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Project Duchess

by Sabrina Jeffries

Series: Duke Dynasty (1)

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11614191,208 (3.85)None
From New York Times bestselling author Sabrina Jeffries comes a sparkling new series about an oft-widowed mother's grown children, who blaze through society in their quest for the truth about their fathers . . . and in the process find that love just might conquer all . . .   A series of stepfathers and a difficult childhood have left Fletcher "Grey" Pryde, 5th Duke of Greycourt, with a guarded heart, enviable wealth, and the undeserved reputation of a rogue. Grey's focus on expanding his dukedom allows him little time to find a wife. But when his mother is widowed yet again and he meets the charmingly unconventional woman managing his stepfather's funeral, he's shocked to discover how much they have in common. Still, Grey isn't interested in love, no matter how pretty, or delightfully outspoken, the lady . . .   Beatrice Wolfe gave up on romance long ago, and the arrogant Duke of Greycourt with his rakish reputation isn't exactly changing her mind. Then Grey agrees to assist his grief-stricken mother with her latest "project": schooling spirited, unfashionable Beatrice for her debut. Now that Beatrice is seeing through Grey's charms to his wounded heart, she's having trouble keeping him at arm's length. But once Grey starts digging into her family's secrets, she must decide whether her loyalties lie with her family . . . or with the man whose lessons capture her heart . . .      "Anyone who loves romance must read Sabrina Jeffries!" --Lisa Kleypas, New York Times bestselling author… (more)
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Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
For probably the first two thirds of this, the characters were irritating me. It seemed like every time they even started to get on the right track they would then do something stupid. Just a bunch of leaping to conclusions with no allowance that they might be wrong, or being wishy-washy, or saying the exact worst thing, lol. It just felt like too much. But the last third picked up quite a bit. I think there was less 'huge secret' keeping and they could just be more genuine. So it just ekes out a third star. ( )
  JorgeousJotts | Dec 3, 2021 |
I like the concept of a family that has three different Dukes, children by different fathers. Add in the mystery of who might have killed them off as well as Sabrina Jeffries and you have a pretty good new series.
Grey is the oldest son. He's been estranged from the rest of his family who were in Prussia in his stepfather's role as the English ambassador. Now they're back in England and he's having trouble with the reunion, still angry over the treatment of his guardian. When his mother takes Lady Beatrice Wolfe under her wing for the new Season, Grey isn't happy, especially as he sees her brother as a possible candidate for the murderer of his step-father.
I liked both Grey and Beatrice and the murder-mystery is interesting though it doesn't look like it's going to be resolved until the end of the series. Meanwhile, the story is entertaining in Ms. Jeffries' inimitable style and a good read. ( )
  N.W.Moors | Aug 31, 2020 |
Bea is the poor relation but when her uncle dies mysteriously, she also finds herself a suspect and in love with his stepson. Can this family navigate its various differences, so that both parties can find love?
  4leschats | Jul 15, 2020 |
Good opening to the new series. These are the stories of the children of Lydia, a duchess who has been married three times, each one a duke. She has five grown children, four sons, and one daughter. The oldest son, Grey, was with her first husband, twins Thorn and Gwyn, with her second husband, and Sheridan and Heywood with her third husband. Three of those sons are now dukes, themselves. This is the story of Fletcher Pryde, 5th Duke of Greycourt.

Grey had a relatively normal life until he was ten years old. His father died when Grey was young, and his first stepfather not long after that. His second stepfather was a kind and loving man for them all. When Grey was ten, his uncle, who was named guardian by Grey's father, came to claim him. This set in motion a chain of events that left Grey alienated from his family and determined to always be in control of his emotions. The book opens as Grey receives word of his stepfather's (the Fourth Duke of Armitage) death and his mother's plea for him to come for the funeral. He doesn't want to, but despite everything, he still loves his mother, so he goes, but plans only a short stay. Those plans get derailed when he arrives and meets Miss Beatrice Wolfe, his half-brother's cousin.

Beatrice is the granddaughter of a duke, but the poor relation in this family. She and her brother, Joshua, were the wards of the Third Duke of Armitage and occupy the dower house. Joshua is a veteran of the Peninsular War, where he was badly wounded before coming home to become the estate gamekeeper. He is a grouchy loner who avoids people whenever he can. Beatrice loves her family and helped Lydia and her family learn the ropes when Maurice became the fourth duke. She stepped in to help with the funeral arrangements and is engaged in that process when Grey arrives. He does NOT make a good impression.

I loved the first meeting between Grey and Beatrice. He is very much the top-lofty, arrogant duke, and Beatrice doesn't put up with that attitude. I thoroughly enjoyed watching her stand up to him. Grey is taken aback at first, but then intrigued and captivated. It's evident that there are sparks between them, but neither one wants to admit it. Beatrice knows that there is too big a gap between them for anything to become of it. Grey wants nothing to do with anything that threatens his control over his emotions.

I enjoyed the development of Grey and Beatrice's relationship. Their plans to avoid each other are complicated by Lydia's plans to take both Gwyn and Beatrice to London for the Season. Lydia recruits Grey to assist in teaching both women what they need to know to survive a London Season. It doesn't take long for Grey and Beatrice to discover that they have much in common, from unpleasant events in their pasts to their preference for straight talk. I loved their pledge to each other that they don't hold back when speaking to each other. Both of them are very quick-witted, and I liked the banter and teasing between them. The more time they spent together, the greater the sparks between them grew, providing both sweet and steamy encounters.

However, the possibility of a future between them has complications and obstacles. Sheridan believes that his father was murdered and that Joshua is the most likely suspect. He recruits Grey to help him investigate, which puts Grey in an awkward position as his feelings for Beatrice grow. Can he discover the truth without endangering his relationship with her? There are some heart-wrenching and amusing moments as Grey, Beatrice, and Joshua work their way through this dilemma. Grey also ends up the attempted victim of his selfish and greedy aunt as she tries to manipulate him into an engagement with his cousin. The timing was especially bad, but Grey comes through with the perfect solution. In both cases, Grey and Beatrice had to decide whether they were able to trust each other. I liked that they overcame by talking to each other - once the initial hurt and anger faded. The ending was great, and I loved their big moment at the end.

I thoroughly enjoyed the entire family. It is obvious that there is a great deal of love between all the members, even though some have a harder time showing it. The teasing indicates that they don't take themselves too seriously. When there are problems, there is always someone available to help with support or advice. That's not to say there are no problems. Joshua's attitude is a prime example and makes it easier for him to be suspected of murder. At the same time, Sheridan's focus on Joshua was a bit irritating as his suspicions had no evidence to support them. The sniping and arguing between Thorn and Gwyn appears to be caused by something in their past, which I hope will be addressed in a later book. It looks like the question of the murder may be a continuing theme through the series. I am intrigued to see how that develops. ( )
  scoutmomskf | Feb 28, 2020 |
Fletcher "Grey" Pryde has been called back to his mother's home after her third husband, and a third Duke, has died. Grey experienced hardship as a child and was separated from his family. Although reluctant to return home now, he knows he must see to his mother's well-being. Things are not going so well for Grey at the moment. Although a very rich duke, he has established quite a reputation, albeit undeserved. Meanwhile his aunt is pressuring him to marry his cousin, and that is something neither of them wants.

Beatrice Wolfe is the cousin of Grey's half-brother, and Grey's mother has offered to help her by giving her a Season in London. With the family mourning now, the debut must be delayed. However, Grey's mother wants him to school Beatrice in certain matters, like proper dancing. Meanwhile, Grey's brother Sheridan is quite certain that his father, and also his uncle, previously, were murdered. The man he thinks guilty is none other than Beatrice's brother Joshua. Sheridan wants Grey to investigate the cause of both deaths.

Grey elects to spend time with the delectable Beatrice, leaving Sheridan to sort the more serious matters himself. However, Grey has very good reason for not wanting to become romantically involved. Beatrice herself gave up on romance, but she is very concerned for her and her brother's future so she has agreed to the tutelage offered by her aunt. It only takes a few glances at Grety for Beatrice to realize she is smitten.

What a delightful romance by Sabrina Jeffries! I loved all of the conflict involved with this story while the foundation for a heartwarming romance was being built. This made this become a multi-layered story that flowed smoothly through the pages. While this is my first read by Sabrina Jeffries it certainly will not be my last. I am eager to continue on with this series. The next book is Duke Dynasty and is slated for release in February, 2020. ( )
  RobinLovesReading | Oct 25, 2019 |
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From New York Times bestselling author Sabrina Jeffries comes a sparkling new series about an oft-widowed mother's grown children, who blaze through society in their quest for the truth about their fathers . . . and in the process find that love just might conquer all . . .   A series of stepfathers and a difficult childhood have left Fletcher "Grey" Pryde, 5th Duke of Greycourt, with a guarded heart, enviable wealth, and the undeserved reputation of a rogue. Grey's focus on expanding his dukedom allows him little time to find a wife. But when his mother is widowed yet again and he meets the charmingly unconventional woman managing his stepfather's funeral, he's shocked to discover how much they have in common. Still, Grey isn't interested in love, no matter how pretty, or delightfully outspoken, the lady . . .   Beatrice Wolfe gave up on romance long ago, and the arrogant Duke of Greycourt with his rakish reputation isn't exactly changing her mind. Then Grey agrees to assist his grief-stricken mother with her latest "project": schooling spirited, unfashionable Beatrice for her debut. Now that Beatrice is seeing through Grey's charms to his wounded heart, she's having trouble keeping him at arm's length. But once Grey starts digging into her family's secrets, she must decide whether her loyalties lie with her family . . . or with the man whose lessons capture her heart . . .      "Anyone who loves romance must read Sabrina Jeffries!" --Lisa Kleypas, New York Times bestselling author

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