Title: When Seducing a Duke
Author: Kathryn Smith
Page Count: 384 pages
Genre: historical romance
Copy for review compliments of the public library
50 words or less: Greydon Kane is a duke and took over supporting Rose Danvers and her mother after her father's death. Grey, a reformed and remorseful rake, thinks he'll never be able to act on the lurid thoughts he has about Rose, who's all too willing to participate. Tough cookies, right? Not hardly.
I admit it, I'm a complete sucker for a well-done, interesting, engrossing historical story. It doesn't matter whether it's a historical mystery, historical romance, or whatever; if the characters are interesting, the story is fun, and the setting is reliable and accurate to a certain degree, I'll probably enjoy the book.
When Seducing a Duke fit those criteria, certainly, and did a good job of using familiar elements of stories set in this time period, but with twists and added elements that made the story more unique. The hero and heroine were interesting and the supporting characters were fun too- makes me wonder if other installments are on the horizon. Yep, a quick jaunt to the author's website confirms that this is the first book in a series!
Greyton Kane (Grey) has been a bad, bad boy. In his more reckless days, nothing in a skirt was safe from his attention- married, single, old, young, it was all good to him. Grey didn't really care too much about his own reputation or what his actions did to other people or their feelings; he cared about himself and making himself feel good.
That all changed when he got jumped, assaulted, and scarred by someone associated with his dirty dealings with the ladies; he never knew for sure who was behind the assault but he had his suspicions. Grey completely withdrew from society and all the glitz and glamour; if his close friend who was also Rose's father hadn't died suddenly, that might have been the end of it.
Rose, on the other hand, has harbored a secret infatuation for Grey for years, and finally decides to act on it by cornering Grey at Saints Row, an exclusive club where Grey goes to get a little action on his rare ventures into the world. They end up in bed together and could have gone on like that forever, except Grey finds out and gets all weird about it.
Rose is remarkably aware of not only the birds and the bees (magazines can be quite educational) but of life in general; she realizes that she's not getting any younger and if she's going to get married and have some kind of independent life for herself, she'd better do it soon. She wants to marry Grey and Grey wants to marry her; if Grey wasn't so busy being mired in all of his hangups, he might have noticed that a little bit sooner.
Suffice it to say, they do end up married; but that's about halfway through the book and there's a ton more that happens after that. I enjoyed the shifting perspectives in the book, giving the reader an idea of what each person was thinking and what their motivations were. In addition to being a really sweet love story and a fun historical, this is also a story about getting over things, growing up, and accepting your share of responsibility for your actions.
Side note- I LOVED the idea of Voluptuous, the Cosmo-esque magazine that played such a prominent role in the story. According to the author's website, it's based on a real publication from the time!
Ultimately, the story was extremely satisfying and the happily ever after was very sweet and well done. I had a little bit of trouble accepting the kind of cavalier attitudes that the main characters had towards society and popular opinion, but it kind of made sense when you figure that they had enough money to be able to get away with quite a bit, especially at that time.
If you're looking for a fun, saucy romance that's easy and fun to read, this is a good bet.
Overall Goal: A-
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