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The Duke by Gaelen Foley
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5262129,064 (3.84)23
  1. 10
    The Duke and I 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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» See also 23 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
First off this book had a rape scene. It's between Bel and a minor character and it's not very graphic, Bel kind of blacks out as it is happening. I know some people have a problem with these types of scenes in their romance books so just be forewarned.
Hawk is a bit of a jerkface for awhile and as the reader I was pissed off at some of the things he said to Bel. Basically comments in regards to her being a slut. (Bel is posing/trying to become a courtesan) Foley does a valiant job of setting the scene and atmosphere of London and it's slums. These lush descriptions definitely add to the feel and flow of the book.
When I read romance books I am usually drawn to the lead male but with this book Bel stole the show for me. As a woman it's hard not to cheer and cry for her. The options for Bel after she is raped in 1800's England are made blatantly and shamefully clear in this story, very moving.
Hawk clearly grows emotionally as a human-being throughout the story and man I can tell you it is a wonderful thing to read.
This is not an upbeat book but a beautiful, tragic, and love in all it's glory and ugliness story. Highly recommended!Oh and I can't forget to mention the chemistry between these two; HOT! Their first kiss scene over the blackjack table is not to be missed.And I almost forgot to mention the ending scene where Hawk proposes. (Insert little girl sigh here) It was so completely cheesy but jesus it was romantic. Tears and huge happy grins galore. I can't imagine anyone not being affected by this scene. Just so, so sigh worthy :) ( )
  WhiskeyintheJar | Feb 14, 2019 |
10* I was hooked on HR for a very long time - this is my top favorite series If you are looking for a book that reminds you of Cinderella this will be it!
( )
  Savehouse | Sep 24, 2018 |
I recommended this book to a friend - But decided if I still liked it before they read it WELL I STILL DO - READ 2x

According to me a Prologue or the 1st Chapter of a book is THE reflection - SO it must capture my attention from page 1 I will continue a few more chapters to give the Book a fair chance to change my mind!

My review!


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.


Chapter 1

...Have you ever been in love, Hawkscliffe?”
Hands in pockets, Hawk looked judiciously out to sea. “No.”

Type of Characters and my choices according to pictures :

Robert Knight, Duke of Hawkscliffe - is hot and sensual, his self-centred and selfishness made me hate him a large portion of the book. BUT → I could not help but fall in love with Robert!

Bel displays such inner strength and at the same time vulnerability you want to cry

Relationship development

Belinda Hamilton's father is in debtors' prison, she is fired from a finishing school and is reduced to selling oranges on the streets of London.

In the meantime, Robert "Hawk" Knight, Duke of Hawkscliffe, loses Lady Coldfell, the spouse of his worthy comrade and his platonic fondness, and wishes to revenge her passing by coercing a concession out of her murderer, the same baronet who has made Bel's life wretched.

Hawk and Bel have an rival in common, and she come to an agreement to become Hawk's paramour in name only in order to make Dolph pay for all he's done to her. Bel's status had by this time been smeared when she decided to come to be THE courtesan and she agree to take the way of life Hawk offers because she loves him.

If I Was

Hawk has a intense political profession ahead of him. He hates courtesans and wants nought to with them, but his increasing emotional state for Bel will force him to decide on love and admiration. There are many spirals all through the novel.

The Way You Look At Me

Chapter Development

Even with the fact that he is maddening at periods, Hawk is a great lead and he does adore Bel in his imprudent way.

He wins a kiss from her in a card game and there is an immediate, electric connection. She could not hope for a better protector.

Far Away

A few paragraph loved

Please note this is not a spoiler – only chapter 2

Everytime We Touch

Narrowing her eyes, she rested her chin gracefully on her knuckles and gave him a dry smile of disdain. “You again.”
“What’s your game, Miss Hamilton?” he asked pleasantly.
“I understand the prize is your kiss.”
“Only if you win—which you won’t.”
A smile tugged at one corner of his beguiling mouth. He slid a thick gold ring off his pinky finger and placed it in front of her. “Will this do?”
Sitting up straight in her chair, she picked up the ring and examined it skeptically. The ring had an onyx medallion with a gold H emblazoned on it.

Kiss Me

Gently she cupped his clean-shaved cheek in her hand, catching a glimpse of his smouldering eyes before she closed hers, then she caressed his lips with her own, slowly gifting him with a kiss that left the rest of the noisy, clamouring party and the city and the world behind.

His mouth was warm and silky; his smooth skin heated beneath her touch. She stroked his black hair and kissed him more deeply, leaning further over the table. She felt him pull her toward him. His warm hand curled around her nape in firm, gentle possession as she parted her lips and let him taste of her.

Bel returned to sanity amid raucous cheers, feeling dazed. Her lips were bee-stung, her cheeks glowed pink, and she was breathing rather heavily. Hawkscliffe’s slicked hair was tousled and his starchy cravat was mussed and at the moment, he looked anything but a paragon.

The glance he sent her, potent with desire, made her feel for the first time thrillingly like a real courtesan rather than just a silly, stiff girl pretending. She lowered her head, bit her lip shyly, and glanced at him again.

With a sultry little smile the duke slid his expensive ring toward her. “Take it,” he murmured. “I insist.”

By this gesture, she realized he meant to say that now she had earned it. With a knowing smile, she slid it right back to him.

“Keep it, Your Grace. The pleasure was all mine.”

The men around them burst out laughing but Hawkscliffe merely smiled intimately and watched her walk away with a promise in his eyes that said he would indeed be back.

And this is why I love HR

Epilogue! →

Fire in the water

I loved the end of this book – I will read this book over and over just for the Epilogue
Love and trust follow, but what kind of future can the sainted "Paragon Duke" and scandalous "La Belle Hamilton" Have?

Recommend to the following type of readers: →
Over 18 etc.

Why my rating?→
Don’t be foolish read the book!!!!

Will I read it again?→

My feelings while reading this: →

The Duke is one astonishing novel!

To the Author

Gaelen Foley is brilliant!

( )
  Savehouse | Sep 24, 2018 |
2.5 stars. So dramatic. Rape, murder, imprisonment, inter-family affairs, spy moms, duels, elopement, storming into a theater on a white horse. This is a Romance, florid and hyper-real, not a love story. ( )
  mrsrobin | Jun 24, 2017 |
I am a bit conflicted on this one. I really liked it, but but I feel a little bad about that.

Let's start out with saying that I prefer my romances to not have rape scenes in them. No, I'm not talking about the weirdly rapey roms of the 80's, just plain rape. I especially prefer to have foreknowledge that this might happen. It's something dark that I just don't want to read about, ever.

Secondly, I don't like dropped or half-formed storylines. They bug the hell out of me. There was more than one here, and by the time I realized I wasn't going to be getting closure I wanted to go back in time and yell at the editor.

Having said all that, I did like the story if not the H/H in particular. Their, at several moments, total unconcern for those close to them surprised me. Like when Robert takes Bel out to the countryside, purposely leaving her father in prison without a second thought. Because he needed to learn his lesson. Uh huh. Or how about the time that Robert, for lack of another word, proposes to Bel and she accepts, even though she is actually engaged to a guy who has some major guilt issues surrounding her, and probably felt pretty shitty finding out about his broken engagement in the damn newspaper.

But let's get away from the things that drove me batty. I liked the historical grounding the plot had, and the characters that were based on real ones from that time period, like the Three Cyprians. I appreciated the real struggle Robert had to go through to get to the ending, even though he certainly seems to make it quickly enough in the last few pages. And I really liked how strong and capable Bel was. She was no wilting flower, and I always love reading a good, non-idiotic regency heroine.

So yeah, very interested in the rest of the series, and even though this book had some irritating sticking points for me, I still came out having totally enjoyed it. ( )
  GoldenDarter | Sep 15, 2016 |
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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:45 -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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