SAY YES TO THE DUKE
House of Brady
by Kieran Kramer
St. Martins Press
August 27, 2013
Mass Market Paperback and Ebook formats 365 pages
CAN A SCANDALOUS BEGINNING…
Janice Sherwood wants to marry for love, but she’s failed to make a match after two Seasons. Her parents, the Marquess and Marchioness of Brady, arrange to send her to the Duke of Halsey’s country estate as a short-term guest of his grandmother, the dowager, in hopes that she might win the duke’s affections. What they never could have imagined is that Janice would fall for the ruggedly handsome servant Luke, who lives in the stables and carries an air of mystery and temptation.
LEAD TO A FAIRY-TALE ENDING?
When Luke Callahan learns that he is the legitimate heir to a dukedom, he will stop at nothing to claim what is his. But first, he must begin a game of disguise to secure his rightful inheritance. Janice isn’t part of his plan. But by engaging her in this dance of deception, might he lose her forever?
Lucky the Regency era maiden whose father holds her interests and happiness to heart. Such is the fortune of out heroine in this somewhat Gothic romance filled with Dowagers, Dukes and dark deeds. For people wit true souls, in the romance genre, love doesn’t care about station or wealth. So when two people of different stations find each other we’re pretty sure they’ll find a way to be together.
I liked, as well, the inclusion of the mention of being a bit fey, it gives an opening for Janice to listen to her heart and gut. And, she might be meek at times but otherwise she has a terrific backbone and learns that standing up to others gets her farther than being invisible.
I thought the plot was easy to follow but suspenseful. It all takes place in one location, and there’s a nicely limited range of characters. When so many novels with the entire ton, it seems, take place in town, then the country, then an aunt’s house it was refreshing. It all also seems to take place within a short period of time during a period of bad snow. I had no idea it snowed so heavily in England. Much of the character’s change seem to occur internally in a sort of inner monologue. But the story is narrated in the third person, and we are only really offered insight into the minds of the three main characters.
I thought the inclusion of the Duke’s pondering his sexual proclivities a little gratuitous because it only really comes up once. He and his friends seem depraved. Where do we get the idea of the aristocracy being refined and noble? Not from this guy! The three young ladies in attendance at the estate includes an American girl who I can see so clearly in my mind’s eye; a character in a movie, that her brashness was like the taste of cold copper in my mouth. While I didn’t like the Duke I didn’t like the hero either. He is rough, a Heathcliff (not the cat) type of character. He is not moral according to the laws of the ton, but he is mostly noble. And he pushes Janice to be more than what she has accepted as her lot in life.
I enjoyed the story and the contrast between the nobility in those living in the stables and depravity of the Duke and his guests in the manor house is interesting. I recommend it as an entertaining read that will get you thinking about the true nature of nobility and the limitations on women in the Regency era.
Kieran’s Website offers more ways to buy. and an excerpt.