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Secrets Of An Accidental Duchess: Number 2 in series (Donovan Sisters) [Mass Market Paperback]

Jennifer Haymore
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
RRP: 7.99
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Book Description

22 Mar 2012 Donovan Sisters (Book 2)

With her pale hair and slim figure, Olivia Donovan looks as fragile as fine china, and has been treated as such by her sisters ever since a childhood bout with malaria. But beneath her delicate facade, Olivia guards a bold, independent spirit and the kind of passionate desires proper young ladies must never confess...

It was a reckless wager, and one Max couldn't resist: seduce the alluring Olivia or forfeit part of his fortune. Yet the wild, soon-to-be Duke never imagined he'd fall in love with this innocent beauty. Nor could he have guessed that a dangerously unpredictable rival would set out to destroy them both. Now, Max must beat a Madman at his own twisted game-or forever lose the only woman to have ever won his heart.

Frequently Bought Together

Secrets Of An Accidental Duchess: Number 2 in series (Donovan Sisters) + Confessions Of An Improper Bride: Number 1 in series (Donovan Sisters) + Pleasures of a Tempted Lady: Number 3 in series (Donovan Sisters)
Price For All Three: 19.07

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Forever; Original edition (22 Mar 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446573159
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446573153
  • Product Dimensions: 18.6 x 10.9 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 778,390 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


PRAISE FOR USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR JENNIFER HAYMORE: "4 1/2 stars. HOT. Haymore's characters leap off the pages in her latest installment in the Donovan family saga. Written with gentleness and emotional strength, it's a creative romance readers will not soon forget."-- RT Book Reviews

Book Description

Jennifer Haymore is back with book two of her Donovan series-when the Donovan sisters are near, passion is never far behind!

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as the first book 28 Feb 2012
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
Miss Olivia Donovan has arrived with her family in England, after spending most of her life in the West Indies. In her youth, she suffered bouts of malaria, which has weakened her immune system, thus leaving her more frail and often has fevers as a result. Max Buchanan, Lord Hesley, spies Olivia at a ball and is instantly drawn to her beauty. Leonard Reece, a married marquis, tells him she refused his advances, so Olivia won't succumb to his. They make a wager, although once Max knows Olivia better, finds himself feeling guilty for agreeing to it in the first place. Olivia, meanwhile, is happy that someone isn't treating her like she'll break at any moment. She knows her family just want to protect her, but when Max enters her life, she's had enough. They enter into a relationship and at first, she tells him she doesn't want marriage, and is surprised to learn he doesn't want it either. However, over time, it's something they both want. The marquis has discovered Max, (now Duke of Wakefield) and Olivia's affair, he's annoyed and orders for his kidnap. Always hating Max since childhood, he plans to use Olivia as bait for revenge, but feels that she should also know about their wager too. They manage to escape Leonard's clutches, yet Olivia is unsure whether or not she can trust Max, so she heads north to see family so she can decide what she wants. Max realises he loves her and chases after her, but there are other obstacles in his path before he can win Olivia's trust again.

Overall, the book was OK. I'd already read the first book in the Donovan series and loved it, but some elements of this story bothered me. The female protagonist was a little annoying, which surprised me, considering I should be feeling more for her due to her affliction. I'm undecided about the unreleased book 3 with Captain William Langley just yet, but it's not out until August, so perhaps I'll change my mind by then.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars  27 reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I thought there'd be a good story under all that florid language. 13 Feb 2012
By rameau - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is the first time I've heard of Jennifer Haymore, and had I known what to expect I most likely would have passed the opportunity to read her work. This isn't going to be a positive review.

The title is misleading. There really weren't that many secrets this accidental duchess had and the ones there were, were revealed quite quickly and without in a timely fashion. His secrets too.

There really should be a series warning for all unsuspecting readers. Not that I was one of them. I knew I was jumping in in the middle of a series, but that wasn't the problem. The problem was the extensive character gallery I was expected to familiarise myself with immediately. To this moment I wouldn't be able to name and place all the important side characters. I barely remember the main characters, but that has more to do with the poor characterisations or lack there of. More about that later.

From the very start I realised that Haymore's writing style wasn't for me. I happen to think there's a difference between detailed and florid-one of which is good and the other one isn't-I thought she crossed that line, although, it did get slightly better when action overtook the moment.

Speaking of things that were better than expected, the sex scenes were a positive surprise. Despite the fact that the her happiness was dependent on his orgasm, there was nothing too awkward or unintentionally hilarious. I found these scenes quite titillating, which is a first in a professionally published work for a while.

Having said that, I still think there was more passion between Max and his rival Fenwicke than there ever was between Max and Olivia. That's because of the characterisations. Max and Olivia both felt so flat and uninteresting in comparison that over the top evil Fenwicke appeared to the only three dimensional character in the book. I could have handled the brutality and the abuse described, had it been properly addressed and not been reduced to a mere plot device. Fenwicke was nothing more than a ploy to create drama and angst where none was needed as the relationship between Max and Olivia had its existing inner tensions.

What's worse, neither Fenwicke or his victims were addressed with enough care or attention, but they were quickly dismissed as their part in the storyline expired.

I could dwell on the idiocy of the two main characters exhibited throughout and especially towards the end of this book, but suffice to say that there's a reason why I shelved this book under the too-stupid-to-live category. I'm not just talking about the contradiction between a gentleman willing to seduce a virgin but reluctant to fight dirty when being attacked by a mob, I'm talking about the lack of pure survival instinct. He'd rather beat up a man in his weakened state than run to save her life.

I'm aware that my generation nor that the one of my parents'-or their parents'-invented sex, but to read about sisters-one of which is an unmarried virgin-talk about contraception sounded too modern to fit the time to me. There was also another instance, when Olivia was asking Max to give her space , that felt out of place in this historical setting.

Also as detail orientated as the author is, I was surprised how easily Olivia could wolf down her meal despite the injury to her throat.

**I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.**
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Really liked 5 Jun 2012
By Ramblings From This Chick Blog - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I just finished Secrets of an Accidental Duchess and I'm just all over the place. I'm feeling so many different emotions now that I've finished this book. I really enjoyed this book but there were a few times I had to put this book down because it became a little rough to get through. It wasn't bad at all but this book was definitely not a light read. In fact, the villain of this story is so heinous and brutal and some of his actions made me shudder. Besides my hatred of the villain, I really enjoyed the story and all of the characters that are in it.

Let me just start off by saying that I love Max. I love Max so freaking much! Watching him and Olivia both fall in love with each other was great to watch. Their interactions with each other and just the way they both opened up to one another was great. There really weren't any games between them and I liked that. I liked that they both fell and fell hard.

I'll admit that the first couple of chapters kind of dragged for me a bit, but once Olivia and Max started interacting with each other the story just picked up and I found myself unable to stop reading. I loved getting to know who both Olivia and Max were. The type of people they were inside and out. Both are caring and so full of love. I was worried that I might not like Olivia based off of reading the back of the book. I'm not the biggest fan of heroines that always need saving and are helpless. That wasn't the case at all with Olivia. Everyone may try to baby her and shelter her but she definitely doesn't need it. She is strong and if given the chance, independent. She is also selfless. She willingly put others first to save them even if it costs her so much more. She doesn't back down when times get hard and I loved that about her.

With Max, in the beginning he's portrayed as a womanizing rake that doesn't have a care in the world and could care less about another feelings. That was not the case at all. Max is so caring and considerate. He fights for what he believes in and the ones he loves and cares about. He is truly good even though it takes him a while to realize it.

As I said before, I really enjoyed this story. I loved meeting the rest of the Donovans and I am eagerly awaiting the next book from Jennifer Haymore. I can't wait to see how things end up for the rest of the Donovans. I also will be checking out the first book in this series, Confessions of an Improper Bride. I loved seeing the little tidbits of Serena/Meg and her husband and I am very curious about their book.

**ARC copy provided by NetGalley/Forever Romance Publishing**
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What happens when you most unbelievable dreams come true? 3 Feb 2012
By Mary J. Gramlich - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Olivia Donovan grew up in a house full of sisters being viewed as the weak link. Having contracted malaria as a small child Olivia knows that every day she is susceptible to a recurrence of the fevers. Olivia does not want to be treated like a china doll on a shelf and the minute she meets Max, her wishes for adventure may come true.

Max never thinks of Olivia as frail or less than perfect, he sees her beauty and yearns to place a gentle hand on Olivia's beautiful face. Max is more than interested in Olivia and the ridiculous bet he made to win her affection have nothing to do with his intention. Being competitive has made Max strong but the mere sight of Olivia astounds him and there is no amount of compensation for that reward.

When Olivia chooses adventure over sedentary the game she and Max begin to play is dangerous with severe consequences. Olivia throws care to the wind and goes after the one thing she has always wanted and feared she would never have intimacy. Her life is too set in one direction, shifting the sand is going to be fun.

With all the joy in the forefront, neither Max nor Olivia could see the darkness right behind them. The entire Donovan family is taking on a mad, cruel man bent on ruining Olivia just because it will hurt Max. When both of them are shocked with the severity of this man's vendetta Max and Olivia wonder who will come to the rescue of these two lost souls.

Jennifer Haymore writes intriguing, detail orientated stories wrapped around the most glorious depths that is the romance of love. The scenarios and details that Ms. Haymore creates make every reader feel as if they too are being held captive by the magic that is the blush of true love.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 4.5 Star - This book grabbed me! 3 Aug 2012
By Leah Weller - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I won this book on the Hanging With Bells blog and is the fist book by Jennifer that I've read. It is the third book in the Donovan Series. I WILL be on the hunt for her other books! This book grabbed me and didn't let go until I read the last paragraph. I knew that I would love Olivia and Max from the moment they lay eyes on each other at a ball. Having suffered a bout of malaria as a child, Olivia's family treat her as if she is delicate because of the fevers she still suffers from occasionally. In reality, she is very strong and independent. Max has a rival, Leonard, that makes a bet with him that he cannot seduce Olivia. Max accepts an invite from Olivia's brother-in-law to partake in a hunt at his estate so he can get close to her. Once there, he realizes that she is someone he admires and wants to know and he soon regrets this bet. They both find themselves falling for each other even though they both have declared their intent to remain single. Their story takes you down a road of sweet love and into one of unspeakable jealousy and horrors at the hand of Leonard that involves Max and Olivia and, in turn, her family. Leonard's wife suffers at his hand also. I laughed, teared up, and went through nail biting moments while reading this book. Jennifer Haymore keeps you engrossed from the beginning to the end with no lagging in between. I can't wait to read more by her!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Secrets of an Accidental Duchess is a splendid heartfelt romance." 25 Jun 2012
By M. Nix - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Olivia Donovan is excited to join her sisters in London. She aches for a bit a freedom from her mother. As a child Olivia barely survived a bout of malaria. Since then she has led a very sheltered life. Olivia is lucky to be alive and she still battles lingering symptoms of the disease because of this she does not plan to enter the dating arena. Olivia doesn't see marriage or children in her future.

Maxwell Buchanan, the Marquis of Hasley is next in line to a Dukedom. He spends his life having fun and making wagers. His latest wager is about to get him into hot water. Max bets the despicable Lord Fenwicke that he can bed the beautiful Olivia Donovan. Max never counted on falling for the stunning woman. Now, it will take everything Max has to hold on to the woman he loves and protect her from the man that wants to harm her.

Is Max man enough to make Olivia change her plan for the future? Will she forgive him for his past sins?

Secrets of an Accidental Duchess is a splendid heartfelt romance. I really love this couple! Olivia is a lot stronger than her family gives her credit for. They still view her as the sickly child when she is now a beautiful woman that can hold her own. I love watching the lovely relationship grow between Olivia and Max. It is truly a sweet story. The reader is also introduced to another Donovan sister, Jessica. I really enjoyed the story about Jessica and her new friend Beatrice. It is also a thrill to see Serena, Jonathan and Will again. I delighted in seeing their story grow more. Jennifer Haymore's Secrets of an Accidental Duchess brings exhilarating passion and romance to life in this exciting story.

Reviewed by Miranda
For Joyfully Reviewed
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