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The Duke by Gaelen Foley
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Recently added byprivate library, Bugetta, Irena., sammii507, SofiaD, Aboleyn89, gemry11, atcolorado, E111e
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    The Duke and I: The Epilogue II by Julia Quinn (faither)
    faither: This is the first in a similar series about a large family looking for spouses in Regency England. Both series are quite entertaining.
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Showing 1-5 of 13 (next | show all)
I just finished reading a book about which I complained that nothing happened. Well, lots of stuff happens in The Duke.

What I Liked
The plot. This is a romance with lots of plot!

The characters. Lots of characters too. Besides the main ones, I enjoyed the way the author worked in real people, such as Lord Castlereagh and Harriette Wilson.

Belinda. She's one of the strongest heroines I've read about. And she shows lots of gumption when she leaves Hawkscliffe (for a darn good reason too).

Politics. The author gives us a glimpse into the dark underside of Regency life, where an impoverished woman was often left with no choice but to sell her body, where people were put in prison for being unable to pay their debts, and where most of the upper class was utterly insensitive to the plight of ordinary people. The scenes involving political issues were quite enlightening.

What I Didn't Like
The villains. The bad guys were sooo bad as to be unbelievable. And for some reason, I felt a little bit sorry when Dolph was killed in the duel. Couldn't he have been redeemed?

"He guided his massive erection into her teeming threshold." Teeming: To be full of things; abound or swarm. I shudder to think what could be teeming down there. (And why, dear reader, must all romance heroes be larger than normal? At least we didn't have the overworked scene where the woman looks at it and is just sure it won't fit.)

I've now read the first and the last of the Knight Miscellany series, and chances are I'll read the rest. Eventually.

( )
  LadyWesley | Sep 25, 2013 |
I read this book some years ago and I loved it and Ms. Foley became a must buy author. I had drifted away from historical romances and after so many years I wonder why I didn't keep up with such wonderful authors. I didn't realize it at the time but this book had to have caused a little bit of a furor when it was released. Why would this book cause a stir? It doesn't follow the set formula for historical romances of the time. This book is about a Duke falling in love with a courtesan and eventually marrying her. It is also the start of a series based on a family of children that are mostly bastard children.

Robert Knight, Duke of Hawkscliffe, is a paragon of society. He has tried all his life to make up for his mother Hawkscliffe's Harlot. He is a caring and loving man that has suppressed his passionate nature because it is what his father wanted. He, of course, doesn't realize how unhappy he is until he sets out on a mission of revenge and an angel comes into his life. Robert meets Belinda Hamilton and falls in love with her. There are times that I really wanted to take Robert out and Gibb slap him. He is so set in his righteousness that it can't see that Belinda is the one that will make him happy and fulfill him in ways that no other woman can. His most redeeming characteristic is that he loves his brothers and sister. He has raised them most of their lives. He is also a crusader of reform.

Belinda Hamilton has done the best that she can when an unscrupulous nobleman does all he can to ruin her so she will marry him. When she is ruined through no fault of her own she becomes a courtesan. Belinda is a caring and loving daughter and a reformer. She is compassionate to a fault but her ability to trust has been put to the test and her bruised heart is wary. She is one of those people that others are drawn to and flourish in her influence. There are times that she will tear out your heart but her spirit continues to shine through. I am glad that she found her HEA.

I will warn readers that there is a short rape scene in the book so those that don't want to read this should take caution when picking up this book. The scene sets up the rest of the story and shows that safety was not possible for the desperately poor in London. However, the rest of the story is worth of the one scene. Ms. Foley has given us wonderful characters that are flawed and redeemable. I was sorry that Lord Coldfell did not get the justice that he deserved. Of course his daughter eloping may have a bit of justice. I will also warn that the last few chapters are going to require tissues being kept handy. This is a emotional story with flawed characters that show that we can have our dreams if we hold to our principles and honor. I highly recommend this book. ( )
  LadyIsis | Aug 16, 2013 |
I am a fan of historical romances, especially those set in regency time. There are usually not a lot of options what author can do with the story and there are a couple of usual combinations of character traits that are combined until the perfect sugary-happily-ever-after feeling is achieved.
In this case it was my favorite type of books: courtesan vs paragon duke.
Belinda Hamilton is a fresh breath of air in the usual heroines of regency romances: innocent virgins that are compromised by rakes. She is confident, she takes charge, she makes the best of it from every situation. Although most of the society would call her a 'fallen woman', she did not give up her principles or her pride. You just gotta love her.
Robert Knight, Duke of Hawkscliffe, is the paragon of virtue. Dukes in regency historicals are one of my weak spots also. Especially those stuffy and proud and reserved. You now they are going to be hot-hot-hot when they finally loosen up. :)
The authors note at the end of the book were a real surprise. I love it when they base their characters on real people (or at least take inspiration from). History was my least favorite subject in school and this way I fell like I learned something new the easy way. :D ( )
  bookwormdreams | Apr 10, 2013 |
There are a lot of really great things about this romance. The hero - the Duke - and the heroine, Belinda, are both fully-fleshed characters and consistently seem like real people. It's easy to care about them, and feel like you're getting to know them over the course of the novel. They get along very well together, and their relationship develops vividly and naturally.

The plot pulls a trick that a lot of romance novels use to begin a novel: the heroine finds herself presented as extremely sexually licentious/sexually available despite the fact that she is exactly the opposite.

In this case, virtuous, well-bred, ethically conscious Belinda is driven by an endless succession of hardships to a brothel. She intends to embark on a career as a courtesan...and then, luckily enough, she immediately fixes on the hero of the novel (so even though she flirts with prostitution, she never has sex with more than one man) and then the hero proposes an arrangement...that doesn't require sex.

I find this sort of thing really unbelievable and it leads to a very strange psychology, especially in Foley's "The Duke" - Belinda is more or less crushed by shame, which makes her shrivel up inside no matter how happy or promising her relationship with the duke is. And the duke, for his part, is always a little bit contemptuous no matter how much he respects/admires Belinda.

The fact that Belinda isn't really a courtesan - that she doesn't really have the sexual or psychological equipment with which to defend herself - means that there is a thread of pain that runs through the whole novel and gives it a sort of melancholy tinge, even at the end.

The only actual problem with the book is that Foley uses a lot of gratingly contemporary slang. I'm not a stickler for period language, but Foley makes it hard to suspend disbelief sometimes. ( )
  MlleEhreen | Apr 3, 2013 |
I loved this book except I had trouble with the dark theme in the first half. The ending makes it all worth while though! One of the best endings I've ever read!

http://ktleyed.blogspot.com/2011/11/duke-by-gaelen-foley.html ( )
  ktleyed | Nov 3, 2011 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0449006360, Mass Market Paperback)

Driven to uncover the truth about the mysterious death of his ladylove, the Duke of Hawkscliffe will go to any lengths to unmask a murderer. Even if it means jeopardizing his reputation by engaging in a scandalous affair with London's most provocative courtesan--the desirable but aloof Belinda Hamilton.

Bel has used her intelligence and wit to charm the city's titled gentlemen, while struggling to put the pieces of her life back together. She needs a protector, so she accepts Hawk's invitation to become his mistress in name only. He asks nothing of her body, but seeks her help in snaring the same man who shattered her virtue. Together they tempt the unforgiving wrath of society--until their risky charade turns into a dangerous attraction, and Bel must make a devastating decision that could ruin her last chance at love. . . .

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:54:12 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Driven to uncover the truth about the mysterious death of his ladylove, the Duke of Hawkscliffe will go to any lengths to unmask a murderer. Even if it means jeopardizing his reputation by engaging in a scandalous affair with London's most provocative courtesan--the desirable but aloof Belinda Hamilton.--from publisher description.… (more)

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