Originally, I grabbed this title for a ‘discussion’ read with the Avon Addicts – and then life and nature intervened, and we never came around to the discussion because (and yes – this does happen) other things are more important than books. But Katharine Ashe returns to the blog today with the third in her Devil’s Duke series – this one sure to bring forward memories of other ‘old school’ titles that you read years ago. Please read on for my review of
Amarantha Vale and Gabriel Hume met years before in Jamaica – she was engaged to marry and he was a naval officer. Despite the difference in circumstance and place – the two found a connection that neither could forget. Now years have passed, and Amarantha, now widowed is in search of her sister in law – a trek that carries her to Scotland, where she hears tales of the “Devil’s Duke” with a dark reputation that keeps people at bay. But, on learning the Duke’s name, Amarantha can’t make the two pieces of this puzzle connect – the Gabriel she knew with the man people claim he has become doesn’t mesh. And, discovering that he is still alive – the hurt and anger she felt at what she believed was his loss, and the steps her life took her through since that information came to her all create a firestorm. She must reunite with Gabriel – get answers to questions she’s had for all those years, and possibly find happiness.
For his part: Gabriel is content to let tales of his ‘dangerous nature’ take hold – he’s nothing like that as a kindly and caring man – interested only in keeping his people safe and his secret hidden. He’s never forgotten Amarantha – but can’t believe that her life didn’t follow the path set before her, including forgetting him. He’s never quite let go of that yearning though – and when the two actually do face one another, his kindness and obvious affection for her makes him a wonderful hero.
And with this sweeping romance – as he tries to ignore Amarantha’s rather dismissive and quick to anger temperament, her character is difficult in her often mercurial (and not so nice) reactions when her plans or views of the world are challenged. I honestly wasn’t a huge fan of hers, even the multiple opportunities to watch her interactions with the multitude of secondary characters were up and down for me – some good, some not so. But, to his credit – Gabriel’s affections and even his honest and open reveal of the secret that had a big hand in separating them years before are honorable – and his worry that she’s hardened her opinions of men and marriage so much as to shut her out won’t work in his favor. For Amarantha loves her rather sweeping proclamations of her decided opinions. And I often wished she didn’t.
But, this story has all of the appeal and ‘long lost love’ sighs that will appeal to most readers – with only moments of confusion arriving with the many secondary characters – making this a story best read in series order. I love Katharine Ashe’s ability to make her heroines stand from a feminist perspective – one that is often more modern in thought and custom than the era – but never shying away from showing that even the determined and self-defining Amarantha isn’t always one who is easy to get on with, reasoned or even reasonable as her story unfolds.
Title: The Duke
Author: Katharine Ashe
Series: Devil's Duke #3
Also in this series: The Rogue, The Pirate and I
Genre: Historical Romance, Regency, Setting: Britain, Setting: Jamaica, Setting: Scotland
Published by: Avon
Published on: 26 September, 2017
Source: Publisher Via Edelweiss
Heat: Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ IndieBound ♦ Book Depository ♦ Google
Katharine Ashe continues her lush and sensual Devil’s Duke series with a sweeping story of unbreakable love
Six years ago, when Lady Amarantha Vale was an innocent in a foreign land and Gabriel Hume was a young naval officer, they met . . . and played with fire.
Now Gabriel is the dark lord known to society as the Devil’s Duke, a notorious recluse hidden away in a castle in the Highlands. Only Amarantha knows the truth about him, and she won’t be intimidated. He is the one man who can give her the answers she needs.
But Gabriel cannot let her learn his darkest secret. So begins a game of wit and desire that proves seduction is more satisfying—and much more wicked—the second time around…
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher Via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.