A Duchess in the Dark
1st novella in By Invitation Only Series
by Kate McKinley
Forever Yours (Grand Central Publishing)
December 3, 2013
E-Book, 50 pages, 12,000 words
E-Galley provided by publisher via Net Galley. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinions presented herein are my own except as noted. All rights reserved.
Miss Daphne Hayward is on the hunt for a safe, honorable husband and she has set her sights on the perfect target. She plans a full-scale seduction that will bring him to his knees, and have him begging for her hand in marriage. But when she mistakenly slips into another man’s bed, the passions that quickly ignite threaten to send her well-laid plans up in smoke.
Ashton Fitzgerald, Duke of Claymore has never been for want of a willing woman in his bed and his rakish ways have become legend in boudoirs and dark corners all across London. But not even Ashton can account for the powerful desire that surges through him when a mysterious woman pays him a clandestine midnight visit. As dawn breaks, his goddess flees before he can learn her identity. Now Ashton will stop at nothing to unmask the identity of the woman who bewitched him body and soul and make her his . . . forever. Hachette Publishing Group
Predictable in direction and plot resolution, this book is still a pleasant distraction due to the amusing [and one rather nasty, characters].
Romance books have a large but often limited, variety of tropes, storylines and results. According to the Greeks, I hear, there are only seven stories anyway. For some reason we humans keep on reading them, and perhaps writers continue writing in hopes of discovering an eighth.
My point is that yes, the plot is predictable, but that’s a function of the genre and the short format, rather than the writer’s ability. This is proven in the dialogue between the Duke and Daphne’s Brother-in-law as well as the interesting characters she scribes. I especially like the Duke and Daphne’s brother-in-law.
This is listed as an erotic new series, but I didn’t find it steamy enough to classify it as erotica.
This also shines a glaring light on the ridiculous insistence that a bride’s virginity would be proven by blood on the sheets when most agree that all but the toughest hymens can be broken any number of ways including horseback riding and penetrating masturbation. I wonder if, in Regency, Victorian or other time periods where horseback riding or masturbation was engaged in by women (in other words, forever), the blood on the sheets was actually considered proof of virginity or if that’s just the device of romance novels. If that was the case, a great many grooms must have been ticked off or disappointed on their wedding nights. Further research is warranted, but what do you think: The Hymen’s Importance — Fact or Fiction??? I think I will put this one in my new feature, “Who’s Your Daddy?”
All in all this was a decent read, the pleasant distraction of a few wintry hours.