Saturday, March 3, 2012

REVIEW: A Duke of Her Own

Title: A Duke of Her Own
Author: Lorraine Heath
Series: Rogues and Roses
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: HarperCollins e-books
Format: Kindle e-book
# of pages: 368
Source: bought from Amazon
(from Amazon)

Lady Louisa longs to marry for passion and love—but will she find happiness in the arms of the duke?
This is the first Lorraine Heath book that I've ever read, and it didn't disappoint.

A Duke of Her Own is set in an era of England where times are quickly changing.  The ton no longer lives as leisurely as they're used to, as they're now wrought with money concerns.  Most of them have hardly any money left, and the men of the ton are now looking to marry American heiresses for money.  And that leaves Lady Louisa without many options.  She is a lady of the ton without a dowry, thus basically eliminating any marriage prospects.  Realizing her situation and having no hope in it, she decides that she won't sit around to wait and see what happens with her future.  She takes it into her own hands and decides to post an ad in a women's paper advertising herself as a chaperone and social guide to an American lady.

She is hired by the Rose family, who has two daughters they'd like to see married to men with a title, and her brother, the Earl of Ravensley, and his friends, the Duke of Hawkhurst and Marquess of Falconridge, are ecstatic about this.  They all want to marry one of the Rose daughters and think they have an in through Louisa.  I'm not sure why the Rose daughters, Jenny and Kate, are their main focus.  It was never explained what made them more attractive than other American heiresses, but that's not that big of a deal, I guess.

Anyway, the men thought wrong, as Louisa does not think they are at all suitable for either of her charges.  But they try nonetheless, and Louisa has made a promise that, while she won't encourage their suit, she won't purposely hinder it either.  Since this is Hawkhurst's novel, it follows his suit of Jenny Rose, who he thinks will be the better of the two as his wife.  (Actually, all the men prefer Jenny, and I don't blame them!)  But though he's trying to court Jenny, all he can think about is Louisa, his friend's sister!

Mrs. Rose highly approves of Hawkhurst, as only a Duke will do for her daughters.  But Jenny has a mind of her own, and wants passion in her marriage!  She likes the Duke, but hasn't had time to see if he has the passion she's looking for, with her chaperone keeping a tight leash on her.  Besides, she's noticed the way the Duke looks at Louisa, and Jenny and Louisa have become friends throughout their time together.  And, more to the point, Jenny's just not ready to get married yet.

But Hawkhurst is getting desperate, as he has his mother and a secret sister to support.  So he plans to be caught compromising Jenny, in order to ensure marriage to her.  You know what they say about the best laid plans...especially when you tell a rival about them!  Instead, Hawkhurst is caught in a compromising position with Louisa, who he then marries.  Married life is good for them, but Louisa begins to realize the situation Hawk is in, and feels guilty.  So, she decides to do something that causes a bit of conflict, but in the end, all is well, as they realize their love for each other.  There wasn't anything too dramatic; no real shockers in this book.  Just a nice little story.

I like that they didn't just fall in love all of sudden.  Instead, in the beginning, they had a slight interest in each other that they didn't want to admit, and that interest grew as Hawkhurst attempted to court Jenny.  Instead of concentrating on courting Jenny, Hawkhurst couldn't stop thinking about Louisa.  Their love slowly built up, as they learned more about each other.

And I really liked both of the main characters too.  In addition to being the usual strong male, Hawkhurst was kind and passionate, while Louisa was strong, independent and also passionate.  I also liked Jenny Rose and her brother Jeremy Rose.  Jeremy is mentioned more in the last half of the book, and him and Louisa are friendly with each other.  He becomes he champion after Hawkhurst compromises her.  I'm looking forward to his story, as well as Jenny's.  I'm guessing that Jenny will most likely end up with Louisa's brother, as she was dallying with him in this book.  Though I have no idea who Jeremy will end up with, or even if he will have a book in this series.  I hope Ms. Heath writes him a story.  As for Kate Rose...I have to say, I didn't like her very much.  Her story is already out, the second installment of this series.  She ends up with the Marquess of Falconridge, and from the reviews I read, she doesn't change at all from how she is in this book.  The reviews made her seem even worse.  So, I think I'll skip her story.  But I really want to read Jenny's story and Jeremy's story, as Louisa has promised to help him find a wife.  I hope Ms. Heath's muse decides to give her inspiration to write both books soon!

Plot - ★★★★
Characters - ★★★★
Ending - ★★★★★
Overall - ★★★★

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