25 May 2011

REVIEW: What I Did For A Duke by Julie Anne Long

what i did for a duke
Julie Anne Long
ISBN #:  978-0-06-188568-6
Publisher Name:  HarperCollins/Avon
Date Released:  March 2011
Genre: Historical Romance
Book Format:  Print.


BACK COVER BLURB:
For years, he’s been an object of fear, fascination . . . and fantasy. But of all the wicked rumors that shadow the formidable Alexander Moncrieffe, Duke of Falconbridbe, the ton knows one thing for certain: only fools dare cross him. And when Ian Eversea does just that, Moncrieffe knows the perfect revenge: he’ll seduce Ian’s innocent sister, Genevieve – the only Eversea as yet untouched by scandal. First he’ll capture her heart . . . and then he’ll break it.

But everything about Genevieve is unexpected the passion simmering beneath her cool control, the sharp wit tempered by gentleness . . . And through Genevieve has heard the whispers about the duke’s dark past, and knows she trifles with him at her peril, one incendiary kiss tempts her deeper into a world of extraordinary sensuality. Until Genevieve is faced with a fateful choice . . . is there anything she won’t do for a duke?

COVER SNARK:
Nothing to write home about. I don’t get the flowing hair thing. I mean really, what are they supposed to be doing?


FIRST LINES:

From a deucedly awkward crouch between a birdbath and shrubbery in the back garden of a Sussex manor house, Ian Eversea watched the silhouette of a woman pass tantalizingly once . . . twice . . . Hallelujah! Three times! – before the upper story window.


FAVORITE LINES:

"A proper kiss, Miss Eversea, should turn you inside out. It should . . . touch places in you that you didn't know existed, set them ablaze, until your entire being is hungry and wild. It should . . . hold a moment, I wnt to explain this as clearly as possible . . ." He tipped his head back and paused to consider, as though he was envisioning this and wanted to relate every detail correctly. "It should slice right down through you like a cutlass with a pleasure so devestating it's very nearly pain."



LYNETTE'S TWO CENTS:

WHAT I DID FOR A DUKE is a stupid title that I just didn’t get. I didn’t think it had anything to do with the premise of the book. What really did Genevieve do for the Duke? Maybe I’m being a little too literal, but I just didn’t see the point of that title. Sorry, I just had to put that out there.

I first requested WHAT I DID FOR THE DUKE at the library. I requested without looking at the back cover blurb. Whenever I see that my library orders romance titles, I usually just request them blind hoping that I can increase the circulation runs of the book. It’s a weird quirk that I have. When I received WHAT I DID FOR A DUKE I read the back cover blurb (see above), and immediately got turned off. I sent it back to the library unread. I sent it back because I HATE, HATE, HATE revenge stories. I think they are so stupid, because the person who is enacting the revenge very rarely does it against the person they feel used them. It’s always an innocent person. That makes me not like the character right off the bat.

Anyhoo, a couple weeks later, I was on Twitter and Jackie Barbosa had mentioned reading WHAT I DID FOR A DUKE and liking it very much. I was talking to her about why I returned the book based upon the blurb, she told me to give the book a chance and that the back cover blurb didn’t do it justice. So I requested the book again.

And . . . she was right. DEAR AVON, YOU REALLY NEED TO RETHINK HOW YOU DID THIS BLURB BECAUSE YOU ARE SERIOUSLY TURNING OFF READERS. THE BLURB ON THIS BOOK TOTALLLY BITES A BIG ONE. YOUR TRULY, LYNETTE.

WHAT I DID FOR A DUKE, is a well written, entertaining story that reminds me of Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton series. That normally would’ve irritated me the resemblance, but the author pulled it off for me that I noticed the connection but the author made it her own.

Genevieve is the youngest of a large, close-knit family (I haven’t read the other books) known for causing scandal. She is considered the normal, sensible one. When the Duke of Falconbridge comes to her family’s house party, her mother throws her in his path hoping that Genevieve will make a match with him. Genevieve however, is suffering from heartbreak. The man she is love with has confided to her that he plans to propose to her best friend. The Duke of Falconbridge has also come to the house party with a purpose, to make her brother’s life miserable (not necessarily to seduce and toss away Genevieve like the crappy back cover implies) for sleeping with his fiancée (he caught them, which was a very funny scene) and which caused the end of their engagement. From the moment he meets Genevieve, he recognizes that she is not someone who he can easily impress or fool, for they are both intelligent enough to see behind the facades each prepare for the world. In the end they decide to help each other out, Falconbridge to help Genevieve’s love see what he’s missing so he doesn’t propose to the other girl and Genevieve to help Falconbridge make her brother see that there are consequences to his actions. However, along the way their friendship turns into admiration. Yada, yada, yada.

One of the other tropes of romance novels that I don’t like is when the heroine is in love with someone else at the beginning of the book because she is young, naïve and stupid, and can’t see the man in front of her for what he is. This novel has that but I am surprised at how much that didn’t bother me. That is a testament to the author’s writing. Instead on dwelling of Genevieve’s stupidity of not seeing how her friend could be something more, what was holding her back was their age difference. Genevieve was twenty and Falconbridge is described as nearly forty. I totally bought into her hesitance, because I remember myself in my twenties and I was in a similar position and I just couldn’t get over the age thing. Now that I am nearly forty myself I am thinking what a rank idiot I was back then. LOL.

Overall, though some of the tropes drove me crazy (revenge, coming of age stupidity) the author’s writing totally pulled me in and made it believable, which made me really enjoy WHAT I DID FOR A DUKE. She is an author I’ll want to read again.

WHERE PURCHASED:
Borrowed from my local library.


RATING:

 



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1 people posted their 2 cents:

A Buckeye Girl Reads said...

I have to admit..the blurb doesn't pull the reader right in. I think I would've passed on it as well. You're a tough critic, & have convinced me to give this one a try.

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