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The Lost Duke of Wyndham (Two Dukes of Wyndham, Book 1) Mass Market Paperback – May 27, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Quinn (The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever) embarks on a new series with Grace Eversleigh, companion to the dowager duchess of Wyndham, unwillingly helping the dowager kidnap a highwayman. The dowager believes Jack Audley, a former Army Captain, to be her grandson, the son of her long-deceased favorite son. But the current Duke of Wyndham, Thomas Cavendish, Jack's ostensible cousin, learns that he could be disposed of a title if it is proven that Jack's parents were married in Ireland before their untimely deaths. Jack attempts to overcome his tortured past with a quick smile and easy wit, and sparks between Jack and Grace result in a number of sizzling scenes that are made more powerful by the intensity of emotions involved. In her strongest effort to date, Quinn delivers complex, multifaceted characters who come vividly to life. (May)
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“All of the signature elements that delight Quinn’s legions of dedicated readers—her wit, wonderfully entertaining characters, and sensual love story—are neatly in place in the first of a pair of delicious historical romances.” (Booklist)
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Avon; Two Dukes of Wyndham, Book 1 edition (May 27, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060876107
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060876104
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (150 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #508,802 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

#1 New York Times bestselling author Julia Quinn loves to dispel the myth that smart women don't read (or write) romance, and several years back she did so in grand style, competing on the game show The Weakest Link and walking away with the $79,000 jackpot. She displayed a decided lack of knowledge about baseball, country music, and plush toys, but she is proud to say that she aced all things British and literary, answered all of her history and geography questions correctly, and knew that there was a Da Vinci long before there was a code.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

66 of 69 people found the following review helpful By Misuzmama on May 29, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Highwayman Jack Audley chooses the wrong carriage to rob one faithful night. The occupant is the dowager duchess of Wyndham and quickly she comes to the conclusion that Jack is her grandson. Jack looks (even masked), acts and sounds so much like her beloved dead son that Jack simply must be his son. And once she has him in her clutches the dowager will do everything in her power to prove that Jack is the legitimate Duke of Wyndham. Grace, a long suffering companion of five years, is shocked by the turn of events. And even more so when she realizes that the more time she spends with the charming rogue the more she's falling in love with him. Even if he seems a bit smitten with her -Dukes, if he proves to be, do not marry lowly companions.

A mixed review. Although I liked The Lost Duke of Wyndham in general, I found it to be an average book. Jack is a very lovable hero but perhaps too charming for me. I really enjoyed his quick wit and his delightful verbal sparing -up to a point. It got to be a bit too much by the middle of the book. Just went over the top IMHO. It seemed (to me anyway) that Jack was rarely serious perhaps when he should have been. I can take a joke as well as anyone, and I did find his antics very amusing most of the time -but still....I don't know perhaps I was looking for some strong emotions from a character who is light-hearted/carefree to the core.

And Grace seemed to be a bit underdeveloped as a character. I still don't really know who she is. I felt like I was missing a puzzle piece in her makeup while reading the book. A totally unremarkable heroine. Not unlikeable, mind you, but just....there.

So while the book is entertaining while reading it, I didn't find anything particularly exciting about it.
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234 of 269 people found the following review helpful By BookWorm on June 5, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Oh, yeah, because Quinn's name is on it. I forgot. Because it's really that bad. It's so bad you begin to wonder if a writer like Quinn wrote it, or she had it ghost-written by a 15 year old. So, here's my frank and honest review, even though I know I'm going to get a score "unhelpful" checks from all Quinn fans. (Honestly, I am a Quinn fan, as well. That's why I'm so frustrated and angry right now.)

I'm going to say this upfront: I cannot abide "love at first smell/touch/sight" books. So, in my case, there was definitely a bias against the primary romance. But I could have even overlooked that if Quinn had displayed her talent for creating complex characters and situations that are real conflicts.

However, Quinn fails to do this. For a woman who has written over a dozen books, this read like it was her first attempt at a novel. The main characters were barely sketched, she makes the rookie mistake of "telling" rather than "showing", and I found the entire main conflict of the novel (the very premise) to be rather absurd and made each of the primary characters guilty of the "To Stupid to Live syndrome".

~ Spoilers In Review ~

First of all, the very fact that Grace falls in lust with a highway man & thinks there's absolutely nothing wrong with it really made me question her judgment. It was marvelous for her that the guy ended up being a Duke... but, good God, what was she thinking to start out with? And speaking of him being a highwayman. Apparently, that wasn't a big deal... but, yet, he had a problem with giving up that lifestyle to become a Duke.

Secondly, I guess Jack was charming?
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20 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Indigo Felle on June 6, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Other reviewers have done an excellent job picking over the details of the plot, whether things were or were not surprising. I will attempt to write this without any spoilers for those of you trying to decide whether to purchase this book, and let me start by saying that if you are a Julia Quinn fan in general, you may very well find yourself disappointed.

Why? Because in so many of her other books Ms. Quinn does a wonderful job creating a character that we happen to know if charming because he simply IS that way. In this book, if you were to look only at sentences that are either uttered by our protagonist, Jack, or which describe his actions, I'm afraid you'll find very few examples of anything that truly IS charming. Oh, to be sure, some of Ms. Quinn's previous characters (such as my ABSOLUTE favorite, Colin Bridgerton, in book 4 of the Bridgerton series), are repeatedly described as being charming, but they also ACT the part. You can see why everyone says that about them. In addition, Jack lacks the depth of character that suggests he can be self-deprecating--a key ingredient, I think, to a good hero of a romance novel.

Then there is the issue of his "brooding". Or lack there-of. I think in general Ms. Quinn tends to create male characters who spend too much time brooding over some miserable point in their past (or expected future--like Anthony Bridgerton). But that's acceptable, because it really shapes the characters and their actions. In this case, it's like a separate and unrelated story line that never impacts Jack's interest in Grace or any potential relationship between them.

Grace is, well, nothing really. She may very well be the most personality-less (sorry) character of Ms. Quinn's novels to date.
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