Thursday, June 20, 2013

I Married the Duke by Katharine Ashe + Featured Freebie

I Married the Duke (The Prince Catchers, #1)Three very different sisters beguile society with their beauty and charm, but only one of them must fulfill a prophecy: marry a prince. Who is the mystery Prince Charming, and which sister will be his bride?

On the way to marry a prince in a castle, a lady should never:

1. Bribe an infuriatingly arrogant and undeniably irresistible ship captain,
2. Let him kiss her senseless on a beach,
3. Battle thieves at his side,
4. Exchange wedding vows with him, even under the direst circumstances.

But daring, determined Arabella Caulfield isn’t just any lady. And Luc Westfall is no typical ship captain. He’s the new Duke of Lycombe, and to defeat a plot that could destroy his family he must have an heir. Now he knows just the woman for the job . . . and he’s not above seduction to turn this would-be princess into a duchess.

My Rating: 4 Roses

This book didn't have the best start. It was a little slow and both characters' stubbornness was beyond belief. But, about a quarter of the way through, things sped up and I was hooked. Hot romance, thrilling danger, and a mysterious plot come together to make I Married the Duke a lovely read.

You can't say that this book lacked in originality. A hero who is a French comte and English duke masquerading as a pirate. A heroine who is a governess determined to become a princess to find out the truth of her parentage. And a plot that is endangering said hero's life. That by itself made this a definite winner.

Arabella took a while to grow on me. At first, I thought she was kind of snooty and way over idealistic. My dear, in what universe does sheer determination result in a common born woman (of questionable parentage) marrying a prince? But, over the course of the book, she grew wiser and realized that her plans might not be what life has in store for her. She was a very strong heroine, battling killers and facing down anyone else for the man she loves. And her sassy comments had me laughing. By the end,  I really liked her character.

Luc also made a difficult first impression. He was a cold man and not afraid to show it. But, it didn't take long to see that he was a good guy. Just determined not to show it. And his reticence to admit to his feelings for Arabella made me want to shake him. Regardless, he proved himself to be sweet, protective, and determined to win the woman he loves. Even when their courtship is not the most traditional. It wasn't long before I adored him.

The romance was intense. Arabella and Luc had sparks flying and whether it came out in their arguments or in more intimate moments, it was hot. They were also a genuinely sweet couple. They were imperfect characters but, at the risk of sounding cheesy, they were perfect for each other.

The plot was well paced. After the slow start, I was completely hooked. The thrills of the mystery and the danger had me on the edge of my seat. And the ending was lovely. I can't wait to read the next books, as this series promises to be a great one.

I Married the Duke was a wonderful, unique historical romance. Lovers of the genre, you should definitely read this book.

*Thanks to Edelweiss and Avon Books for a copy!
Featured Freebie:
Today, I have a historical romance that I read before and loved: What Wild Moonlight by Victoria Lynne . Go forth and get it for free!

On a bet, Nicholas Duvall, rakehell Earl of Barrington, assumes the role of a coach driver. When he witnesses Katya Alexander picking the pocket of a fellow passenger, her beauty, skill, and audacity captivate him.

Katya is exactly what he needs to retrieve an ancient family scroll that has been stolen from him. He makes her an ungentlemanly offer: pose as his mistress and help him retrieve a priceless family scroll. In return, he would offer her his protection.

Katya has her own reasons for agreeing to the deception, reasons that she must keep hidden from Nicholas: an age-old family feud that made them mortal enemies. Caught up in the glittering intrigue of 19th century Monaco, together they embark on a mission filled with danger and intrigue,

Their plan was flawless, until Nicholas loses his heart to the beautiful stranger with secrets to burn, and the passion smoldering between them finally ignites.

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