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How to Dazzle a Duke (Berkley Sensatino Trade Paperback) [Paperback]

Claudia Dain

RRP: £11.08
Price: £10.52 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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How to Dazzle a Duke Penelope Prestwick wants the Duke of Edenham for a husband, but figuring out how to dazzle him is no easy matter. Courtesan-turned-matchmaker Lady Dalby figures a bit of competition will do nicely. Full description

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.6 out of 5 stars  13 reviews
15 of 20 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dazzle? I don't think so. 4 Jun 2010
By M. DETWILER - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
I started to read this book, thought, "I don't think I like this", put it down and when I picked it up again, I was right. I didn't like it. Here's why:
1. This story takes place over two days. I was halfway through the book and it was the same day as the book started. Basically, Penelope goes to a former courtesan, Sophia Dalby, to get her to help land a duke. Sophia has had some previous luck getting couples together. Penelope wants a duke and she's determined to get him. Not so much, the person, but the title. So she goes to see Sophia, visits the eventual hero, goes back to Sophia's, stays an inordinate amount of time, goes to a ball, and falls madly in lust with the hero. In two days. That really stretches the believability quotient quite a bit.
2. I didn't like Penelope. She was strident, had no sense of humor, and I couldn't see why Iveston, our hero, would want to bother with her. Penelope seemed like a bad-tempered, spoiled little girl and I don't think she ever redeemed herself.
3. The hero was sort of so-so. He was blond which isn't a favorite of mine and he was portrayed as something of an odd character. He was better during the kissing scenes, of which there were two, and I believe that pretty much constituted the romance in the book.
4. Did you ever watch the end-credits of a movie and wonder at the number of people it took to make that movie? That was how I felt about this book. There were so many people in this book, I couldn't keep track. There were children, brothers, nephews, in-laws, people who were related somehow, people who weren't related, lovers, hopeful lovers. It went on and on to the detriment of the main romance in the book.
This book was, in my opinion, not good. The leads were unlikable, the timeline too short, and the characters too many. I'm sorry I wasted my money on this one. There was no dazzling here.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun romance; not too steamy 5 April 2010
By Sandy Kay - Published on
I have not read any of Claudia Dain's other romance but after reading this one, I am going to find and read the earlier books in the series.

This is a historical romance with a slightly different twist. Penelope has a much more 21st century sensibility than one might expect in a young lady of the period. She knows what she wants in a husband (a duke or the heir apparent to a duke) and sets out a plan to get what she wants. In particular, Penelope wants to marry the Duke of Edenham. To achieve her goal, Penelope requests assistance from Lady Dalby who has managed several marriages in the current social season.

Not content to let Lady Dalby handle matters, Penelope charges ahead with her own plans to get Edenham to notice her. Part of those plans involve the Marquis of Iveston. Penelope has no interest in Iveston beyond her plans and Iveston's interest in Penelope is based on her being the only young woman to not chase after him. After Lady Dalby and Penelope set their own plans in motion, things happen quickly and no one knows if Penelope will end up with Edenham or Iveston.

For me the romance happened too quickly to feel much connection with the characters. I would have preferred the action to have taken place over a longer period of time. But it was an enjoyable read and I intend to read other of the author's novels. Readers who don't care for a lot of graphic sex scenes will like this books. There are several "heavy petting" type scenes but the couple doesn't have sex until after they have decided to marry and even then it is "off camera" rather than played out in detail in the book.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars intriguing Regency romance 5 Sep 2009
By Harriet Klausner - Published on
In 1802 London, logical Lady Penelope Prestwick has decided nothing less than a duke will do for her. She has even selected her future husband though Lord Edenham is ignorant of that fact. However, the perceptive Penelope needs a super mentor if she is to succeed on her quest; she asks the incredible matchmaker and former courtesan Sophia Dalby to assist her.

Penelope's plan, based on Sophia's insider tips to the workings of the minds of men whose quality is below the waist, is to persuade Lord Iveston to fake a courtship in order to make her duke jealous. Her scheme works perfectly except for one minor problem; Iveston has his own scheme and his kisses seem to be making his execution supersede hers.

This is an intriguing Regency romance starring an interesting heroine whose plot works faultlessly except for one small problem; she falls in love with a Marquess. The story line is slowed down a bit by a seemingly cast out of a Cecil B. DeMille epic. However fans of the courtesan saga (see THE COURTESAN'S SECRET, THE COURTESAN'S WAGER and THE COURTESAN'S DAUGHTER) will relish the amusing antics of many of the returnees in support roles as brainy Penelope learns the perils of the heart.

Harriet Klausner
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wittiest Book Of the Year! 18 Sep 2009
By Caren C. Helms - Published on
Penelope Prestwick is the most fun heroine I have read in a while. Ms. Dain obviously enjoyed positioning Penelope and her towering self-confidence as a counterpoint to the ever-clever Lady Sophia Dalby. Part of the reason the Courtesan Chronicles have been such an unadulterated joy to read is the witty bylaw of the people who inhabit Sophia's corner of the ton. Those of us lucky enough to have enjoyed all the books get to revisit the many interesting and amusing men and women in Sophia's circle. The romance between Penelope and Lord Iveston is a rollicking, sexually-charged good time, but the many *other* stories obviously in development in the background make me long to read more, more, more!

I hope there are many more Courtesan books to come. I need my fix of Lady Sophia Dalby! My only regret is that the publisher issued these in trade-sized paperback, then waited FOREVER to come out with the mass market versions. The world needs more copies of these books, Berkley!
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring and ridiculous 4 Sep 2010
By NM Reader - Published on
I confess I didn't even read the whole book - I got almost halfway, then skipped to the last few chapters. Tedious and painful is an understatement.

This book had a lot of promise. I liked the hero and heroine a lot, and the premise was interesting. The book was derailed IMO by two major flaws: First, the conceit that everything took place in two days. This resulted in the description of one scene going on for literally 80 to 100 pages. This was boring to read, and the notion that the hero and heroine could go from casual acquaintances, to engaging in a scandal, to being in love and betrothed in that time was just ridiculous. Second, there are so many secondary characters - cousins and uncles and suitors of secondary characters, and characters from previous novels in the series. It was bewildering.
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