Friday, November 2, 2012

On Titian: A Review of What I Did For a Duke by Julie Anne Long

What I Did For a Duke (Pennyroyal Green, #5)Well, folks...I put off reviewing this book because it's book 5 in it's series, and I have in fact reviewed the first three books, but not #4, and I hate to review out of order...but I guess I'm going to, since it may take a week or two for me to actually get around to book 4. Book 4 will be reviewed here, fear not. I hope this doesn't confuse anyone. I will say that What I Did For a Duke stood very well on its own, and I don't think you necessarily need to read the series in order. Though I always prefer to. Anyway, on to the review!

The duke described in our title is Alexander Moncrieffe, and he's out for a little revenge sex. Because, you see, Ian Eversea almost slept with Moncrieffe's (now ex) fiance, and so Moncrieffe thinks that the perfect revenge will be to deflower and abandon Ian's beloved sister, Genevieve. Genevieve, however, proves to be more than a match for the duke in terms of intelligence and perceptiveness, and he finds he feels some real emotion for her. Not to mention that Genevieve is feeling a bit melancholy, and nursing a broken heart after Harry (her best friend, and the love of her young life), tells her that he plans to propose to another girl.

Positive Comments


There are a lot of good things to be said for this book, but many of them can't be said in a spoiler free review. What I can say, in general terms, is that I really loved the characters, and as a result I really enjoyed their romance. I loved Genevieve for her quiet wittiness. I loved how misunderstood she was--seemingly shy and plain, but secretly in possession of very strong and passionate feelings. We learn this when she describes her love for art, and for brightly colored flowers, and so forth. Her family and friends never see her in this light, but the duke does. Moncrieffe is an older hero, and he's loved and lost before. I loved how good he was at reading and knowing people.

I love the rest of the cast, too. I though Ian was rather hilarious. Like many very young men, he's all sex drive and no sense. Harry annoyed me a bit, but again much of his flawed character can be attributed to immaturity and inexperience, and I feel that he could easily be redeemed once he grows up a bit. Initially Harry seems like a good match for Genevieve, but once you get to know them you realize that they aren't quite on the same playing field. Genevieve is ready to be challenged by love and enter a commitment, while Harry is still dealing in crushes and mind games as one does in high school.

I liked the touches of humor in this book. From the witty thoughts of our main characters, to the silly behaviors of our side characters, there's a great deal to make the reader smile.

Critical Comments


My only frustration with the plot is one that I really can't mention, it being a huge spoiler near the end. What I will say is that I was frustrated with Genevieve and how slow she was to understand her own emotions. I was frustrated that she caused pain because of it. I guess a love triangle is a love triangle, and it generally annoys me no matter where it's found.



Who would like this book? Certainly and Julie Anne Long fan, because he style and talent with creating likeable characters shows through in this book. I'm confident that most historical romance fans. Of the readers that I discussed this book with, the one that didn't like it mainly took issue with the age difference between the hero and heroine. So that would be my only major caution--if you don't like older men, stay away. And the love triangle thing. Other than that, it's a wonderful novel. 4 stars.  

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