When The Duchess Said Yes: Wylder Sisters Book 2 Paperback – 25 Sep 2012
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'Wickedly entertaining' (Mary Jo Putney, New York Times bestselling author)
Indulge in the second novel in Isabella Bradford's sparkling and enchantingly romantic Wylder Sister series.See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
The book has much to recommend it. The writing is good, the love scenes are steamy and there is a generally good-humoured feel to it overall.
But I found it difficult to care very much about the two protagonists. Lizzie is the middle sister and like Charlotte (the eldest) has been betrothed since childhood. Her intended is the Duke of Hawkesworth, a sort of cousin of the Charlotte's husband, March, but unlike March, Hawkesworth (or Hawke) has no regard for propriety or the responsibilities of his position. In fact, he has lived abroad for the previous ten years and has only returned to England in order to marry Lizzie so that he can obtain his inheritance and father an heir. He has returned begrudgingly, and, rather like a naughty schoolboy on his way to the headmaster's office, drags his feet when it comes to facing up to the inevitability of his fate. He continually and purposely avoids all contact with Lizzie until he is cornered by his cousin Brecon (who also appeared in the first book in the series) and more or less forced to meet her.
Lizzie is lively and free-spirited, and quite happy to follow Hawke's lead when it comes to propriety (or lack thereof). Although she has been upset by Hawke's ... lack of enthusiasm for their marriage, she quickly forgives him and is captivated by his looks, charm and wit.
Both of them are very immature and for most of the book they carry on like a couple of randy teenagers.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The Duke of Hawkesbough doesn't want to get married, he's only doing so to get his inheritance, then he plans to begat an heir and sail back to Naples, never to see his wife or son ever again. So far so silly plan. He meets his future wife Lady Elizabeth "Wyldest" Wylder who as it turn out is his perfect woman and he instantly desires her above all other women and tells her so. He also encourages her to flout every social protocol, duty and manners that come with her new position as Duchess, which she willingly does for the first half of the book because he's such a sexy guy.
However the minute she tries to be more than his bedmate at his beck and call 24 hours a day he comes a petulant toddler, who can't even stomach her talking to the servants without getting in a strop, let alone let her actually talking to members of the ton without trying to deliberately snub them.
Oh and despite the fact that he desires her above everything else, he's still planning on going back to Italy the minute she births an heir and/or he gets bored of her. He lets this slip at a public party and later can't understand why she's so upset, when he's spent the last 2 weeks telling her she's everything he could ever want and never mentioned this plan to her. He later tries to spend a week in a brothel to lord his manly power over his wife and rub it in her face, only to realise, A) he can't get it up, B) his wife isn't actually sitting at home moping for him c) to accuse his wife of an illicit liaison with his cousin whilst never admitting what he intended to do at the brothel.
I know its theoretically supposed to be a journey, but when a hero is that childish, selfish and outright narcissistic I have a hard time buying one 5 min convo can completely change him. The only thing that stopped this from getting zero stars is Lizzie's realisation that she can't be only his sex toy she has to be his duchess.
Usually I really don't like to give such negative reviews, especially when they're mostly based on one element. However, I really, really hated that the hero not only tried to cheat on his marriage to the heroine by visiting a brothel, while they were having an active sexual relationship and while he told her he loved her, but also that he did not feel or express any guilt or remorse for it, never told his wife what he did, and immediately after what he did, he had the unimaginable hypocrisy as to actually yell at his wife because she was innocently chatting with her cousin and accuse her of dallying. While never acknowledging or owning up to his own REAL cheating behavior of course.
His reasoning/justification for his cheating was that he "intended to teach Lizzie A Lesson, the way that men were always supposed to, and he had planned to spend at least a week carousing in expensive brothels to prove that he intended to do whatever made him happy, no matter if he was married or not." I'm not kidding, that is a verbatim quote.
So he goes to his first expensive brothel and consorts with the whores, until he finally realizes that he can't physically get aroused. Yes, so he doesn't actually go through with the sexual act (though it doesn't mention how much kissing/touching/flirting goes on) only because he can't get physically aroused - not because he ever realizes it's reprehensible and a vile betrayal of his marriage and his wife. In my mind it certainly still constitutes cheating if a man goes to a brothel fully intending to cheat and doesn't do full intercourse only because he can't physically get it up.
Anyway, after a week or so he eventually decides he should maybe just settle back with Lizzie, considering that he can't enjoy sex and all anymore without her. So he goes off to round her up. She meanwhile had left to another of their residences, while he'd abandoned her to go whoring, thinking that he'll maybe come back to her if she just remains meek and patient and faithful as a good wife should. He comes across her as she is innocently chatting with her cousin.
Joyful that her wayward husband has finally deigned to return she runs to him to welcome him back to her bosom with open arms. He furiously scorns her and accuses her of dallying with the cousin. Lizzie is mortified and hurt that he could so doubt her virtue and begs him to understand that they were just innocently chatting. She begs him to believe she would never betray him and to please, please believe her and accept her back because she loves him oh so much. He reviles her cruelly and leaves. She is devastated and forlorn, but reasures herself that he will return again soon since she loves him, and moreover she is carrying his child. She keeps vigil all night, faithfully awaiting his return, and late at night, her patience and devotion is finally rewarded when he returns. He's injured from falling from his horse, so she throws herself at him and cries all over him. He finally says "sorry. I love you" abruptly, without elaboration and she cries with joy and tells him she's with child. She promises to always stay at his side and tells him she loves him so so much. The End. I despise doormat heroines who lie down and let the hero walk all over them in the name of 'love', and this has got to be the very worst one I have ever read in literally hundreds of romance novels.
I read romance to relax and enjoy, but this novel left me angry, disgusted, and completely sickened with both characters and the book. I had to go back and read my favorite chapters of Pride and Prejudice to wash the sickly taste from my mouth and restore my faith in real love and romance. I hope this will warn other readers as I wasn't warned. This was my first novel by this author and it will most likely be my last.
I really liked the first book in this series and loved this one. Lizzie is much more daring than her sister Charlotte, who has transformed into the perfect Duchess, conforming to the traditions of English society. Lizzie, being the middle child, doesn't feel the pressure of the need to conform and finds herself succumbing to Hawke's scandalous behaviors. Though he rudely avoided meeting Lizzie for the first time, Hawke quickly changed his tune when he realized she was the young woman he had encountered at the opera and who mesmerized him. The two of them proceed on a pretty risky path before they finally make it to the altar. Their relationship is passionate and delightful, both of them being really interesting characters.
I wondered for a time where the conflict would rise and it does indeed come from Hawke whose only frame of reference for marriage is his parents' union, which was fairly dismal. Hawke still has the notion that in time, his passion and love for Lizzie will fade and he'll eventually set up a separate household for himself in Naples, complete with a mistress. Lizzie's realization of her husband's views is heartbreaking and Hawke's transformation was painful. This aspect of the story was gripping and I felt the anguish of both.
This was a really good story and surpassed the first book in this series. The pace is perfect and the characters are very nicely developed. I am really enjoying the Wylder sisters.
(I received an ARC from NetGalley)
This was a very enjoyable light-hearted romance that was fun and quick to read! Lizzie was a treat to read--bold, feisty, warm, fun, adventurous and very passionate. Once she gets over her initial frustration with Hawke and his lack of communication for years, she opens up to him easily and lets him see all aspects of her heart. I did have a bit of trouble warming to Hawke as he seemed to shrink his duties as duke. Even upon meeting Lizzie and falling for her instantly, he stilled planned to leave her alone once an heir was born and return to his 'true' home in Naples. Also, he knows he can never live up to his fathers grand shadow and frankly has no desire to try to. I did really enjoy his appreciation for art and I loved seeing how happy it made him and how thrilled he was when he realized Lizzie shared the same appreciation. Really the only major tension comes when Lizzie learns of Hawke's plans to leave in a most unfortunate way and the stubborn couple have a happy ending that suited them well. It is well written and has lovely attention to fashion details, which I always enjoy. The passion is hot and it gradually shifts to a deep love. I liked how Hawke kept doing special little things for his new wife and each little moment lead to an adventure, proper or not for a duke and duchess. If you are in the mood for something light that will make you smile and fan yourself, When the Duchess Said Yes is a treat indeed. 4 stars