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on 5 April 2016
Well I suppose I'm not alone in reading romance when I'm down in the dumps, and as such I suppose it might be cathartic, but there's quite a lot of misery and wretched longing and sacrifice... and really not quite enough joie de vivre for me to entirely enjoy it all.

The main characters are rather too perfect, their histories rather too victim-y - and I found self rather irritated by the drinking, which seemed to serve as some way to make the heroine seem less perfect, and a supporting character less admirable, but was never actually *addressed*, beyond some limpid half-strung comments to herself that I didn't really have much faith in - I wonder if some core scenes here were snipped out? A pity if so.

Nevertheless! Generally well written, and interesting enough characters, and I suppose if I'd been in the right place emotionally, or in life, I might have wallowed gloriously in it all. So, I'll keep the author on my 'maybe' list and thank them for the read, and might be tempted by something a little different in the future, maybe.
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on 16 October 2015
I did enjoy this story although I found the ending too abrupt and loose ends left untied. I suppose these loose ends are trailers for the next books in the series but this is unworthy of the author. Her books are good enough to leave you wanting to read the others without such unsubtle lures! What happened to Nelson? Would it have hurt to complete this and other minor storylines? Apart from these minor grumbles this is a lovely satisfying romance.
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on 26 April 2015
I enjoyed reading this story but did not find it as engaging as the others in this set. I, like others, found the premise difficult (Michael rusticates himself trying to break his brother's blackmail attempt, denies his lineage and potential wealth and meets Elizabeth who desperately needs to marry a wealthy man). I liked the two main characters and enjoyed Elizabeth's rehabilitation after making such a sorry spectacle of herself with her drinking and hankering after the despicable 'Nello' but was not as engaged by this story as by others in Ms Duran's catalogue.
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on 24 October 2014
I enjoyed Duran's style, but felt that the pacing was old-fashioned. So many obstacles! Too many — it took such a long time to get to the payoff, and then all of a sudden, the story was done.
I do like this author's voice though, and hope for the best in future novels.
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on 25 April 2013
I've read most of Meredith Duran's books and always enjoyed them - this being no exception. The hero has integrity, focus and strength - all of which made him very likeable. As for Elizabeth, it was nice to know that there was more to her than the rather pathetic drunk we met in Bound By Your Touch. It was also a pleasure to meet Sanburne again [now married] and smile at the sight of him going in search of strawberry tarts at 2.30 in the morning because Lydia has a craving for them. I did, however, feel that the end was rather rushed ... after months in the grip of what one can only assume was a nervous breakdown, Alastair caved in a bit too fast in my opinion. And my biggest criticism [which may seem petty] is that surely somebody involved in this book ought to have known - even if Ms Duran doesn't - that milliners make hats, not gowns. This mistake was repeated several times so was obviously not accidental. It's an enjoyable read, though - so I'd recommend it.
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on 27 August 2015
This is the second time I’ve read this novel. The story is so well done and the writing is absolutely beautiful.

Elizabeth is a reputed merry widow even though that is far from the truth. Lord Michael de Grey, brother to a Duke, is a medical doctor. Elizabeth and Michael are two wonderful characters who meet and fall for each other hard. They feel forced to fight their feelings for each other for completely understandable and noble reasons. It hurt me to feel them resisting their attraction and growing love.

The first time I read this novel, I did not like Elizabeth as much as I do now because I judged her. This time, I think I understood her and her circumstances better. When I stopped judging Elizabeth, I realised what a genuinely insightful and kind woman she is.

Michael was always the perfect hero, as far as I am concerned. He is wonderful. Both of them are genuinely good, ethical and loving people. I love it if I can actually admire characters in a book. That happened here. If a story can make my heart constrict with pain and leap with joy, the writer has talent. That happened here.

Read carefully any references to a minor character named Mather. She is important in the next novel in this series (Fool Me Twice), and it is riveting reading.

Meredith Duran has an extraordinary talent. Countless times I found myself re-reading whole paragraphs because of the beauty of her words.

Highly recommended.

*contains sex scenes

Note: The prequel novella to this series, Your Wicked Heart, is a 5 star romance too (in my opinion). Mather makes a brief appearance there as well.

And don't miss "Duke of Shadows" by Meredith Duran. It's a masterpiece in the Regency romance genre, in my opinion. Dark and gripping. That's 10 stars.
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on 30 July 2015
I did not feel that this book quite lived up to its promise. The plot was not too bad, but it came across as really rather dreary and depressing instead and missed the light touch and humour that may have lifted it. I found myself fast-forwarding through many of the chapters because nothing much was happening.
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on 28 February 2014
I've read all Meredith book and unfortunately this one is not to the level of The Duke of Shadows which remains a firm favourite. Although the hero Michael is mainly a nice chap, I am not finding him very engaging. The situation with his brother seems contrived, how can on one hand his brother be the one who protected him as child and on the other hand closes Michael's hospital because he does not obey him? Somehow the plot does not feel right. I also find the heroin Elizabeth very shallow. She obviously had a drink problem at the beginning of the book but somehow it cleared itself up on its own? Unlikely.The only interesting character is Mather who has more depth than the others. I hope she gets her own story. The book was slow going until the last 2 chapters were things were very rushed. Finally the cliff hanger at the end also annoyed me as I like my books to finish properly.
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on 3 February 2013
I didn't want to write this review for I love most of whatever Meredith Duran writes but this is not her best and I'll go so far as to say it's her worst book to date. Normally I read MD's book in one sitting ignoring the world around me but this one took me several days and what's worse I kept forgetting I had this book on my Kindle to finish reading it!

It pains me to give only 2 stars but with Meredith Duran I do expect better.

The book is about Mrs Elizabeth Cudderley who is the carefree widow in Bound by Your Touch and Michael de Grey - doctor and brother to the Duke of Marwick.

I could accept the shaky start as to how Michael goes into hiding away from his brother - although personally it felt forced. The first chapters of how the two meet are interesting and there is hope for a sizzling book but it all goes downhill from there. There was just no interesting plot, just a really boring story. There are pages and pages of Liza moaning about her disastorous love life and from being a really interesting character in previous books she ends up being a bit of wet fish. Michael de Grey as a hero is ok but the whole relationship/conflict with his brother is tenuous at best.

The book still had the great writing, brilliant intimate scenes and lots and lots of romance. All the good stuff but the story was really sorely lacking.

This whole book felt like a bit of a set up for series (with characters such as Liza's secretary to follow as the heroine in the next book) but it isn't that encouraging.

I'm going to treat this as an anomaly on Meredith Duran's part and go back to re-reading her best like The Duke of Shadows or Bound by Your Touch.
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on 10 April 2013
I felt I had to write in defense of this book. I nearly didn't bother with it after reading the last review but was so very glad that I did. I have read most of Merdith Duran's books and enjoyed all of them and this was definitely no exception. In fact this was one of my favourites! The dialogue was gorgeous often highly amusing sometimes heartrending. I particularly liked the two protaganists who were both willing to give up their own chances of happiness in order that those who relied on them would not suffer. It was refreshing to have a nobleman who was not just part of the 'idle rich' and actually had a profession. Well done Ms Duran keep it flowing. When looking for simiar books in this genre, do keep Julie Anne Long and Sherry Thomas in mind.
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