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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon September 1, 2011
Format: Mass Market PaperbackVerified Purchase
One Night in London is a superb romance with a lovely lead couple who are just meant to be together. They form a tight bond of friendship and support.

On his death bed the Duke of Durham whispers a terrible secret to his children, a secret so devastating it could disrupt the three sibling's world. Each sibling has a unique personality and middle son Edward is the silent, thoughtful, analytical one. He has been running the estate while his older brother finds his pleasures in London and his younger brother is off on the continent fighting the French. Edward needs to hire a solicitor to assist him in discovering his father's secrets and he enlists the aid of the best barrister in London.

Unfortunately, widow Francesca Gordon also is in need of the best barrister in London and when she discovers that her barrister drops her case to assist Edward, she confronts Edward in a rage. Easily the reader could have disliked Francesca here, she was irrational and unfair but Edwards's quiet demeanor takes the wind out of her sails. When she describes her need of an attorney (she wants to find her niece and gain custody from her niece's step-mother), Edward is sympathetic but logical. He ends up assisting Francesca in locating her niece and as they spend time together the passion between them is impossible to contain.

Edward is taken by the bold Francesca who is daring but not stubborn. Francesca embraces life to the fullest. She has been a widow for two years and she had a good marriage. She likes her freedom and she enjoys her friendships. She delights in discovering Edwards' romantic side.

Edward is a rock for his family and he becomes an anchor for Francesca too. These two trust each other. They have deep conversations and form a friendship based on mutual respect. The reader can see that these people honor each other.

Their romance is extraordinary because Edward is almost another person when he is alone with Francesca. He is amorous, thoughtful, sensuous and confident when their friendship grows into so much more. Who knew this outwardly staid man could become a Casanova? It just took the right woman. This looks to be the first book in this sibling series and I hope the others are just as romantic and memorable.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon September 11, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I almost did not finish this book. I picked it up, started it, and nearly put it back down. I wasn't impressed. I didn't really care for the heroine. Nothing about Francesca jumped out at me as making her a heroine worth reading. I didn't really like the hero, either. Edward was cold, boring, and not at all the alpha male that I prefer reading about. I almost stopped reading.

Thank God I didn't put the book down. I told myself to keep going. I kept reading and I'm so glad I did.

The book may start slowly, but after a few more chapters, I was completely hooked. The writing drew me in and kept me flipping the pages until the end. I really warmed to the characters. Francesca was daring and sassy - the girl that every one of us wishes we could unleash upon the world. She also brought out Edward's warm, sensual side that had been hiding since the very beginning. It was a great pairing of characters that I very much enjoyed as the story went on. The plot was interesting and kept me enthralled the entire time.

I definitely look forward to adding this author to my to-read list.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon September 13, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Ding, dong the duke is dead. That's Francis de Lacey, Duke of Durham, who we met previously in the novella I LOVE THE EARL, when he was about 40 years old, had just inherited the dukedom, and was showing a great deal of reluctance to marry and produce heirs. Fast forward 40 years to this book and he dies on p. 6, leaving 3 grown sons, heir Charlie, middle son Edward and youngest son Gerard, and a deathbed revelation that he may have been a bigamist and his sons illegitimate. Wow! Say what? That's quite a gap in information from I LOVE THE EARL to this book. We need to learn "The Truth About the Duke".

Anyway, Edward and Gerard are in turmoil over this and feel the need to resolve the issue. Charlie, the new duke, for the moment at least, is an irresponsible dissolute and doesn't feel inclined to get involved. Edward will take care of things. He always does. So our hero Edward, who has always been the responsible son involved in the running of the ducal estates, hires a solicitor to try to salvage the dukedom for their family.

Meanwhile, heroine Lady Francesca Gordon wants the same solicitor to help her win the custody of her young orphaned niece Georgina, who is in the hands of an evil stepmother. Well, working for a duke's family trumps working for the widow of a baron, so Francesca finds herself without a lawyer.

Francesca is a bit hot-tempered and impulsive. This is due, as the book implies, to her being half Italian. (Don't blame me. I'm not the one stereotyping here.) So she's very upset at the de Lacey family taking her solicitor and barges into their house and gives Edward a piece of her mind. (So she's a hot-blooded "shrew" and he's a cold, unfeeling, controlling man. Will opposites attract?) Eventually they start working together on her custody problem because Francesca helps Edward with a public-image problem, one which never would have arisen if Edward earlier on hadn't had a TSTL moment with his fiancee.

In the book we have the de Lacey sons' legitimacy issue and Francesca's custody issue to resolve while at the same time having a romance develop between H and h. That's too much for one 373-page book to handle so everything takes a back burner to the romance. The romance is very lovely and very well-developed and the reader will grow to like both H and h, although I did find it annoying that they spent so much time somewhat aimlessly going to art shows and the theater and having sex. It felt as though Francesca lost the urgency for finding Georgina and replaced it with the urgency to bed Edward. However, the custody issue with Georgina finally does have a resolution that is somewhat unexpected but satisfactory.

But we have to stay tuned to find out the "Truth About the Duke" because that's pretty much left open-ended. Edward already has his happy ending no matter the results of the legitimacy question, but what about Charlie and Gerard? To be continued...
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format: Kindle Edition
The Duke of Durham is dead but his secret didn't have the good grace to die with him. Both the nature of the secret and the unknown identity of the person blackmailing him because of it made it necessary he burden his three sons with a horrible truth, but with only two of the three to bear witness as his time grew ever-shorter, he had only the time to apologize to his middle and youngest sons before he slipped into senseless ramblings, then a quiet death.

It was his solicitor who was left with the untenable duty of informing the stalwart middle son Edward and his younger brother Gerard just what their father was begging forgiveness for. And the secret is horrible. Their mother had not, as they had always thought, been their father's first and only wife. In truth and long ago he had married a young woman on a whim, a youthful folly really. That folly was quickly realized and they parted...but did nothing to dissolve their union. The horrible, terrible, scandalous truth is that the Duke of Durham may, in fact, have been a bigamist, his sons illegitimate and ineligible for their father's fortune and title.

Edward knew the responsibility to investigate and clear up this matter would fall mostly on his shoulders. His elder brother never addressed a problem that couldn't be solved by either bedding women or drinking to excess, and his younger solved all his problems with a mind on fighting and warfare. It was up to Edward to find a solicitor who would champion their cause and do it discreetly.

No sooner had Lady Francesca Gordon finally found a solicitor willing to take on the custody case for her niece than that solicitor was called away and his assistant was suddenly feeding her a line that he was no longer available. Incensed and more than a little frantic, she followed the solicitor to his newest and obviously more important client to give him or her a piece of her mind. Only slightly disturbed by the realization that it was the Duke's residence her wayward solicitor had raced to, she let her fury and her fear bolster her into a confrontation with a mirthless lump of a man over the theft of her last hope.

Though the confrontation went no better than she expected, Lady Francesca read the scandal rags the next day and realized why her solicitor was pulled away with such alacrity. When she realized that she might be just the woman the stiff and solemn Edward de Lacey needed to smooth the jagged edges of a vicious scandal, she felt hope that just maybe a trade would set things to right.

Francesca couldn't possibly have dreamed that the longer she spent with Edward the more irresistible he would become. Or that no one but her niece could ever come close to being more dear. Regardless of the consequences of class, standing, or scandal.

~*~

I love when a historical romance both feels authentic and features a unique and strong female lead. Linden did a great job of it here. Part of Francesca's ability to maintain her independence comes from her being a widow and of lower social class than Edward, but regardless of the reason, I was happy with the result. In fact, there were several things that made me very happy about this charming book.

It's one of the rare instances that I felt fonder of the female lead than the male. There's nothing at all wrong with Edward by any means, I liked him just fine, but Francesca was a feisty, passionate woman who knew how to take care of herself and see to her own needs. Smart, quirky, manipulative when necessary, kind, and hot-tempered if provoked, she also lived a life that pleased her just fine, doing what she wanted when she wanted. She was a conflagration that Edward...steady, staid, dependable Edward...desperately needed.

Together they made a charming, likable couple and their relationship made it worth the slow start of the plot and my inconsistent interest in the custody issues and the Duke's scandal. For that wavering interest, I still thoroughly appreciated this book for some unexpected and surprising twists and turns. I love that there were several things that just didn't work out for the characters, or didn't go as well as they hoped. That's a touch of realism I can relate to. There were also a couple of particularly nice role reversals in the romantic thread that I enjoyed very much. All told, those unexpected moments and disappointments, the role reversals and the compromises characters were forced to make kept the plot fresh and pleasantly surprising.

Well-paced, solid of plot, with a few harsh realities that were real gems and populated with enjoyable characters, this first book in The Truth About the Duke series bodes well for subsequent books. I also have to say, meeting both the eldest and youngest of the de Lacey brothers through the course of the book hooked me on finding out more about the rake and the warrior, even if it's just to see them fall for their perfectly suited females when they meet them. I'm very much looking forward to continuing with this series.

Disclosure: An ARC of this book was provided to me by Avon Books publisher HarperCollins via NetGalley. This rating, review, and all included thoughts and comments are my own.

~*~*~*~
Reviewed for One Good Book Deserves Another.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 3, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
This eBook is courtesy of NetGalley and Harper Collins/Avon.

This is the first in "The Truth About A Duke" trilogy.This is the trilogy of three brothers,"Edward the logical, responsible brother; Gerard the independent man of action; and Charlie the enigma", who find out on their father's death bed,he had a major secret that could destroy their inheritance and their lives.

A bargain that was all business . . . and pure passion.

Neither wealth nor beauty will help Lady Francesca Gordon win custody of her young niece Georgina, saving the girl from a cruel stepmother; she needs London's top solicitor for that. But when Edward de Lacey, son of the powerful Duke of Durham, hires away the one man who can do the job, Francesca decides Edward himself must champion her case . . . if only she can melt the dashing lord's stony heart.

Edward has reason to be guarded, though. London's tabloids have just exposed a secret that could ruin his entire family. When Francesca offers a unique chance to undo the damage, Edward is forced to agree to a partnership . . . and now, each moment together feeds the flames of his scandalous longing for the passionate widow. But when Georgina disappears, fate will test them both . . . and leave their love hanging in the balance.

This is the first book by Caroline Linden I have read, but it won't be my last! I loved it! The writing drew me in and kept me turning pages until the very end. I really warmed to the characters. Francesca was daring and sassy, but she also brought out Edward's sensual and warm side that had been hiding since the very beginning. They were a great pair that I very much enjoyed getting to know as the story went on. Edward was a different person when he was around Francesca, their personalities complemented each other very well. I will be looking forward to the next book in this series because this one definitely leaves you wondering!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Edward de Lacey is the second son of the Duke of Durham. And as his father dies, Edward learns that the old man had been keeping a very big secret. It seems the Duke was married before he met Edward's mother --and never divorced. If that comes to light, not only will Edward and his brothers lose the estate, but their legitimacy as well. So Edward rushes off to the finest lawyer in town, hoping to secure his family's future.

He has no idea Francesca has hopes of using the very same attorney to help her gain custody of her niece. The girl's stepmother is refusing her access to the child, even though Francesca's brother-in-law promised her custody before he died. This attorney is her last hope... and he accepts her case. But then Edward swoops in with his problems and the lawyer drops her instantly.

Devastated and furious, Francesca confronts Edward, demanding his help, to repay her for stealing the lawyer out from under her. Of course, he blows her off at first. But later, when she helps him in a way that no one else can, he agrees to help her in return. Once they start working together, it's just a matter of time before they give in to the attraction between them.

There are alot of things I liked about this book. I liked that Francesca was a widow and not the trembling virgin that is the female lead for most historical romances. I liked that their feelings for each other were not instant, but grew over the course of the book. I liked their explosion of passion when they finally came together. And maybe most importantly, I liked that neither of them were ever dishonorable toward the other. They treated each other well at all times and never lost their loyalty or honesty. (There is one little blip at the end, but it's a small matter and is resolved quickly.)

I really enjoyed the prequel I Love the Earl for many of the same reasons. And while they never mention Edward's father by name, I believe he is Francis, brother to the heroine in that novella. It appears there are more stories to come, featuring Edward's brothers --and I look forward to reading what's next for Charlie and Gerard. 4 stars.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 8, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Widowed Lady Francesca Gordon is determined to rescue her niece from the girl's stepmother and by gaining custody of her. To do so, she needs one of London's premier solicitors to take her case. She's thisclose to hiring the best - and only - solicitor willing to take her case when Lord Edward de Lacey steals the man away! Francesca can't think of what to do, so she focuses on Edward and demands that he help her cause.

Edward, son of the recently deceased Duke of Durham, has enough problems of his own without adding a bold, beautiful widow to his plate. On his deathbed, the duke said that he married someone before Edward's mother...and never bothered to get a divorce. With Edward and his two brothers' legitimacy thrown into question and their inheritance in jeopardy, Edward has to have London's best solicitor on the case or his elder brother will lose the dukedom and his younger brother will blow a gasket. Adding to his problems, the scandal sheets have gotten wind of his dilemma. Francesca offers to help him with the gossip column, if he'll help her.

The longer Edward is around Francesca, the more he desires her. But with the fate of a young child and the Durham legacy on the line, how can either Francesca or Edward afford to be distracted by falling in love?

It takes a talented author to make nineteenth century legal woes exciting and Caroline Linden is up to the task. One Night in London starts off what I hope is a trilogy about the de Lacey brothers with a bang. Edward, the middle sibling, has always been "the rock" of the family. I like that he is always there for his family, ready to solve their problems, but what's more, I love that he isn't so perfect as to be exceedingly happy about it. Edward is looking for something in life and he doesn't know what it is until it hits him in the face in the form of Francesca. She's spirited, intelligent, and delightfully imperfect. I adored these two together and Ms. Linden had me cheering for their romance from the start. Ms. Linden also had me invested in their search for Francesca's niece, and, much to my delight, the twists and turns that journey took were somewhat surprising.

One Night in London starts with a mystery; namely, what is the truth about the duke? It also ends with a teaser for the youngest brother's story. I'm looking forward to reading about what Ms. Linden hinted Gerard was up to. More importantly, I'm crossing my fingers that Ms. Linden plans to write a story for Charlie, the eldest brother. The dissolute possibly-the-duke-possibly-not is intriguing and Ms. Linden has me almost salivating over him. Until Ms. Linden's next Truth About the Duke book comes out, I'll have to content myself with reading One Night in London. This won't be a hardship, as Francesca and Edward's story is a wonderfully entertaining historical romance.

Shayna
Reviewed for Joyfully Reviewed
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 31, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
One Night in London by Caroline Linden
Historical Romance- Aug. 30th, 2011
5 stars

Shortly after the Duke of Durham passed away, the solicitor revealed the duke's previous marriage to an unknown woman. As the duke and that lady did not divorce and it was not certain if she died by the time the duke remarried, this effectively left the duke's three sons in a conundrum. Charlie is the eldest and has the most to lose, but doesn't care. Gerard, the youngest and hothead of the family, storms off to find the duke's first wife (if she is still alive). Edward, the second and the most sensible of the three, decides to consult the best solicitor in England to help them prepare for any impending legal issues. The problem is that he unwittingly steals Lady Francesca Gordon's lawyer from her service and she wants him back.

Francesca needs a solicitor. Her niece was taken by her stepmother. Frantic and sure that her niece is being mistreated by her sister-in-law, Francesca is finally finds a solicitor who is willing to aid her until Edward de Lacey came along. Enraged, Francesca confronts Edward. When ugly rumors circulate that Edward and his brothers might be penniless bastards, she makes him a proposal. She will help him dispel the rumors if he helps her find her niece...

This is a solid and engaging Regency. I could not put down this book at all. The chemistry between the stiff and aristocratic Edward and the charming, passionate Francesca is simply mesmerizing! Francesca is fiery, but she is also reasonable and willing to listen to Edward's suggestions when he points out the flaws in her plans. In a lot of other romance novels, the spunky heroines are usually unreasonable and childishly stubborn. Thankfully, even though Francesca is impetuous, she's also mature enough to apologize for her bad behavior. Edward totally complements her. Even though he starts out all stiff and reserved, he becomes free-spirited and much more at peace with himself by the end. I really liked how their romance progressed!

Tender and well-written, this a well crafted Regency romance with a surprise twist. Reading this book made me want to find more books of Caroline Linden to immediately read!!

Reviewed by Pauline from the Bookaholics Romance Club
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on August 30, 2011
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I am not a long time Caroline Linden fan. I discovered her books only last year (A Rake's Guide to Seduction; What a Rogue Desires; What a Gentleman Wants; What a Woman Needs) when I ordered all four of these through Amazon. I was very impressed by her style of writing, but what I loved most were the heroines she writes about. Every one of them is strong, independent and very three dimensionally drawn female, so I wasn't surprised by Lady Francesca Gordon.

But I'm a bit ahead of myself. Before I get to our heroine, I must tell you of a very unique premise that Ms. Linden came up with for this series she named `The Truth About the Duke'.

The story opens with Duke of Durham on his death-bed awaiting his heir Charles, Lord Gresham to arrive so he could ask his forgiveness. His other two sons, Edward de Lacey, the spare and Captain Gerard de Lacey, the hero, were with him to offer him comfort and forgiveness, neither knowing for what, as he breathed his last.

Soon, Ned and Gerard found out from their father's solicitor, that some sixty years ago the Duke had been married than parted ways with the woman shortly after, but not bothering to get a divorce, or at least find out if the woman lived or died before he married their mother in April of 1774. Needles to say, all three brothers would need to pull their resources to keep this secret buried while trying to find out the truth. They could not afford a scandal and rumor. Edward, the cool, calm and collected one, would immediately find a worthy Lawyer, if and when they needed one. Gerard, being a man of action and not much patience, would head out in search of a blackmailer who'd been sending their old man letters with demands. As for Charlie, they've all come to the conclusion that he should just stay put and do what he does best: debauch!

I have to tell you, my heart went out to Edward. Here's a man who did everything that has ever been expected of him, and loved doing it. Edward reminded me so much of that son from the Bible in the story of a `Prodigal Son'. You know, the one that did all the work and never was praised for it, while the son who'd squandered everything was welcomed with open arms.

And now I get to tell you about our heroine and what a woman she turns out to be! She's an independent widow and a woman that knows her mind. There is nothing in this woman that's pretentious. She wears her emotions and her heart on her sleeve and for that and many other passions that bubble through in her demeanor, she freely admits is the Italian in her to be blamed on.

Francesca needs a good Lawyer. This man will help her fight a custody battle against a widow of her late brother-in-law, who took her niece and disappeared. In one meeting, her hopes are raised and dashed by Wittiers, a solicitor extraordinaire, who almost accepts her case, but is called away by none other than Edward de Lacey.

These two, Francesca and Edward, were polar opposites. She is impulsive and loud; passionate and quick-witted; he is calm, calculating and disciplined. When these two meet, the sparks fly and as they come to terms with each other, we are treated to a slow and sensual love story that is so real, so full of emotion. Their first sexual encounter left me with butterflies in my tummy! It was scorching my computer screen!

I really loved Francesca! You got to love a woman that knows who and what she is and when she sees something she wants, she goes for it. I loved the part in which our hero realizes the difference between what he `wants' and what he `needs'. That part touched me deeply as I remembered my husband telling me once that I was everything he never wanted. Divorced woman of two teenagers AND twelve years older than him! But I was everything he needed...

Ms. Linden gave us a delightful first book in this series that features three-dimensional characters with a strong, fast paced and unique plot and a very interesting subplot about child custody. This is a FIVE stars, A+ and just all-around awesome introduction to this series. I am looking forward to Charlie's story as much as Gerard's. This is a keeper and a MUST READ!

*I received this book from the publisher via netgalley.com
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Affluent widow Francesca Gordon desperately needs to gain custody of her orphaned niece Georgina from her wicked stepmother. She goes to hire the most highly regarded solicitor, but is too late as the Lord Edward de Lacey has retained the man to defend the inheritance of him and his brothers as a rumor spreads that they may not be the legitimate heirs.

Thus Francesca and Edward meet at the solicitor's office. She offers the aristocrat a deal he accepts. She will counter the gossip in exchange for his support of her effort to legally raise Georgina. As they work together, they fall in love though she is passionate heat and he is cool logic.

Starting with the fresh first encounter, the lead couple makes One Night In London an enjoyable historical reading experience. Fast-paced throughout although the two legal cases never quite sustain their early momentum, fans will enjoy the lead couple as each feels their issue takes precedent over the other's so that love may not be enough to cement their relationship once the legal matters are done. With two brothers to follow to the delight of Regency fans, Caroline Linden provides an engaging nineteenth century legal romance.

Harriet Klausner
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