[Reading] ➿ The Duke Author Gaelen Foley – Gsagency.co

This book is 1.99 today I should probably warn my friends most of whom enjoyed this book that they probably don t want to read my review And if they do, to just keep in mind that I m not criticizing you for liking it I usually don t make this statement, but somehow all but four of my friends gave this book over four stars And a lot of them have read it So, you re warned Moving onI d heard that this book was angsty What I didn t hear is that it s a hot mess Honestly, I would never term this book angsty It s over done and drama filled, but it s not angsty Angst to me takes a depth and darkness that this book just didn t have This was like the Disney version of the courtesan prostitute Romances Robert irritated me at times, but my biggest gripe about this story was Bel What irritates me the most is that she had the opportunity to be a really interesting character, but wasn t Bel seemed incredibly young whenever she played the courtesan I never felt that the role sat well on her so it was a little hard to believe that everyone was so enad of her She was like a little girl dressing up in mommy s clothes and playing a role, thinking that she knew what she was talking about It was incredibly irritating She kept regurgitating these courtesan rules that she had been taught, but they just made her seem even naive The fact that she thought getting a protector would keep her from ever being abused made her dumb as rocks to me She kept glamorizing her role, thinking that she had rights, and it drove me nuts that no one ever proved her wrong But honestly a lot of her personality and thought process didn t make sense to me She was supposedly terrified of having sex with a man and was worried about being able to perform her courtesan role, so Robert s ruse seemed perfect for her Now I can totally accept this What I can t accept is the fact that a woman terrified of sex would be the aggressor in a lot of close contact situations unnecessary to their agreement She cuddled up with him and rubbed his head and even gave him head but still was terrified of sex when the plot called for it Her back and forth attitude made her seem bipolar and like a tease I have a very hard time accepting that a rape victim terrified of intimacy would only be frightened of actual penetration by a penis but was gung ho for everything else That makes no sense In addition to that, Bel seemed to have no inner awareness of her role in life She walked into Robert s life and took charge of his household and just generally grated on my nerves It s not just the fact that she was a prostitute doing this that bugged me I have a problem with the way Romance novels frequently have servants of any type step above their station with no awareness that what they re doing is really ballsy I mean, she was in a duke s household The lack of awareness of this fact really bugged me.That leads me to my next gripe the actual duke, Robert I generally like the aloof, stuffy aristocrats, but Robert was something else He was judgmental and apt to fly off the handle whenever things didn t go the way he thought they should He was also an emotional mess and very weak willed He s participating in this plot an incredibly dumb plot because of his love for the married saint, Lucy But then he realizes that he s only in love with the idea of her But he doesn t stop the stupid plot I just had a problem with the whole setup because it seemed like a really dumb plan in the first place In addition to this he is also presented as a paragon He supposedly hasn t even consorted with courtesans before So I have a hard time believing he would have installed his mistress in his home or have taken her to spend time with his family members in the country He d have flashes where he d seem lifelike admitting that even though he lusted after her, he still looked down on her for her profession or being appalled at the thought that someone who thought it was okay to become a courtesan had taught his little sister but then would lose it again I found Robert s attitude toward marrying Bel to be the most realistic part of the book The last hundred pages is where I finally became hooked and is what bumped the grade of the book up I still found Robert hard to swallow as a duke, but he and Bel finally dealt with a realistic issue that made sense over the fact that they couldn t marry each other That s the part when I felt the book really started to shine Bel s inner struggle with accepting it and Robert s fear that she would leave him when he married was well done The actual end was rather silly, but I was pleased enough by that point to only roll my eyes a little when I read it Edited to add I forgot to say how irritating I found it that the back of the book referred to Bel as London s most provocative courtesan when she hadn t even slept with anyone else Like I said, it s the Disney version here. Driven To Uncover The Truth About The Mysterious Death Of His Ladylove, The Duke Of Hawkscliffe Will Go To Any Lengths To Unmask A Murderer Even If It Means Jeopardizing His Reputation By Engaging In A Scandalous Affair With London S Most Provocative Courtesan The Desirable But Aloof Belinda HamiltonBel Has Used Her Intelligence And Wit To Charm The City S Titled Gentlemen, While Struggling To Put The Pieces Of Her Life Back Together She Needs A Protector, So She Accepts Hawk S Invitation To Become His Mistress In Name Only He Asks Nothing Of Her Body, But Seeks Her Help In Snaring The Same Man Who Shattered Her Virtue Together They Tempt The Unforgiving Wrath Of Society Until Their Risky Charade Turns Into A Dangerous Attraction, And Bel Must Make A Devastating Decision That Could Ruin Her Last Chance At Love 4.5 starsFebruary must be courtesan month at my house Somehow I ve managed to read three in a row, all with variations on the same theme All with a different spin, all wonderful When I joined GoodReads and starting reading reviews I noticed that lots of people have issues with courtesan romances I don t get it, myself It s a plot device, no different than the spinster, or the rake, or the wallflower The courtesan is never really a courtesan she is almost always forced into it due to circumstances beyond her control Most of the time if she isn t still a virgin she is so inexperienced she might as well be It is always a romanticized version of a kept woman or mistress no street walkers, doxies or gin hounds inhabit the pages of historical romance novels Or at least, not as the heroine Some of the most romantic, sigh worthy stories I have read have been about courtesans And look at Pretty Woman there s a reason that movie was so popular, and it wasn t all because of Richard Gere.The first one I read this month was The Duke.I loved Robert, Duke of Hawkscliffe Uptight, somewhat repressed, shouldering an overwhelming burden of duty and honour for no other reason than that he has been told all of his life that he must Just the type of Hero that needs rescuing from himself.And Belinda Hamilton I have been reading historical romances for years, and the sheer tenuousness of a woman s position in that society has never been brought home to me clearly than in this book In the blink of an eye, Bel loses her father to gaol, her position as teacher at a finishing school, her home, her intended and her future When we meet her she is selling oranges on a street corner All of this due to the whims of a spoiled wastrel named Dolph When she refuses him, he ruins her life Bel is attacked and raped by the warden from the gaol one night and when she recovers, she approaches a famous courtesan and finds sanctuary in her home Hawkscliffe and Bel ally themselves in order to gain revenge on a common enemy In the process, they fall in love.Their story is full of choices heartbreaking ones, like those in real life usually are Robert must choose between the life he has always thought he would lead, and the life that he actually wants Watching him fall in love very much in spite of himself , profess his love, then make some really bad decisions based on what he thinks he should do rather than what he wants to do, is wrenching And Bel she must choose as well To stay with the man she loves and share him, or to leave him, knowing how much he loves her, in order to be true to herself.I cheered for these two all the way through the book To be honest I wasn t sure how it would end or if they would get their HEA, even though they deserved it so much Their story is wonderfully written The flirting they do with each other, when they dance together, when she hosts a political dinner at his home, when they kiss, it all feels REAL The joy they find in each other, the love they feel for one another fairly jumps off the pages And so do the love scenes, btw Very nicely done There is also a progression to their physical relationship that seems very real all in stages, just like real life What a wonderful story Angsty, full of emotion, a historical Pretty Woman With an ending as big, and as romantic, and as Aaaawwwww invoking as the one in the movie. No s por d nde empezar a hacer esta rese a.Supongo que primero tengo que darle las gracias a mi tocaya por recomend rmelo Y ahora intentar hablar un poco sobre el libro Conocemos por primera vez al duque Robert pongo el nombre porque el apellido es muy dif cil de recordar c mo se escribe cuando est llorando la p rdida de su amada, una mujer casada con un viejo amigo y lo de viejo es literal Y de nuevo no doy el nombre de ninguno porque ni me acuerdo a la que ha amado en silencio pero nunca ha hecho nada con ella Su viejo amigo, el muy conspirador, se acerca a Robert para comentarle sus sospechas de que cree que la muerte de su esposa no fue accidental como dijo el juez, cree que alguien la ha matado Robert no puede cre rselo y le pregunta si sospecha de alguien, y el hombre, asusto zorro como es, dice que sospecha de su sobrino Dolph no s ni si lo estoy escribiendo bien, para los nombres soy horrible Es entonces cuando propone a Robert que vengue la muerte de su esposa matando a Dolph una vez confiese que ha asesinado a su esposa En el camino de esa investigaci n de supuesto asesinato, donde Robert busca una debilidad con la que atacar a Dolph, conoce a Belinda, una mujer que ha tenido que pasar las penurias m s horribles por culpa del imbecil de Dolph Un trato que lleve a una venganza, dar mucho de si en la relaci n entre Robert y Belinda.Ayyyyyy, ahora como os explico los sentimientos que me ha producido este libro Lo empec esc ptica de todo La sinopsis no me llamaba y no cre que pudiese engancharme Pero que tonta yo, que en cuanto lo empec no pude soltarlo Ya pod is comprobar que con lo extenso que es me lo he le do en un d a Me he enamorado de Robert, aunque a veces su ira le hac a decir cosas que me daban ganas de pegarle Pero es que el amor que sent a por Belinda fue precioso La autora tiene una forma de escribir que, incluso con lo que odie a Dolph, al final incluso llore por el Y el drama de toda la historia, bueno, simplemente Belinda me hizo sentir muy orgullosa en ciertos momentos Creo que, en esa poca, plantarle cara a un hombre era algo impresionante as que se merec a un aplauso enorme Me ha encantado el libro, lo recomiendo much simo Creo que todo el que lo leyera lo disfrutar a de la misma manera Everybody fails me, Robert, she whispered, staring at him a young girl without hope, without dreams I won t, he said without a second s hesitation to his own vast astonishmentview spoiler But sadly he does Just like all the other men in her life The boy she was engaged to The obsessive villain who claims to love her but initiates her ruin Her silly, unworldly father who, perhaps, fails her the most And for all his espousing the courtly kind of love for the ow actually or his sobriquet of the paragon duke, the H is just a mortal man with feet heart principles of clay.An absolutely riveting story This story made me feel uneasy at times but its hold on the heart and emotions is tenacious And it s the h who makes it special her life, her struggles, her spirit, her character, her absolutely magnetic charm especially as the flirtatious and alluring courtesan She s always adorable and admirable and uplifts the sanctimonious H as well.There wasn t a moment when I didn t feel for or empathise with the poor, brave h She goes to hell and back but her spirit remains unbroken and beautiful Whether as the brave and idealistic but oh so naive young girl fighting the world all alone to save her irresponsible papa and her own virtue in the beginning Or as the bruised but not broken woman who accepts the society s dictates but on her own terms.Then as the determined but still naive coquette who, much against her mentor s teachings, selflessly gives her all to a man who not only loves and grieves another quite the regency Lancelot but is revealed as a supercilious snob who might easily bandy around words like love and always but is not noble enough to honour these words She may have asked for a protector, but in her heart she longed for devotionWhen a courtesan loves, she is destroyed You are my lady and I fight for your honor Un pc but I like a H who gets down and dirty even kills to avenge his woman But love is so much than that It s how you value and honour the person you espouse to love It s to give your bond and relationship validation and a name status And not treat it like a dirty secret That one small word lady he had to know it meant the world to her. And certainly not put a monetary value on things too precious to be treated that way How he had underestimated her, undervalued her so supremely arrogant, handing down his rulings and opinions as if they were God s own truth on stone tablets He had been blind, but he could see it all so clearly now what he had lost.Belinda, his bluebell and bonny blue her father s Lindabel Sweet cherishing nicknames, but surely hollow and meaningless.He doesn t really grovel but makes do with a knight on white charger routine teamed with a public declaration But then she isn t the type of girl who holds out for Ever.She has always loved him and she has always forgiven him hide spoiler After a sexual assault Belinda Hamiltion is at a lost to do with her life, and in a fit of rage and anger at the man who put her there decides the only course of action to somehow fix her life is to become a courtesan Hoping that one day she ll have a protector gentle and kind to take care of her When the knight in shining armor does arrive, he has other plans for her and it has nothing to do with her new learned courtesan skills The Duke of Hawkscliff, Rober Knight has lost the woman he loves to murder and knowing who may be behind it sets up a plan to lure the murderer out and his lure is none other then the celebrated courtesan Ms.Hamiltion Only he didn t think he be the only falling into his own trap and falling in love with the innocent eyed Bel As Bel and Robert set up a plan to trap the man who wreaked both their lives, but soon the plan is forgotten in the London haze as both between light hearted banter and tears and heartbreak start to fight a losing battle toward their hearts as the famous Paragon Duke falls in love with the all to innocent courtesan The Duke touches a cord deep in you as your pulled deeper into both the lives of Bel and Robert Both have suffered greatly at the hands of others and even the ones they love, but instead of crying about it Bel takes matters into her own hands and does everything in her power to fight against what happen to her even at the lost of her heart and mind She was such a strong character with her smarts and wicked banter that draws out Robert, you can t help but wanna hold her in your arms and cry for her While I did find it unbelievable she would be around men and Robert who wanted to touched and hold her after her rape as rape victims want nothing to do with either, Gaelen Foley wasn t done telling the story and when Bel finally tries to make love with Robert freaks out and runs away Then your show other side of these deep complex characters as Bel isn t the only one doing the healing in the relationship of past hurts and pains, Robert heals the wounds on not only her body but her very soul I fell in love with Robert as Bel did, he was charming and caring, with a strong sense of justice but could be bloodthirsty when someone he loved was hurt He was not without his flaws though, far from it, he was so imperfect in his views of his mother and then later his title as he lost Bel to it You fall in love with him, because instead of hiding behind anger or making the woman he loved crawl back to him, he owned up to his faults and finally threw caution to the wind and went with his heart instead of his head I ve read many romance novels with the woman having to give up to be with the man she loves, Robert gave up just as much to be with Bel as Bel gave up in her life So when Robert and Bel finally do make love, it s beautiful, it goes deeper then just the act of sex, but one of love that burns you up like a flash fire but makes believe in love and romance between two people Instead of piling it on you on the who s who in the book, Gaelen Foley settles with a mention and tidbits of each of Robert s family and their trade and a little of their pasts, not straying far from Bel and Robert and their story Which I found very fitting and relaxing instead of having the story dragged down with to much info The secondary characters and villains pushed the story along wonderfully as the mystery behind the death of Lucy Robert s dream of a love is revealed slowly and not rushed through With the ending leaving you page turning, wondering what would happen next between Robert whom at the time I wanted to kick in the butt and Bel But the ending was justmagical Overall romantic, charming, sad, magical all these things and make up The Duke with it s strong tale of love between two people and the boundaries both are willing to cross to be with one another Beautiful. A re read.Okay, this is a standard bearer Regency romance for me Maaaayyybbbeeeee, it s not the five star I first gave it, but it s a solid 4 for romance, emotional development, sexual woohoo tension, and great characters Hint I actually remember their names Usually, I m ummmm.the h and the HBelinda is a sweet, intelligent, enchanting heroine with a spine of steel determined to survive as long as she is honorable Dolph, the dolt, has his eye on her and brings her life crumbling down to the point that she loses any position in society, is forced to sell oranges then is slowly pushed into being a courtesan as her choices are gone Or She will also be known as a demirep and sometimes whore Belinda takes in the role as much to get revenge on Dolph as to support herself.Hawk, yum, is the the Duke Honorable, stalwart, stuffy and head of a household of mismatched children as mommy wasn t as proper as she should have been So with that background and the nature of being a Duke in Regency England, status is an essential part of his makeup Yeah, I know, I m already making excuses.Knowing that Hawk had unrequited love for another Peer s now dead wife, said evil manipulative Peer has asked Hawk to avenge her death Guess whose name pops up as the evil doer Dolph who happens to be the evil Peer s heir.Hawk and Belinda meet as she is trying to select a protector They are totally enthralled with each other and Foley does an excellent job showing it Charming flirtation They make a deal that he will pay her to act as bait, and there will be no sex Long story short the events pile up that solidify what great characters these two are as well as there ever deepening romance They suit each other in every way Somebody has to act like an idiot, and it s Hawk He falls into his Duke, I want my cake and eat it too role Was I mad Yes Did it add spice to the story Yes Did he redeem himself Yes There is a mild suspense mystery story in there I am not going to get into, but what a great book and a good setup for the rest of the series I ve read most of them, and hummuna hummuna.Trigger there is a rape scene No, not the perpetrator is not the H, but event is the impetus for her to become a courtesan It s not overly graphic but makes an impact. 5 stars Historical Regency RomanceThe Duke is such a beautiful, thoroughly romantic story In fact, it s pretty much the embodiment of why I m an ardent romance reader Because I just love being swept away in a moving, passionate story of two people who against all odds find deep, fulfilling, healing love and live out their happily ever after Call me an overly sentimental sapI don t carebecause love makes everything in this crazy merry go round of life worthwhile And this charming, heartrending, sensual, sweet, emotional, romantic love story about the paragon Duke of Hawkscliffe who falls hard for beautiful courtesan Belinda, who s fa ade of pride and strength masks painful secrets, might be a fairytale, but it s an affecting reminder of why love continues to enchant and inspire us all Big 5 stars from this devoted romance reader 5 Stars The Duke has earned a place of honor on my keepers bookshelf This was my first read of author Gaelen Foley and I was than pleasantly surprised, I was WOW ed and am finding myself, once again, indebted to my Goodreads friends who encouraged me to read this book The Duke is not merely a romance novel, it s a truly wonderful love story, rich in detail and emotionally compelling characters We re given a closer look than we usually get in historical romance novels, at English society s rules and class structure We see clearly what life was like for this those who have and those have naught, and what that means to the people of both ranks In fact, this book could have been called A Tale of Two Classes.As the story opens, we meet our hero, Robert Knight, Duke of Hawkscliffe, a man grief stricken over the death of his lady love who, at the time of her passing, was married to another man Lucy was young, vibrant and everything he had ever hoped for in a wife, but instead of marrying him, she wedded James Breckenridge, the earl of Coldfell, a man well past being old enough to be her father Robert has been given some information that would indicate that Lucy didn t accidentally drown as they had at first believed, but was murdered Finding the person responsible has become his life s mission however long it takes, he ll find her killer and make them pay, no matter what.Belinda Hamilton is being pursued by Dolph Breckenridge, a spoiled young man with an exaggerated and entirely unfounded sense of his own self importance He s set on marrying Belinda, but her heart belongs to another, and so she repeatedly refuses his advances As a male of high ranking societal status, with too much power and influence, but lacking the integrity to use them responsibly, Dolph sets out to destroy Belinda By taking away everything and everyone dear to her, he believes that in the end, she ll be left with nothing and have no choice but to agree to marry him Using underhanded tactics, Dolph has her father thrown into debtor s prison, and makes sure Belinda loses her teaching position at a prestigious girl s school Having lost their family home, she s forced to sell oranges on the streets and take in mending and other odd jobs to earn enough to keep herself fed, and to ensure better living conditions for her father within his prison cell She s a woman of great integrity, and although she s found her life in ruins, she will not to allow herself to be ruined Sadly, in one tragic turn of events, however, she finds that sometimes, our choices are taken away from us and we have to make to make do with what fate has handed us.Thanks to an interesting chain of events and revelations, Hawkscliffe and Bel find themselves working together to reach their goals, in a story that runs the gamut of emotions I laughed, I cried, I cheered, I sighed in short, I was captivated by both the story and the players and never once gave up hoping that against all odds, in each other they d find their happily ever after.In my opinion, Gaelen Foley s writing is the perfect blend of the refined diction we would expect from early 1800 s England, without affecting the flow of dialog by using words and phrases that, while historically accurate, would only serve to confuse Her style reminds me of that of Loretta Chase and Anna Campbell, whose books I truly love, and The Duke has a storyline that simply draws the reader in and hold their attention from the first page to the last so needless to say, this was a great read and I m looking forward to continuing the Knights Miscellany series.