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Why Dukes Say I Do (Wicked Widows 1) Mass Market Paperback – 2 Sep 2013
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Praise for Manda Collin's delicious Regency novel...
HOW TO ROMANCE A RAKE
"With her trademark wit and charm, Manda Collins has penned a deeply romantic and emotionally satisfying story in "How to Romance a Rake". Her heroine is plucky and tremendously appealing, and I cheered for her well-earned happily ever after." "--"Vanessa Kelly, award-winning author o"f Sex And The Single Earl"
"Collins' second installment of the Ugly Duckling trilogy is both a lovely, sensitive romance and a taut thriller. Collins brings a dashing hero and a wounded wallflower together in the type of love story readers take to heart. With compassion and perception, she delves into the issues faced by those who survive physical and emotional trauma. Brava to Collins!" "--RT Book Reviews", 4 stars
"Absolutely delightful, "How to Romance a Rake", the second book in talented author Manda Collins' UGLY DUCKLING series, is an emotion-packed, passionate historical romance" "--Romance Junkies", 5 stars, Blue Ribbon Review
""How to Romance a Rake" is a wonderfully moving story about two damaged people coming together to form a unique bond. Manda Collins is now on my auto-buy list, and I can't wait for the final book in this series." "--Rakehell, Where Regency Lives"
"Witty and smart, Collins' prose flows smoothly as she merges a charming, compassionate love story with gothic suspense....Add strong pacing and depth of emotion, and there's no doubt this is a winner."
--Top Pick, 41/2 stars, "RT Book Reviews"
"Collins has a deft touch with characterization, and she expertly weaves a thrilling thread of danger throughout the story. "Why Dukes Say I Do" is highly recommended for readers who enjoy their historical romances with a generous soupcon of suspense." "--Reader to Reader Reviews"
Witty and smart, Collins' prose flows smoothly as she merges a charming, compassionate love story with gothic suspense .Add strong pacing and depth of emotion, and there's no doubt this is a winner. "Top Pick, 41/2 stars, RT Book Reviews"
Collins has a deft touch with characterization, and she expertly weaves a thrilling thread of danger throughout the story. "Why Dukes Say I Do" is highly recommended for readers who enjoy their historical romances with a generous soupcon of suspense. "Reader to Reader Reviews""
Witty and smart, Collins' prose flows smoothly as she merges a charming, compassionate love story with gothic suspense .Add strong pacing and depth of emotion, and there's no doubt this is a winner. Top Pick, 41/2 stars, RT Book Reviews
Collins has a deft touch with characterization, and she expertly weaves a thrilling thread of danger throughout the story. Why Dukes Say I Do is highly recommended for readers who enjoy their historical romances with a generous soupcon of suspense. Reader to Reader Reviews"
"Witty and smart, Collins' prose flows smoothly as she merges a charming, compassionate love story with gothic suspense....Add strong pacing and depth of emotion, and there's no doubt this is a winner." --Top Pick, 41/2 stars, RT Book Reviews
"Collins has a deft touch with characterization, and she expertly weaves a thrilling thread of danger throughout the story. Why Dukes Say I Do is highly recommended for readers who enjoy their historical romances with a generous soupcon of suspense." --Reader to Reader Reviews
From the Back Cover
Even in London society--where everyone knows what you did last season--you never know who's next in line to walk down the aisle...
TRUE LOVE IS OFTEN FOUND
With her whirlwind social life in London, Lady Isabella Wharton has little interest in the customs of the country. But when her godmother asks her to pay a visit to her bachelor grandson in Yorkshire, Isabella can't refuse. It behooves her to please the old dowager, since she harbors one of Isabella's most scandalous secrets. So off she goes to see the newly-titled--and notoriously rustic--Duke of Ormond...
WHERE YOU LEAST EXPECT IT
Trevor Carey doesn't care about what goes on behind ballroom doors. He is content with the simple life--and isn't ashamed to admit it to a society flirt like Lady Isabella. But the country air brings out a different side of Isabella--one full of longing and passion. Can her sophistication be hiding a desire for love? When a blackmailer from the city arrives to threaten Isabella, Trevor will shield her from harm--even travel to London. Can the duke tackle the ton on Isabella's behalf ...and manage to keep her all to himself? "Absolutely delightful...an emotion-packed, passionate historical romance"--Romance Junkies, five stars (on How to Romance a Rake)See all Product description
Top customer reviews
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I thoroughly enjoyed the book.
The characters are well drawn and likeable. Isabella is strong and courageous, and although she is vulnerable due to the legacy of her first husband, who abused her, she is no cowed woman, and I really liked that in her. Trevor is a man of principle, very attractive for his decency as lord and magistrate in his area and in his role as guardian for his two younger sisters. He is chivalrous and has a delightfully masterful edge.
The story is compelling, with enough mystery and drama to keep you turning the pages until the very end. It feels realistic enough for the time, and the twist at the end is both surprising and strangely moving.
For me, though, what really stands out in the book is the quality of the writing. Manda Collins is an excellent writer who expertly writes in the historical fiction style, with plenty of old-fashioned terminology and phrasing included without becoming burdensome for the reader. I especially loved her flashes of wit among the more serious and poetic writing:
Tonight, she was wearing what he secretly referred to as a gut puncher, for the feeling it inspired in him. The gown was a bluish green, the shade of a robin's egg. it was cool and elegant and hugged her every delicious curve.
"I was unlucky enough to meet the fellow at the tavern on the night he arrived. A more perfect example of a `toadeater' I don't believe I'll ever meet."
Only Belinda was content to eat her luncheon without weighing in on the conversation. Though Trevor thought he noticed a judgmental tone in the way she consumed her peas.
Overall, a book I heartily recommend as a passionate, lively, well-crafted novel.
The book had some slow bits and some bits where I couldn't get enough but the uneventful parts weren't entirely uneventful... The author used the downtime in the plotline to show the reader the relationship between Trevor and his sisters (one of my absolute favourite relationships!) and the budding friendship/relationship between Isabella & Trevor.
I have read my fair share of historical romances but never one that deals with domestic violence... Or at least not any that I can remember and not in the way that Manda Collins writes about them. It was still large part of the storyline but it never felt heavy or as if it was over-powering the rest of the storyline, if you know what I mean and Isabella was the perfect character for such a storyline, she was strong, determined but still let down her guard at times.
How can I talk about Isabella and not mention Trevor? ;)... My first thought as I read `Why Dukes Say I Do', was `Finally, A gentlemanly Duke!' Trevor wasn't portrayed as being a ladies man or as someone who doesn't have respect for the ladies in his life like most male protagonists in historical romances are. I really liked that, it was a breath of fresh air... Something new, something different.
I'm glad I continued reading because I got to the point where I couldn't put the book down and if I hadn't continued reading I would have missed out on that... Something that I've been missing for a while.
This book was a first for me in many ways, it was first book I requested from Netgalley (and got approved for!) and it was the first book I read by Manda Collins. It definitely wouldn't be the last though, before this the only other authors whose historical romances I read without fail were Eloisa James & Julia Quinn and now I'm happy to say Manda Collins has been added to that list.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
The story doesn’t open with an innocent little miss shyly meeting circumstances of life. NO, it opens with a knife wielding lady of the ton. What else could a reader ask for? The lady, with a secret of her own that will ruin her and her sisters is, perhaps forced, to leave city society life by her godmother, to visit the doesn’t care about society duke who really likes life in the country. The duke has no use for city life and is completely happy and at home in the country. The godmother wants the duke to take his rightful place in a society that rejected him before he became a duke.
The heroines past marriage has left her with unhappy experiences from her husband from hell and for reasons she doesn’t want made known she has no options except to follow the godmother’s “request” and go to the country. The duke’s first impression is much like what he reserves for all society ladies. Her past may have changed her exterior but it hasn’t changed her inner strength and spirit. What is a sophisticated lady being followed by a blackmailer to do, except adapt to country life with a steamy passion she didn’t know she had.
Her inner self comes more to light as she becomes acquainted with the duke’s sisters and she takes it upon herself to correct the overprotectiveness of the duke and their lack of formal education. She does learn that there is more to life than an unhappy past. She finds she must somehow keep to her task of bringing the duke to town while holding onto a promise of a different future without her secrets being found out.
The hero’s past of being rejected makes him reject all except those under his direct care and responsibility, which he excels at. I think he is somewhat surprised when a society lady which seems to have a very tough exterior falls soon under his protection and the layers soon peel away to reveal more of them than they want the other to know.
These two characters, while having every reason to behave as they do as their past made them react this way, must find a way around what was and believe in what could be. Revenge, blackmail, danger, mystery, intrigue, and spicy romance help make this book a foundation to bring the readers interest and anticipation for the rest of the books in the series. The secondary characters promise to be very interesting in the upcoming series.
I highly recommend this book and look forward to reading this authors past as well as future work.
I loved seeing them fall in love - it was paced perfectly. Both of them were likable and the touch of mystery was a great addition to the story without overwhelming the romance.
I liked all of the secondary characters and honestly a bit surprised when I realized the hero in the next book was linked to Isabella's sister in this book. That ought to be interesting :)
I highly recommend this book and can hardly wait for the next book.