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Charming the Duke [Kindle Edition]

Holly Bush
2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1849 . . . Matilda Sheldon, the middle daughter of the sixth Earl of Bisset, has never been interested in the fashionable society events that so preoccupy her parents and siblings. Her loving, albeit, daft family cannot understand why. But Matilda has little use for silly rules and dramas. She would rather occupy her time with a worthwhile cause such as opening The Sheldon Home for Orphans, much to the chagrin of her mother and grandmother. They are quite certain a venture of this nature will discourage suitors. Matilda is quite certain that if suitors are discouraged it is because she is clever, plain, a bit clumsy, and inevitably compared to her beautiful sisters.

The Duke of Thornsby is in tight spot. After receiving the title on the death of his father, he discovers the inheritance is to be gifted elsewhere if he does not marry before his thirtieth birthday. Unfortunately, our man-about-town is embroiled in a scandal, not of his own making, and the marriage mamas won’t let any eligible misses anywhere near him. What’s a Duke to do? Get invited to a house party hosted by the notoriously absent-minded Earl of Bisset, who just happens to be Papa to some young ladies of marriageable age!

Thornsby finds himself fascinated, not with the two Sheldon debutantes actively seeking a husband, but rather with the ‘brown wren’ he first mistakes for a servant. Matilda is counting the hours until the house party ends when the necessity of conversing with the guests will be over, and ridiculously handsome men go far away. Can a worldly Duke convince a sensible girl to accept his court? Find out in Charming the Duke.

Product Description

About the Author

Holly Bush was born in western Pennsylvania to two avid readers. There was not a room in her home that did not hold a full bookcase. Holly has been a marketing consultant to start-up businesses and has done public speaking on the subject. Holly has been writing all of her life and is a voracious reader of a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction, particularly political and historical works. She writes historical romance set on the American Prairie and in Victorian England. She frequently attends writing conferences, and has always been a member of a writer’s group. Holly is a gardener, a news junkie, has been an active member of her local library board and loves to spend time near the ocean. She is the proud mother of two daughters and the wife of a man more than a few years her junior.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 560 KB
  • Print Length: 289 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Holly Bush Books (18 Mar. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00J44MRA4
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #131,843 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Holly Bush was born in western Pennsylvania to two avid readers. There was not a room in her home that did not hold a full bookcase. She worked in the hospitality industry, owning a restaurant for twenty years and recently worked as the sales and marketing director in the hospitality/tourism industry and is credited with building traffic to capacity for a local farm tour, bringing guests from twenty-two states, booked two years out. Holly has been a marketing consultant to start-up businesses and has done public speaking on the subject.
Holly has been writing all of her life and is a voracious reader of a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction, particularly political and historical works. She has written five romance novels, all set in the U.S. West in the mid 1800's. Holly has also completed a women's fiction novel and is currently writing a second. She frequently attends writing conferences, and has always been a member of a writer's group.
Holly is a gardener, a news junkie, was a member of her local library board for years and loves to spend time near the ocean. She is the proud mother of two daughters and the wife of a man more than a few years her junior.

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Customer Reviews

2.8 out of 5 stars
2.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Appallingly bad book! 10 April 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'm so annoyed with myself for having purchased this, despite the price being minimal. I've had several free Regency Romances which have outclassed this 100% - but then that wouldn't be difficult. Apart from several glaring inconsistences such as describing an English town house of the period as a brown stone (New York, anyone?) and referring to her characters as daft or twits - jarring in the extreme - the author has built caricatures rather than characters.

I read Regency Romances as a little light relief between books of other genres and I'm happy to suspend belief - but although I realise that there's sadly no new Georgette Heyer out there, I really do expect an author to have researched the manners/mannerisms and language & customs of the time to some extent, however light the content of the book.

I did have doubts before I purchased, as the synopsis was such that I knew the book might be a turkey or equally a gem. Well, turkey won out big time. I don't give up on a book unless it's really dire but I couldn't force myself past chapter 3 of this one. Please don't waste your time or money!
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By NinaB
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The storyline initially seemed predictable but the playing out of her family's responses to the heroine's plans of setting up an orphanage made this an interesting read. Hero was a little less well developed, but absorbing as part of the wider story. Development of the secondary characters shows promise, the unveiling of the plot did not seem as polished as the first half of the book and the seduction scene a bit unnecessary. However, it was an entertaining read and prompted me to look at more of Holly Bush's writing.
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2.0 out of 5 stars bland and boring 20 April 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I actually had to force myself to finish the book. The heroine was feisty and independent but the hero was most definitely not the kind of duke you usually read about in regency romances. He was in fact a bit of a drip and that put me right off!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great 23 Nov. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Very good storyline great deal of thought gone into it who every wrote it
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.1 out of 5 stars  48 reviews
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Fun for half of the book...then CLUNK. 5 April 2014
By MLBF - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
What on EARTH happened to the author during the second half of the book? The first half had some charm, some humor, and a story getting underway. Matilda's family is quite silly, but they are also sweet and loyal. I quite liked the duke's sister Athena, and was beginning to see Thornsby's better qualities. There were some definite errors in word usage, grammar, punctuation--and continuity errors as well. Was the duke Freddy or Freddie? Ms. Bush couldn't seem to decide.

Then, halfway in, the author seems to have simply lost interest in her own book. The story fell apart, the sentence structure fell apart, and names were all jumbled around. And I guess I'll have to call this a spoiler alert, but here you go: near the end of the book, our Matilda is handed into a carriage by the duke after a party, and turning the page, I was astonished to read the heading "45 days later." The wedding has already occurred, and we are treated to a most unexpectedly graphic scene in the marriage bed. Where was the proposal? The first declaration of love? And why the explicit few pages? I don't usually mind such scenes--but give me some warning! There was nothing like that in any of the rest of the book. I'll give two stars for the first part of this book, but I won't be troubling myself with Holly Bush again.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Charming Plain Jane! 22 Mar. 2014
By Cat's Books: Romance Novel Theme Park - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
I was utterly taken in by this witty, fast paced, and ultimately tender romance. The sense of family in the book is especially endearing as is the banter between the Duke and our heroine.

I discovered Holly Bush's historical romances last year and she has yet to disappoint. Her great talent is in taking themes that can be tired and shining them until they sparkle and you remember why they became troupes in the first place.

Here, she leaves the American West of her other books for a Regency setting. We get the plain bluestocking heroine and a Duke that must marry.

We are also gifted with a madcap pace, humor, acceptance, and love of all kinds.

The villain of the piece could be more nuanced and the setting more finely drawn. The Duke has a major Twit moment. I would have loved a longer book that allowed the lovely secondary romance more room.

But overall, the writing and the love story endears and this is a delicious romance with a fade to black after the vows sensuality that is, to use the heroines own words, charming.

I was given this book for my honest review. So, there you have it!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fabulous Read from Holly Bush 31 Mar. 2014
By Kimberly Rocha/Book Obsessed Chicks - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
Miss Matilda Sheldon could care less what people think about her. Unlike her sisters who always the height of fashion and comportment, Matilda thrives to disappear into the background wherever she goes. Her only interest is opening and running an orphanage and to care for those orphans who have nothing. Her lovely but dim-witted sisters are on the lookout for suitors and consistently peck at Matilda about her drab appearance.

The Duke of Thornsby needs to find himself a bride, one that would fit into his lifestyle well but not overtake his life. The clock is ticking for the duke though, for unless he marries by the time he turns thirty he stands to lose his inheritance, but his scandalous reputation keeps the eligible ladies and their marriage minded mothers at a distance ans the pickings are slim for the handsome duke.

The Sheldon sisters, daughters of the 6th Earl of Bisset are quite the trio. While two are quite attractive and social, they are pretty much airheads, and Matilda, the middle daughter while dull in appearance, is intelligent and quite mouthy when she feels it's necessary. When the duke meets the outspoken Miss Sheldon, neither of their lives will ever be the same. While the duke needs to marry, and quickly, Matlida wants nothing to do with it. When the pair are caught in a compromising position placing Matilda's reputation at risk, instead of going the marriage route, she runs the other way leaving the duke in a state of confusion. Matilda is quite confused herself, for even though she says she will never marry, she has developed feelings for Thornsby and doesn't know what to do about them. In the wings, Matilda's beloved grandmother and the duke's sister champion for the pair to wake up and smell the proverbial coffee.

When Matlida refuses Thornsby's suit he needs to find an alternate solution to his problem. His subsequent proposal to an unsavory lady of the ton prompts quite a few displeasing incidents, one of extreme import is the disappearance of the two children who were left in the duke's care by their mother. a servant of the duke's who passed away, leaving the children alone. When the duke realizes his huge mistake in his proposal to the obnoxious lady he quickly dismisses her, but not before she threatens to make his life miserable. Now Thornsby must make an attempt to court Matilda, for as he finally realizes, she is definitely the lady for him.

CHARMING THE DUKE by the smart and sassy Holly Bush, is a fabulous read from beginning to end. Holly's unbeatable sense of humor and her remarkable storytelling shine through in CHARMING THE DUKE.. I thought the duke was going to be a stodgy bore of a hero and was so pleasantly surprised by his reaction to Matilda that he has wormed his way into being my new book boyfriend. Matilda's bright determination make her such an interesting heroine. Miss Bush is as comfortable in Regency England as she is in the American Mid-West and I will follow this brilliant writer anywhere.

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Charmed.... 24 Mar. 2014
By Gwen - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I wished I could read a new book from her everyday. She's fantastic and smart! This one had me in stitches. There really is no better of a writer than Holly.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Funny Historical Fiction! 25 April 2014
By Peg Glover - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Charming the Duke is a humorous historical fiction novel that takes place in England during the 1800s. The Duke of Thornsby was speechless when he discovered that in order to receive his inheritance on his thirtieth birthday he would have to be married. The very thought of it made him shutter. But he'd be damned if was going to lose his fortune just because of a technicality. The Duke had less than a year to find and marry a woman who wasn't aware of his appalling reputation. He needed a plan.

Thornsby smiled at the invitation to the Earl of Bisset's house party. The pea-brained Earl had two beautiful dimwitted daughters and a featherhead for a wife. No one in that entire family would even have the wherewithal to look past his title and see that he was a notorious rake. What could be more perfect?

Thornsby's eyes glazed over while the two half-wit daughters, Juliet and Alexandra, chattered endlessly to him about bows and ribbons. His head was splitting. He needed to get away from them. How could he have ever thought that marrying one of these airheads would be a good idea? The only daughter he could even consider marrying was the middle daughter, Matilda - the daughter he didn't know the Earl had before he insulted her. How was he to know that Matilda wasn't hired help? And what was she doing dressing up like a maid anyway?

Matilda wanted nothing to do with The Duke of Thornsby. He was a pretentious, rude, stick-in-the-mud, who was only interested in himself. She, on the other hand, had an orphanage to build, children to help and a life to live. Why would she ever want to be tied down to a man? And a controlling man at that.

Thornsby found himself growing fond of Matilda. She was caring and pretty when she wasn't wearing grey. He was doing his best to win her over until his past came roaring back, threatening to destroy all that he held dear.

I found Charming the Duke funny, a little too silly at times, but enjoyable just the same. I would recommend this book to readers looking to lose themselves in a light and humorous fictional story.
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