Last February I had the opportunity to read and review The Guardian Duke by Jamie Carie. The Guardian Duke is the first book in the Forgotten Castle series. I very much enjoyed the adventure part of the story and two of my daughters loved the book. So I had to jump at the chance to read and review The Forgiven Duke. We received confirmation that I would be receiving an advanced reader copy on Tailorbear’s 13th birthday. She was so excited. She declared the book her birthday present! This book releases July 12, 2012.
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About the Book: Tethered by her impulsive promise to marry Lord John Lemon - the path of least resistance - Alexandria Featherstone sets off toward Iceland in search of her parents with a leaden heart. A glimpse of her guardian, the Duke of St. Easton - the path less traveled by - on Dublin’s shore still haunts her.
Will he come after her? Will he drag her back to London, quelling her mission to rescue her treasure-seeking parents, or might he decide to throw caution to the wind and choose Foy Pour Devoir: “Faith for Duty,” the St. Easton motto. The Featherstone motto Valens et Volens: “Willing and Able,” beats in her heart and thrums through her veins. She will find her parents and find their love, no matter the cost.
The powerful yet wing-clipped Duke of St. Easton has never known the challenge that has become his life since hearing his ward’s name. Alexandria Featherstone will be the life or the death of him. Only time and God’s plan will reveal just how much this man can endure for the prize of love.
I did not enjoy this installment of the series as much as I did the first. I think I found the romance aspect of a little too much “over the top” and a bit unbelievable for my taste. I confess that I do not like Alexandra. I can’t relate to her and I find her immature, selfish and at times quite stupid. She is not the role model I would have for my daughters.
I did however enjoy the adventure mystery aspect. What exactly is/was Alexandria’s parents after? Where does Iceland fit in? Are the Spanish going to ruin everything? When will Alex realize that John Lemon is bad news?
I do have to point out though that this book should not be considered “historical fiction” in the sense of supplementing a study of the Regency period. I struggled with getting past the incorrect use of peerage titles and at times I stumbled when very modern ideas and culture appeared. I liked the plot. I got pulled into the story but it only worked for me if I set aside the idea that it was set in the Regency era. (I’m sorry but a daughter of the peer is not going to tell a stranger to call her by her first name and she would not be Lady Alexandria in one breath and Lady Featherstone in the next.)
I also like the character of the Duke. I find him more believable than the female character. I especially enjoyed the passages where the Duke accepts his circumstances and learns to adapt. I am fascinated by how he can see colors now instead of hearing music. I appreciated the tenderness that he shows towards his sister in her time of grief.
As I said above my daughter Tailorbear really enjoyed The Guardian Duke. Here are her thoughts about The Forgiven Duke: “It was almost as good as the first one. I really really enjoyed it. My favorite part was pretty much every part the Duke was in except when he was on the Spanish ship. I really didn’t like Alexandria as much in this book as I did in the first book. I enjoy her faith that her parents are still alive but what she has done to get to her parents is unpleasant at points. Especially if you really like the Duke.”
My Bottom Line: It took a a few chapters for me to get into this book but I did get drawn into the story. I will be looking for the 3rd book in the series when it becomes available in the fall. Despite the fact that I don’t particularly care for this type of romance, I feel comfortable offering my readers an opportunity to win a copy for themselves. I don’t particularly care for peas in my tuna macaroni salad but if the salad is good overall I’ll recommend it. Overall I liked the sense of adventure. I liked the mystery. I liked the travel to different countries. With the tuna salad, I would just pick out the peas, with this book I just skimmed over the overly romantic parts and soaked in the adventure and mystery. I enjoyed this book enough that I am wanting to check to see if my library has any of Jamie Carie’s other series.
To enter my giveaway, which ends at 9:01pm Pacific time on Monday May 14th (that’s 12:01 am Eastern time May 15th) you must use Rafflecopter.
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“Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.” (Please note I received an advanced reader copy of the book The Forgiven Duke.)