don't understand what William was so love-crazed about. Nor William. Sometimes it felt like I went back to reading MF Regency. And I cut my teeth on those books so I know what I like and what to look for.

The author had a good idea for the plot line (well not the suspense part as much). I wished we stuck to that instead of the extra filler we get and odd scenes that add nothing to the story. This book could have been shaved in half, IMO.

Do I need to know about war preparation plans in Sussex? Not really.
Do I need to read about a frivolous cousin? Nope. I think she was supposed to add humor. But I grimaced whenever she showed up.

The secondary characters were not strong nor were the main characters. William is besotted with Sebastian. Sebastian is hard pressed to marry William's sister to avoid any rumors, though if the guys tried harder on making not making googly eyes and trying to touch their legs together in a carriage, I don't think they'd have to worry about people catching on.

Steam Level: 1 out of 5 - Sometimes the sex can save a dull book. This didn't.

A mystery/suspense angle got thrown in the second half. Flat lined for me from the start, sloppy sleuthing. Then the plot thickens, the pseudo-villain is found out. And the reasoning behind the entire 'crime'? The villain had TEN years to do something about it. Too many questionable reasoning for my taste.

No one was interesting enough to connect with. I questioned everyone's motive down to the carriage driver because there personalities weren't concrete enough. An example, Sebastian is a widower who lost a child. He came off like a virgin or more exactly a blushing miss.

The two blushing misses misters get a HEA of sorts. Meh, I liked neither of them.

Would I read more from this author? Maybe. There are good ideas. This book takes a meandering stroll to get to the point. Not bad also not memorable. I'm in the middle of the road with my rating. *shrugs*

" ( )
  SheReadsALot | Jun 20, 2016 |
The Duke in Denial
Audio Book
Author: Alexandra Ainsworth
Narrator: Joel Leslie

Overall: *****
Performance: *****
Story: ****

This is the very first audio book that I have ever listened to and I LOVED it. I had read the book and enjoyed it but enjoyed it even more the second time though with Joel Leslie narrating. Joel has talent, timing, and the ability to bring life to each character through the differences in dialect, tone and timber of voice he chooses when reading. It was a delight to listen to from beginning to end. The tension, tenderness, breathlessness, anger, curiosity and so much more were evident and truly appreciated in the narration of this wonderful M/M story.

As for the story – here is the review I wrote after reading the book:
Alexandra Ainsworth has written a Regency Romance with an M/M twist. Having read many books of this genre I had an idea what to expect but wondered how this subject matter would be handled. I enjoyed the story but had trouble believing the Duke was so very clueless to his true desires, had married, procreated, lost a wife and child and still remained clueless. This was a well written and enjoyable read in keeping with the genre.

And will add:
A love story is a love story no matter the gender of the characters. Sebastian and William were drawn to one another, had to deal with their feelings and then figure out how to deal with the fact that what should have been normal was considered not only taboo but felonious with repercussions that could be life threatening. Listening to the story again and sometimes reading along I had to increase my rating from.

Thank you to the author for the audiobook to listen to.

5 Stars ( )
  CathyGeha | Mar 18, 2016 |
Alexandra Ainsworth has written a Regency Romance with an M/M twist. Having read many books of this genre I had an idea what to expect but wondered how this subject matter would be handled. I enjoyed the story but had trouble believing the Duke was so very clueless to his true desires, had married, procreated, lost a wife and child and still remained clueless. This was a well written and enjoyable read in keeping with the genre. ( )
  CathyGeha | May 29, 2014 |
Very well written: smugglers, spies, betrayal, romance and forbidden love.

One man fighting for his country and the feelings growing in his heart for the man engaged to his sister.

The Duke, his status recently acquired, strives to be exactly what society expects. Widowed and now responsible for land and title, he takes on his responsibilities while denying his heart. ( )
  xscrtchxx | May 22, 2014 |
Very well written: smugglers, spies, betrayal, romance and forbidden love.

One man fighting for his country and the feelings growing in his heart for the man engaged to his sister.

The Duke, his status recently acquired, strives to be exactly what society expects. Widowed and now responsible for land and title, he takes on his responsibilities while denying his heart. ( )
  xscrtchxx | May 20, 2014 |
Showing 5 of 5
added by gsc55 | editTop 2 Bottom, Jerry (Sep 29, 2014)
 
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Book description
Sebastian Lewis never expected to become a duke. But with the sudden deaths of his cousin and uncle, Sebastian’s position changes. He is determined to fulfill his new responsibilities with grace, even if it means remarrying, and even if the attractions of women, so often lauded by poets, fail to interest him.

Captain William Carlisle, newly returned from India, is elated when he meets Sebastian. Nobody knows of his inclinations, but his harrowing experiences in battle have prompted him to reach for the type of companionship he longs for. He thinks Sebastian might feel an attraction as well, but to his dismay, he discovers that Sebastian is courting his sister Dorothea.

After a semi-arranged engagement and a disconcerting romantic tangle with William, Sebastian escapes London to look after his manor, only to face mysterious thefts, a headless ghost, and the arrival of his fiancée, her brother, and his family. Sebastian’s new estate sits on the south coast, England’s most vulnerable location, and Napoleon has set his sights on conquering the area. Amid this growing turmoil, Sebastian must sort out his feelings for his fiancée’s brother and keep his home safe . . . and determine if he has the courage to reach for his own happiness in the process.
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