WHAT I DID FOR A DUKE – Julie Anne Long
Penny Royal Green Series , Book 5
A Perfect 10
England – 1800's
Alexander Moncrieffe, the sixth Duke of Falconbridge, is not well liked; in fact, he is feared, and some even say that he poisoned his wife a decade ago. He is affianced to Lady Abigail, and now he finds her in bed with Ian Eversea. Moncrieffe throws Ian's clothes out the window and suggests that Ian leave the same way. Ian leaves with only a ragged shirt and one boot. Moncrieffe's fiancée tries to entice him into bed, but he suggests she break their engagement and go on a protracted trip. It is said that Moncrieffe is good at exacting revenge and has told Ian that his punishment will fit the crime.
A week later, the Everseas host a house party. Genevieve Eversea is close friends with Lord Harry and Millicent. She has been waiting for Harry to propose marriage and is heartbroken when he tells her he hopes to marry Millicent. Much to Ian's horror, Alex Moncrieffe attends the house party. He even finds his lost boot on his bed! Genevieve's mother talks her into going on a walk with Moncrieffe and others. She hopes for a titled and wealthy gentleman for her daughter. Alex tries to talk to her, but finds her colorless and dull. He is determined to charm her in spite of her indifference. He has never failed to charm when he decides to seduce a woman. Alex finally gets her to smile, and he sees her beauty and intelligence.
Alex is a clever man; he has a parry and thrust conversation at the ball with Genevieve. She tries to shake him off onto other ladies, but inevitably saves the woman when he is too overbearing to them. She is illusive, and he realizes that she is mooning over Harry. He finds that he is enjoying his conversations with her. Will he compromise her and have his revenge?
Readers will know just what the duke has in mind to get his revenge when he shows up at the Eversea house party. But perhaps the tables can be turned on him, and he may find more than he bargained for! Alex is a marvelous, arrogant duke, sure of his power and unconcerned whether people like him or not. He didn't care about Abigail's defection because his heart was not touched, but he does not like to be thwarted, and perhaps he is lonely, although he would never admit it. Genevieve is a young woman heart-broken over Harry's choice. She is smart and has a quiet beauty. As he talks to her, Alex becomes more attracted, and she finds him enthralling because he is a man out of her experience.
Superb writing with clever conversations make Julie Anne Long a favorite of mine, and WHAT I DID FOR A DUKE certainly does not disappoint! The storyline is fascinating, as are the characters in this marvelous tale. Sometimes amusing, sometimes serious, and always fascinating, this is another tale for my keeper shelf and a second read. The wonderful Eversea family has taken us on several romantic ventures, all with spectacular results, but this one is my favorite. It is a sizzling romance and an amazing story, the kind of book that you can't stop reading and hate to finish. We only give Perfect 10s for the best books at Romance Readers Today, but this one really deserves a 10+ or an 11. Don't miss it! I guarantee you will want to read all of Ms. Long's books after reading WHAT I DID FOR A DUKE! It is the best romance that I have read for a long time!