Title: What the Duke Desires
Author: Sabrina Jeffries
Publisher: Pocket Books
Release Date: June 18, 2013
Book Source: Paperback from Author
Maximilian Cale, the Duke of Lyons, long ago buried his grief for his missing elder brother, Peter, who was presumed dead after being kidnapped. When a mysterious note arrives from Tristan Bonnaud asserting that the Duke’s brother is alive, it leads Max straight to the winsome Lisette Bonnaud, illegitimate daughter of a viscount and Tristan’s sister. Soon he and Lisette are traveling to Paris posing as husband and wife, in search of Tristan, who has disappeared. And the longer he spends with Lisette, the easier it is for Max to see that the line between dukedom and desire is easier to cross than he imagined…
I do not often read straight up romance books. Usually my romance comes from Urban Fantasy, but I thoroughly enjoyed this book. And it’s a mystery to boot, with the future books in the series revolving around an investigative agency, so this makes me even more happy, since I enjoy mysteries.
The heroine, Lisette, is a strong willed woman that is out of place from most of the other women in the early 1800’s. Lisette’s mother was the mistress to a viscount, who kept promising to marry her, but never got around to it. So Lisette doesn’t want to wait for a husband to have her life just revolve around him. She wants to explore the world, and has the confidence to do so.
One thing that can drive me nuts with Romances is the “I’m falling in love with you, but I know you don’t/can’t love me, so I can’t let you know I love you”, plots. Although this book did have that, it wasn’t so in your face, that it made me want to stop reading. It was there through a lot of the book, but I felt as though Max and Lisette both had legitimate reasons for acting that way.
Now onto the sex scenes! In a ratio to the rest of the book, I would say they occupied a sixth of the book, but it was the perfect amount. In some series, such as the Anita Blake series by Laurell K. Hamilton (about 10 books in, or so), there are sex scenes in almost every chapter. If that’s what you want to read, cool, but I want more story with my sex.
The scenes progressed nicely, with hot kisses and touching to help Lisette drop her guard a bit, to the first time they made love, to the scenes where their passion for each other is so intense that they need each other right that second.
I enjoyed that the plot was fast-paced, had some mystery and a touch of danger, but at the same time the characters were really well developed. The ending was a bit rushed, but I find that in so many mysteries, crime and thrillers that it’s not unexpected.
Jeffries masterly introduced characters at the end which could flow perfectly into the next book, which is “When the Rogue Returns”, or into future books in the series. She also has five others series and goes by two pseudonyms; Deborah Martin and Deborah Nicholas. So there are lots of books by her to enjoy!
*Disclaimer: I did win the four book series from a monthly contest on Writer Space but I was not asked to write a review. I’m doing that because I enjoyed the book, and hope others will read it too.
If you have never checked out Writer Space, you should. It’s a great community for readers and writers, they have monthly contests and you can learn about new books coming out.