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on 5 March 2011
(This was originally posted on Book Lovers Inc)

What I Did for a Duke is the 5th book in the Pennyroyal Green series. I haven't read the previous books, and in fact this is the 1st book I read from this author but it won't be the last. I can't wait to read the previous books. What a funny and moving story. I am already planning on re-reading it as soon as I my print copy arrives. This book will go straight to my Keep-Forever Shelf.

From the very first chapter I knew I would love the hero, Alexander Moncrieffe, Duke of Falconbridge. First he is mysterious and there are a lot of rumors about his past (Killing his wife with poison for example) and he does nothing to contradict them . He is said to be ruthless with those who crossed him. And most of all he gives meaning to the phrase 'Vengeance is better served cold'. All the women want Alexander but they are also all afraid of him too. He has such a charisma..*happy sigh* One of the things I loved about him is that he is 'older'. Alexander is about 40 and he doesn't act like a young rake (I was gonna say 'fool'), he acts like a mature man and let me tell you it makes him even more attractive. I'm not saying he doesn't like gambling or things like that but he's not reckless either. I have a huge crush on him so I'm completely biased. *wink*

Alexander was betrothed to a young lady until he found her in a compromising situation with Ian Eversea. He could have had his revenge on Ian at that time but he decided to do much, much worse. Alex will seduce Ian's innocent sister then abandon her and crush her heart. Well that's his plan. I told you he was ruthless! Ian of course doesn't know what the duke intends to do and is living in fear of his vengeance. Of course nothing goes as planned. Genevieve has been in love with her best friend for years and recent news left her completely crushed. She is in no mood to entertain anyone during the House party her parents are holding, even less the mysterious and dark Duke everyone's talking about. But it's not like she has a choice.

This book is very funny and I giggled and smiled from start to end. It made me feel really good and I loved it. Alexander and Genevieve both have a very funny sense of humor. Their discussions are often hilarious. Oh how I love Genevieve's witty intelligence. She is a quiet one which doesn't mean she's shy. I like how she thinks before talking, she doesn't blurt out what comes through her mind. If she says something, it's for a reason.

The Duke will do his best to seduce Genevieve and all I'll say is that my it melted my heart. I had tears..ahem I mean DUST in my eyes quite a few times. When I started reading it I thought, 'hey it's gonna go this way and big revelation and cries and hurt'...I was wrong! It surprised me completely. It's very original while still playing with a basic formula. I know I'm rambling, but I LOVED it.

What I Did For a Duke was pure pleasure to read. The author gave us intelligent characters with depth and a sense of humor. They never thought they'd fall in love with each other, both had their plans and falling in love was not part of it. I was shouting at my ereader (and at Susi), cheering them to do the right thing...I think at some point I went all 'Come on, kiss her NOW, KISS HER AHHHHH' . Yes this book drove me crazy (crazier? lol) but it was worth every minute. This is a charming book that had me smiling all along. It's definitely of one the Top Historical I've read.

I give What I Did for a Duke 5 Bookies.
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on 27 March 2011
There is no great adventure in this novel, no espionage, no crime to solve, no treasure to plunder. What I did for a Duke is purely character driven and the focus is on how love grows between two people, how relationships form and how they strengthen through mutual respect and honesty. You would be forgiven for thinking that this sounds boring but it serves to create a believable and combustible chemistry between the two leads.

Alex Moncrieff, Duke of Falconbridge, seeks revenge on the scoundrel who cuckolded him and effectively ended his engagement to a woman he believed he could love. His quarry is Genevieve, the scoundrel's sister, who he intends to seduce and abandon - thus rendering a punishment that befits the crime. The story centres round a house party hosted by the scoundrel's family, allowing Alex the opportunity to put his nefarious plan into action.

What he fails to foresee is that Genevieve is not a typical Regency miss. She is clever, wilful and already in love. On the morning of Alex's arrival she learns that Harry, her love, plans to marry another and so it is a colourless and lacklustre Genevieve that first greets Alex. Despite her heartbreak she cannot help but be drawn into witty banter with the Duke. It is this banter that Long excels at, spinning words together to create realistic and amusing dialogue.

Alex is a fabulous hero; jaded, dark and unapologetic. He is also the opposite of what I usually want from a hero. A widower who actually loved his first wife? I like my heroes to be rakes and resolute bachelors - preferring the idea that the heroine is their first love leading them into a HEA. Naive and idealistic? Yup, but that's the joy of reading romance. Cleverly Long tells us that Alex is a widower of ten years, making his past distant, on only one occasion are details of his marriage revealed and this is to Genevieve and the conversation engenders neither jealousy or insecurity in her. What it does do is illustrate a jaded and cynical hero who is open to the concept of love, who is indeed more embracing of it than the heroine though it does not weaken him. Often in historical romance the male is much older than the female, reflecting the era, this irritates me as the age gap is usually ignored or glossed over. Long has given us Alex who is almost forty - not a crime in itself but Genevieve is barely twenty and usually this would make me uncomfortable. Not here as both characters address it, Genevieve and her friends laugh about it, Alex makes the most of it. Ultimately it works because the heroine is not childish and has an awareness of sex and sexuality, though experience with neither.

Genevieve is a clever lady, she is able to read people and situations and sees straight through Alex. What might have been a Great Misunderstanding is kerbed by an insightful heroine. Genevieve deduces that Alex has a motive for spending time with her and forces him to admit it early on in the novel. An admirable move, as this meant that both she and Alex were able to see each other clearly and to admire each other without secrets.

The reason for the half star deduction is purely because there were about twenty pages when Genevieve annoyed me, though I do stress I loved her for the other 300! She was a bit confused about ideas of love, while I was swallowing my heart every time I saw Alex's name. Additionally, while I love Long's writing - especially her dialogue, she has a tendency to overlay her characters' thoughts with her own voice. These moments make her writing accessible and amusing but often to the detriment of context. Pedantic of me, I know, and so I urge you not to let these little things deter you from reading what is an otherwise brilliant regency romance.
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on 26 April 2012
I love reading regency romance, it's my guilty pleasure. Julie Ann Long is better than your average romance writer. She had me laughing out loud and really rooting for the h&h. I even cried! I like the fact that her heroines are strong women but not those "plucky" annoying characters that we're told we're supposed to love. Instead she reveals characters that you slowly fall in love with. She has a good plot, that focuses on the romance and you really feel that real love and understanding grow between the characters. I'm writing this review not just for this book, which is really good but also for the author as a whole. I read this book and loved it, it's definitely one of my favourites. Then for some reason some of the other blurbs about her other books plots just didn't appeal to me so I left them. Then when I did eventually read them I loved them. I like other authors like Mary Balogh, Julia Quinn and Lisa Kleypass so if you like them, I'd give some of this author's books a try. I'm a sucker for true love and I really feel she captures that feeling and intensity just spot on. Five out of five stars!
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on 25 April 2014
Originally published at Rookie Romance.

I really loved this! I thought it was a very refreshing story that deviates from some of the over-used plotlines that we see so often in historical romance.

Genevieve was a wonderful heroine. She's intelligent and passionate, but she keeps this passion well veiled underneath a calm and composed exterior. Everyone thinks she's the sensible Eversea, but really she just keeps herself very composed. She's a very interesting mix of innocence and mischief. I admired that she was so steadfast in her love for her best friend, Harry, even if I was screaming inside for her to realise her true feelings for Alex! Genevieve really comes into her own as a person and as a woman as the story progresses, and it was really brilliantly done. I truly applaud Julie Anne Long for writing such a well developed and realistic heroine!

Alex, the Duke of Falconbridge, is one of the best heroes I've read about in a while. He is divine, in his own way. He's not a handsome young rogue. He's mature, confident and is comfortable in his own skin- all of which is incredibly appealing. He's brutally honest at times and unapologetic about it, but sometimes that frankness translates into a beautiful honesty that had me swooning. He's lived a life with plenty of ups and downs, so in a way he's weary and he doesn't play games. Whilst Alex originally starts pursuing Genevieve to enact revenge upon her brother, Ian, he soon stops this plan and rather starts pursuing her simply because he wants to.

I adore Alex and Genevieve as a couple. I thought he gave her the opportunity to find herself and embrace her true nature. Whilst Genevieve is able to break through the walls he's erected around himself and his heart. Plus, they had awesome chemistry. Even when she knew she shouldn't, Genevieve can't stop herself from seeking him out. I also loved how they continued to torture Ian even after Genevieve was aware of Alex's revenge plans, it was hilarious and he definitely deserved it.

I really enjoy Julia Anne Long's writing style. She writes with a fun, mischievous sense of humour, and a direct intelligence that was very appealing. This is only the second book I've read by her, but I'm determined to read the rest of this series. I actually read this one because Genevieve and Alex are in book 9, Between the Devil and Ian Eversea, and I really liked them in it and wanted to read their story. A very good choice, indeed!

Honestly I would recommend this to everyone! It's a sweet, romantic and fun story that sweeps you off your feet. Alex Moncrieffe is definitely being added to my list of favourite heroes, and I have no doubt that list will continue to grow as I dive into Julie Anne Long's backlist.
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on 10 December 2015
Loved this book! Very original from the start it was all about honesty between the H&H. Very witty and very sensual a definable keeper.
Just one fault, wish the writer would give a longer ending between H&H? Always find writers seem to give up at the end and can't seem to commit to an epilogue that is worthy of the reader, just two or three pages more of 'happy ever after' that's all I ask! It's like being dropped off in a cab two streets away from your home. You know you can make the 5 min walk but you paid for the full ride home!!!!?
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on 2 May 2014
I bought the book almost 2 years ago and have just got round to reading it. I wish I'd read it sooner. This is the first Julie Anne Long book I've read, but it's very unlikely to be the last. I enjoyed the plot and loved all the characters. The family interaction between the Everseas was very entertaining and I could imagine having siblings like them. Genevieve is delightful - a little quieter at first than many heroines, but she goes on a journey into maturity as the book progresses and finds out much about herself that had been hidden beneath her calm exterior.

I found the hero absolutely captivating. At first he is enigmatic and dark and he remains a very private man throughout. A little more mature than most heroes, he is gradually revealed to be sensitive and generous to the few people he cares for. His seduction of Genevieve is strategically planned and he allows her to make some mistakes and come to a realisation of her own feelings for him without first telling her in words how he feels. The time they spend alone together is very revealing and I loved the way Genevieve roams the house looking for him, especially when he chooses not to be found!

All in all, I Ioved the book and this will definitely be a keeper.
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on 11 July 2015
Two interesting characters in the H&h and an intriguing plot.
Very entertaining and the best of the Eversea side of the series.
Two irritating points in the novel; firstly people of this station do not eat in the KITCHEN nor are they served by the COOK. GRRRR!
These aren't really Regency people in their manners, language or their behaviour. They are 'modern' people who bow, curtsy and wear period clothes!
Nevertheless, a great Adventure series with a nod towards the historical. This and others from the series highly recommended.
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on 7 February 2015
This is my first Julie Anne Long novel. I loved it.

The opening scenes are hilarious and the humour continues throughout the novel.

Having lived life fully, our hero, Moncrieffe is introduced to us as a 40 year old Duke engaged to be married. Ian Eversea thwarts those marriage plans in a shameful way.

Powerful and ruthless, Moncrieffe decides to punish Ian Eversea by seducing and abandoning Ian's sister, Genevieve.
Moncrieffe is an experienced man. Genevieve is no pushover, however. When he commences his seduction of innocent Genevieve, he surprisingly finds himself enchanted.

Moncrieffe and Genevieve are well matched regardless of an almost 20 year age difference. Their dialogue is witty and heart melting. Some readers may have difficulty with the age difference. I did at first. However, the characters are so likeable, and as I was so enchanted with Moncrieffe, my unease evaporated.

The couple do engage in a physical relationship and wow, it's good and hot, because the build-up to it is spot on. By the time sexy-times started, the emotion had swept me off my feet. This is my sort of romance - one that unfolds at this pace.

The writing is clever, humorous and beautiful. What a pleasurable experience it was reading this book. When I finished, I turned back to the beginning and started reading it again. It was that good, in my opinion.

This is book 5 out of 10 books (so far) in the Pennyroyal Green series. I am hooked.
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VINE VOICEon 10 December 2012
Another joy in the Pennyroyal Green series. I loved the start of this - it established our hero brilliantly - the power and control he exudes is just wonderful. Our heroine, with her crushed hopes and broken heart is also well set up, and their first meeting doesn't exactly sparkle - they're both too damaged by life to be bothered.
So, I liked this. A lot. It made me laugh at times, and smile a lot. Ms Long excels at writing witty and challenging conversations between intelligent adults. I've read it twice now, and know I will read it again.
My only gripes are that our hero was a tad over-noble towards the end and oh-so nearly lost the lady, and while I have no real problem with large age gaps in romances, this one is quite a biggie, and that is made rather much of at times.
The supporting characters are wonderful, some familiar faces show up, and the setting - a country house party - is well described.
Well worth the read, as is the rest of the series - but best to start at the beginning, The Perils of Pleasure.
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on 9 March 2011
I'll be succinct as the first reviewer has outlined the story in detail. I've read the Pennyroyal series and good as they are, this is the best by far. Julie Anne Long has plotted a well-written, well structured book. And yet the protagonists are not, on the surface, promising material! The Duke, having been cuckolded is determined on revenge. He decides he will seduce and then abandon the man's sister. But he soon discovers she is in love with another man and is oblivious to his attentions. These two disperate characters enjoy spiky, amusing conversations which make them re-think their lives. And sl-o-w-ly they realise that what they thought they wanted is not what they want their future to be now. It is a delicious, enjoyable and believable read and will go in my keeper drawer.
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