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What the Duke Desires (The Duke's Men Book 1) Kindle Edition
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What the Duke Desires is a sweet and passionate romance, it was brilliant with an engaging plot. It made me laugh and cry, and had a gripping start that sucked me straight into the story.
Lisette is the illegitimate daughter of a Viscount, who is left penniless with her mother and brother, when her father dies unexpectedly and her half-brother, George, refuses to acknowledge their father's deathbed attempt to leave them provided for. Lisette and her family leave England, and return to their mother's home in France. Years later, and Lisette returns to England, to live with her other half-brother, Dom, and help him with his business.
Then Max, the Duke of Lyons, bursts into her life, declaring that Tristan has contacted him to claim that his long ago abducted brother is in fact alive. He also believes that Tristan is most likely a swindler, trying to prey on his family's pain. To protect Tristan, Lisette journeys with Max to try and find him and prove his innocence. But on the journey, the sparks fly between Lisette and Max, threatening to ignite a fire in each other's hearts.
Lisette was a fab heroine. She has real trust issues when it comes to the majority of men, pretty much except her brothers. She vows to never be a man's mistress. She's strong and fearless in the face of Max's blustering, and would do anything for her family. I often find that in an effort to make the heroine strong and feisty, they can become annoying but it definitely wasn't the case with Lisette! She is considerate and has a very compassionate heart.
Max was also a fab hero! He has lots of issues, most stemming from the kidnapping of his older brother Peter and apparent madness that runs in males in his family. He has a deep rooted fear that he'll end up mad and alone, which leads him to try to push Lisette away repeatedly. He's very loyal and honourable, and I was so thrilled when Lisette finally broke down the walls around his heart.
They were a very sweet couple, with a chemistry that steamed up the pages.
Sabrina Jeffries always writes wonderful romances and this is no exception. The romance is sweet and through the journey was troubled the HEA is so worth it! I was completely enthralled as Lisette and Max try to track down Tristan, and to solve the mystery behind Peter's abduction. Add in to the mix a vengeful half-brother (on Lisette's side) and you won't be able to put the book down!
*I received a review copy from the publisher, via Edelweiss, for my honest review. Thank you!
WHAT THE DUKE DESIRES is the first storyline in The Duke's Men historical romance series by Sabrina Jeffries with the introduction of Maximilian Cale aka The Duke of Lyons and the woman who will steal more than his heart but his soul and the very air that he breathes-Lisette Bonnaud.
The storyline focuses on the Duke's search for the man who claims to know the whereabouts of Max's missing and presumably dead brother and how this search will bring Max up close and personal with Lisette. When it is discovered that Lisette's brother Tristan is also missing, the couple will embark on a cross continent journey that will force Max and Lisette to pose as husband and wife to ensure her reputation stays intact.
There is much family background history revealed throughout the storyline including the introduction of Lisette's brothers and extended family of Maximilian Cale. Lisette is more than conscience and aware of her lack of social standing within society and therefore entering into any sort of relationship with the Duke, she fears will tarnish his reputation. And the Duke's family history, although most of it not public knowledge, has the man denying his feelings for the woman with whom he has fallen in love. A history of secrets, betrayal and lies will be revealed forcing Max to walk away from a future with Lisette. When spiteful and heartbreaking words are exchanged, Max knows he has damned himself to a life without the woman he loves.
The sexual tension within the storyline was hit and miss due to the continuous battle of words between the couple and, in particular the Duke's (Max) occasional snippy attitude and highbrow manner. His constant need to use words in anger, against Lisette, made him a difficult character at times to embrace even though Lisette was more than willing to forgive the man every time. In many novels, the back and forth banter fuels the sexual pressure but there was something missing in this particular story. Max's attraction to Lisette was cooled with thoughts of his own family secrets, and Lisette knew that her mother's reputation would push away any thoughts of a future with the Duke as her own reputation by tarnished by association. Whenever the couple appeared to make headway in their relationship, painful memories and potential legal liabilities would interfere.
Most of the storyline focuses on the developing relationship between Max and Lisette and, the build-up to discovering the truth behind the Duke's missing brother. The big reveal and identity of everyone concerned read like a who's who in the family tree. There were so many different branches the family tree started to look like a forest-but for the trees.
What The Duke Desires is a fast-paced introductory storyline that reveals the tainted history behind two different families, yet very similar on many levels. Money does not make one immune to gossip and disease, and a life of struggle will soften a woman's heart towards a man who has lived an entire life built on a lie.
see al of my reviews at : thereadingcafe(dot)com
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