- Mass Market Paperback: 346 pages
- Publisher: Berkley; Original edition (7 April 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0425228061
- ISBN-13: 978-0425228067
- Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 2.4 x 17.3 cm
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,870,615 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Seduction of a Duke (Berkley Sensation) Mass Market Paperback – 7 Apr 2009
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
After the wedding William and Fran travel from America to England and the sailing is anything but smooth. William has awful sea sickness and Fran has trouble acclimating to the English society aboard the ship. On top of all this conflict Fran discovers that William believes she been with someone else and has become with child. He will not consummate the relationship until he is convinced she is as pure of nature as she is of soul. This makes for very rocky seas because Fran is determined to get pregnant and return home to raise their children since this was a stipulation of the marriage contract.
But once they arrive at Deerfeld Abbey, the family estate, Francesca discovers that that William is an honorable man who is trying to rebuild his family estate and care for his tenants. William plans to utilize the money he has now come into as Fran's husband to restore the family home to its greatness and overcome the financial mess his deceased father had created. The other surprise awaiting them is William's brother Nicholas and his wife Emma are a delight and bring much life to the new couple. Both are such a support system for Fran that it helps her overcome her loneliness and jealousy when William's former mistress comes to cause havoc.
But a determined Francesca decides to use the diary of a renowned courtesan to accomplish her mission of consummating her marriage. She was provided the diary by her former nanny Madame Aglionby and is convinced this will help her seduce her husband and make her marriage a workable relationship. But Fran greatly underestimates William's former mistress, Lady Lily Mandrake and it almost costs her everything she holds dear especially the husband she has come to love. Lily's plans to use her conniving ways to remove Fran from her duchess title and ensure that she become William's wife. When she brings Randolph back into Fran's life much behind the scenes scheming and manipulating takes place all the expense of Fran and the manipulation of not only William but his entire family is at peril.
This book is the sequel to "The Education of Mrs. Brimley" and is as wonderful and entertaining as its predecessor. The characters are such a delight and the mix of Francesca's American upbringing brings a new face to the English storyline. It is an education for the read to remember that these cultures have polar opposite social requirements in order to be considered proper and acclimating oneself to English society is not a feat that comes easily. Both the brothers learn what it is like to be loved and when they discover that which could alter their fate they are able to deal with the repercussions because they know they are loved for who they are not their wealth or title.
William Chambers prefers to marry for love or not at all, but has no choice except to accept the Winthrop's social climber's offer for her wealthy daughter. Bitterly he accepts his title for her money.
William and Fran meet at a masquerade ball and each is attracted to the other. He gores so far as thinking marriage to an American if it is her will be okay; she thinks similar thoughts. However, both are anxious leading to a great misunderstanding they misconstrue what is happening until Fran reads a courtesan's diary; given to her a few months ago when the American was in Paris by her former tutor. She applies the tips and soon has William out of control with desire. However, her past surfaces and threatens the marriage between the heiress and the duke.
The sequel to THE EDUCATION OF MRS. BRIMLEY, THE SEDUCTION OF A DUKE is a wonderful Victorian romance starring two likable protagonists who fall in love while she applies the courtesan's diary to their relationship. The story line contains droll double entendres, a staple of Donna MacMeans. With a strong support cast and plenty of wit, sub-genre readers will enjoy this intelligent amusing historical.
William Chambers, Duke of Bedford, is desperate. He needs money to save the crumbling legacy his spendthrift father left him. He's even willing to become engaged to an American heiress, sight unseen. Fortunately he finds Francesca quite attractive, but comes to a mistaken conclusion and decides not to consummate the marriage until the first couple of months have passed.
Will Fran and the courtesan's diary break through William's reserve, or will misunderstandings kill their budding feelings before they have a chance to grow?
The Seduction of a Duke is a nice, entertaining story of a marriage of convenience that becomes more. Francesca is independent, stubborn, and clever. She wants to decide her own future, but as a woman she is often unable to do so, being forced to follow the dictates of her parents. She's crushed when she discovers they have engaged her to the duke, especially because she fancies herself in love with someone else. Her frustration was understandable, although some of her scheming to avoid the marriage was a bit silly. William is an honorable man driven to desperate measures. At first, he comes across as pompous and overbearing at times, but his good intentions come through. The conclusion he jumped to was also a bit silly, as it could have been cleared up with some discussion, but I guess it was understandable given the time period. I enjoyed watching Fran and William dancing around each other and slowly getting to know each other. There are some interesting secondary characters, such as Fran's maid, William's valet, and William's family in England. I wasn't too keen on the evil ex-mistress angle that appeared partway through the book and reappeared near the end, but it did add some action. Donna MacMeans isn't breaking any terribly new ground here, but after a bit of a slow start the book picks up and leads to a satisfying conclusion.
Reviewed for Joyfully Reviewed