The Duke in My Bed
Book 1 in the Heirs’ Club of Scoundrels series
Author Amelia Grey
Narrated by Barrie Kreinik
Publication date Apr 21, 2015
Running time 8 hrs 9 min
Also available in mass market paperback & e-book formats
St. Martin/Macmillan December 30, 2014 | 320 pages
Audio provided by Tantor Media for review. No remuneration was exchanged and all opinion presented herein is my own except as noted.
As a notorious member of the Heirs’ Club, Bray Drakestone can’t resist a challenge from one of his well-heeled colleagues—especially when it involves money and horses. But the friendly wager takes an unexpected and deadly turn. Bray is forced to agree to marry one of his challenger’s five sisters—sight unseen. Now gamblers all over London are placing bets on whether Bray will actually go through with it…
Miss Louisa Prim, the eldest sister, doesn’t care a whit what the reckless rogue at the Heirs’ Club promised her brother—she has no intention of marrying the future Duke of Drakestone. Bray, however, sees her rejection as another challenge. He bets that the fiery Miss Prim will not only agree to marry him, she will propose to him! But why does her opponent have to be a divinely handsome scoundrel? And so sweetly, irresistibly seductive… https://tantor.com/the-duke-in-my-bed-amelia-grey.html
I enjoyed this book about a young women who doesn’t want to be the girl the guy has to marry, and who won’t marry someone who doesn’t want to also take in her four younger sisters. I am a little tired of the dead parents trope — even in hisptrical romance. It’s what forces many young women in the genre to marry, seek men for money or, >gasp!< lose their virtue. In this case with six children the mother, and the father passing on separately, the loss of the only brother, and a reluctant and uncaring guardian, it’s a set up worthy of a Dickensian novel.
Please sir, can we have some more?!
But this doesn’t happen in the Victorian era but rather in the Regency, and Prinny himself gets involved which adds to the pressure for the unlikely named Bray Drakestone, to keep his vow to marry the dead brother’s sister and save them from an uncaring guardianship.
I enjoyed the story of the five sisters, their behavioral issues (the youngest carry on much like children today which adds to the verisimilitude) and the young duke who grew up without affection. The duke’s life is however, presented in contradictory terms: his behavior was strictly monitored but he was given whatever he wanted. That made me wonder.
That he could learn friendship and loyalty after he becomes an adult is a little harder t believe. I think, rather, he would be more likely to have a disassociative disorder. He leads the young woman, Louisa, down the path to perdition with the expectation she will marry him in the end. But her, at first minor, dalliances are so far out of character that I had to question how long the woman would deny she was really attracted the man. And I felt a lack of motivation for her going so un-prim. She constantly chooses to mistake and misjudge everything Bray does. He really cannot win with her.
Both characters have to grow and change to get to each other. They also need to learn to communicate. If your going to go so far from societal propriety with sexy times, not speaking your mind seems unlikely.
It also seems unlikely that Louisa wouldn’t see the excellent opportunity marrying a very wealthy duke would be, and instead thinks finding a nice earl or count would be fine.
Of course, it all works out in the end with a nice HEA and it is a pleasurable listen. I like Barrie Kreinick’s narration. I enjoyed the attempts by Prinny’s “man of business” to influence the outcome because of how comically they are carried out. Often, the dalliances between Louisa and Bray also have a comic element to them, but the funny turns hot quite fast. Please sir can we have some more?!
While this is not Shakespeare and it is probably not destined to become a classic in the genre, I still enjoyed it. It was short, sweet, hot, and a good diversion!