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Duke in Disguise Mass Market Paperback – 1 Sep 2006

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Frequently Bought Together

Duke in Disguise + The Lord Next Door (Avon Romantic Treasure) + The Viscount in Her Bedroom (The Sisters of Willow Pond)
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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 375 pages
  • Publisher: Avon Books; New title edition (1 Sept. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060784121
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060784126
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.4 x 17.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,035,123 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Duke in Disguise In the second book of her Sisters of Willow Pond trilogy, "USA Today" bestselling author Callen introduces an enigmatic, faux-duke who enchants and seduces a sheltered governess. Original. Full description

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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Rachel Robinson on 16 Jan. 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The story is about Meriel who is a noblewomen that has fallen on hard times following the death of her father and is left penniless. She either has to marry or work, so she takes a job as a Governess at Thanet Court.

At first she enjoys the work, as the Duke of Thanet is frequently away and she is left to her own devices. This all changes when the Duke decides to return following a serious illness where he can recuperate. However, he doesn't seem like a man who has been ill and appears very vibrant and different from when she was interveiwed.

I dont want to spoil the plot, but he is certainly not what he seems and the truth starts to trickle out. There are a few twists and turns and the Duke, his son and Meriel all face danger. The plot is not a thick one, but I thought it was well written and I really enjoyed the book. I hope you do too, if you buy it!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Bluebell on 25 May 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is my favourite book out of the Willow Pond Trilogy, and the plot is really good as well - there is even an evil villain!
There's no prologue or epilogue but it manages really very well without them.
The child featured in this story (Stephen) isn't even the typical snotty rich kid - he is genuinely sweet and clearly cares for both the main characters Meriel and Richard.
Anyway - this is whats written on the inside page (as im not too good at giving a brief outline of the plot without giving everything away);

The Duke of Thanet may have hired her as a governess to his 6-year-old son, but there is something... different about the devilish rogue standing before her today. He seems to study her with an intensity she never noticed before, and he is certainly more charming than the last time they encountered eachother. Was there always an alluring glint in his dark eyes? But the Duke has a notoriously scandalous reputation, and Meriel will not let herself succumb.

Masquerading as the Duke was not the simple solution Richard O'Neill had envisioned. When his ailing half-brother, the real Duke, asked him to protect his young heir from a greedy enemy, Richard agreed. But he never thought he'd be attracted to the inquisitive governess, or that each moment in her intoxicating presence would tempt him beyond all reason. And letting down his guard could prove dangerous... especially to Richards own heart.

If you enjoy Gayle Callen you may also like; Stephanie Laurens, Jacquie D'Alessandro, Lisa Kleypas and Anne Mallory.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 12 reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
oft used plot lacking variaion and suspense 5 July 2006
By tregatt - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the second installment in a trilogy (I think) dealing with three sisters who have to try and make their way in the world after their father's untimely death. I rather enjoyed the first installment in this trilogy, "The Lord Next Door;" and was rather hoping that the same could be said for "The Duke in Disguise." Unfortunately, "The Duke in Disguise" turned out to be a rather bland read, and I really couldn't quite figure out why. The hero and heroine was likable and the storyline held plenty of promise. Unfortunately, the novel lacked suspense and tension, and the book does possess a plot that rather hinges on these two key elements.

When her father's untimely death forced Meriel Shelby to seek gainful employment, she felt lucky to have been successful in securing the position as governess to the young Marquess of Ramsgate. Never mind that the young boy's father is the indolent and rakish Duke of Thanet, whose bad reputation would have put off most women, Meriel is determined to do her best for the young, intelligent six year old boy who has been shamefully neglected by his father. Which is why Meriel is thrown when the careless father suddenly turns up and begins to show unexpected interest in his son. Worse still, there is something different about the duke that catches Meriel interest and makes her consider him with new eyes. Has the duke changed for the better? Or is there something sinister about the duke's sudden change in behaviour? Meriel is determined not to give in to the allure of this new duke and to discover what is at the bottom of this sudden change in behaviour...

I won't be giving anything away in noting that the man that snares Meriel's interest is actually the duke's illegitimate half-brother, Richard O' Neill, who is masquerading as his brother in order to protect the young marquess. It is an oft used plot-line, and unfortunately, Gayle Callen uses it with practically no variation in theme. Richard is the typical hero -- nice, honourable and brave, determined to protect his nephew and save his brother no matter what; while Meriel is the typical heroine, determined to find out what's going on so that she can protect her charge, even if it is against the very man she finds herself unnaturally attracted to. There is very little suspense and practically no tension. Part of the reason for this is that the author adds noting new to this basic recipie; the other problem is that the villain of the piece is easily identified about a third into the book. Nothing to keep you guessing here at all -- unless you count wondering when Meriel will succumb to Richard as being suspenseful. All in all, "The Duke in Disguise" was a well written but rather bland 3 star read. Things do pick up towards the end, but it is rather slow going as Meriel and Richard circle around each other sizing each other up. And given that I had rather enjoyed "The Lord Next Door," it did seem a shame that "The Duke in Disguise" was a bit of a letdown.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
So-so 28 Jun. 2006
By Kathy Kaiser - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Gayle Callen and Julia Quinn released books on the same day. I picked up both of them, and it's clear that this one is better than Quinn's. Unfortunately, it's just an average romance. The theme of one man replacing another's position in the aristocracy and fearing discovery by the heroine is a well-worn plotline. The hero and heroine are likeable and well-drawn, and Callen is a competent writer. However, she can't put a fresh spin on this tired premise. I'm willing to buy her next book, but here's hoping she finds a new direction.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Truely Disapointing 8 Oct. 2006
By JJC - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
What happened to this book. Mrs. Callen writes fairly decent novels, no she is not one of my favorites but her books are usually good light reads. But this book is just disapointing. The H/H I felt had no chemistry, no deeper feelings, no trust nothing but two boring characters thrown into a non-supsensfull plot. Meirel was uptight, pushy for a governess and hung up on not being smart enough to figure out that her parents had financial problems before there downfall. Richard semed a little better but not much. There was no background information, nothing to show about his true character besides him disguising himself as the duke. He portrayed the duke so much that I never got to know him as a person. And the problem with Meriel about her trust issue was just stupid. It was discussed for one paragraph and then instantly over. You would think if it was such a major concern throughout the whole book that it would have required more than just mentioning it to Richard for it to have closure. But in this book everything seems to go wrong. And lastly were is the suspense. There is none. You keep reading and hoping that the ending would make it worth it but again you are sadly mistaken. Save your money. Save your time.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Not Bad... 4 Sept. 2006
By L. College - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This was my first experience with this author. I found this to be an enjoyable read. I would definitely read this author again. If you enjoy Alexander, Laurens, Lindsey, and Woodiwiss you will enjoy this book.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
fabulous early Victorian romance 28 Jun. 2006
By Harriet Klausner - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In 1844, the Duke of Thanet hires Meriel Shelby as a governess to his six-year-old son, Stephen especially while he is away recuperating from an illness. When the Duke returns home after being away for quite some time, Meriel is confused by her reaction to him as she thinks he is a hunk, but knows he is a womanizer so she plans to ignore her attraction to him.

She also believes the Duke is behaving differently as he spends quality time with his offspring, something he seemed loathed to do before yet enjoys now especially when Stephen is with Meriel. Thus the Duke devastates her plan to avoid him. As she falls in love, Richard O'Neill ironically thinks back to the vow he made to his dying brother Cecil, the real Duke, to not reveal their masquerade pretense in order to keep Stephen safe from cousin Charles; finally in love he has to hide his true identity from his beloved.

THE DUKE IN DISGUISE, the second Sisters of Willow Pond novel, is a fabulous early Victorian romance starring two likable protagonists and a precocious (perhaps too much so) preadolescent. The story line centers on the attraction between the governess and the phony duke as she struggles with the enigma of the whys of now in love with him and his so different behavior while he internally wars with his desire to reveal to her the truth in spite of his pledge. Sub-genre readers will enjoy this fine historical and seek out the previous winner, THE LORD NEXT DOOR (the tale of Meriel's sister).

Harriet Klausner
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