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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on February 3, 2013
First, there are three books in this series and none are stand alone. Once you're done reading the first, which ends with a cliffhanger, you have to go to the second and third to find out what happens next.

This is the second book of this series and it starts off right at the `cliffhanger' of the first one as the Duke catches the glimpse of his charge and a man she's with on the ship bound to Iceland, of whose destination, or for that matter the man's identity, the Duke is unaware of and must now find out.

Let me start by saying that I just loved the first book, `The Guardian Duke', very much and thought it such a clever ending, albeit very frustrating because there was no happy ending for our Duke and his charge.

As I kept reading this book, the only thing I felt was irritation at the heroine for her indecision about the two men she's deliberately and stubbornly dangling on a string.

I also felt that what seemed a clever idea to end the first one with a cliffhanger, now rendered the second book less relevant and reduced it as `filler' until the third came along and tied it all together.

As for the characters, and I am including everyone here, they all now felt forced and placed in situations that were unbelievable and uncharacteristic of their own selves.

In all honesty this second book was riddled with plot holes and I should have hoped that the Editors would have pointed it out to the author. Ms. Carie without a doubt has a talent for storytelling, but it definitely needs some `tuning' and `tweaking'.

Now of to the third one and my hope is that the last one is more in tune with the first book...

Melanie for b2b

*Book provided by the publisher through NetGalley.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
I was so thrilled when I saw that the sequel to The Guardian Duke was available on NetGalley! I really enjoyed The Guardian Duke and was on pins and needles with the way Carie left the ending. I just had to know what happened, if anything did happen, between Alexandria and Gabriel.

My main complaint with The Guardian Duke was the very, very open ending. It was much more open than most cliffhanger endings in series novels. I felt like the book ending was suited to a chapter ending, not an ending to a novel. Anyway, I am happy to report that The Forgiven Duke did not have that problem. There was definite closure, while keeping things open enough for the next installment in the series.

I just loved both Alex and Gabriel as characters. They were both strong, yet stubborn, and to see them change and grow was very satisfying. I loved the tenderness of the love story---kudos to Carie for keeping it clean. The main issue of the book was Alex's search for her parents. That part of the story remains largely unresolved, which is keeping me very interested and ready for book three in the series.

I loved reading about Alex and Gabriel's faith in God. Both have a very strong faith, and have learned to lean on God and trust in Him throughout their struggles. Gabriel, especially with the loss of his hearing, and Alex, who must withstand so much negativity towards the search for her parents. They never wavered in their beliefs.

I highly recommend this series to fans of historical fiction and fans of Christian fiction. Jamie Carie is a new favorite of mine and I am going to seek out more of her work while I wait for the next book in the series!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on February 19, 2013
This is a Christian historical romance with a bit of mystery involved as well. It is Book 2 of Forgotten Castles. This book starts off in Dublin, Ireland in November, 1818 and picks up right where book one left off. Gabriel Ravenwood, Duke of St. Easton, has just seen his ward, Alexandria Featherstone, leaving on a ship bound for Iceland in a search to find her missing parents. She is traveling with John Lemon, who she has agreed to marry so that they can travel together. Gabriel ends up getting captured by the Spaniards and they take him to Iceland hoping to capture Alexandria as well. They are also looking for the lost manuscript for King Ferdinand. Gabriel is rescued by British soldiers and he also rescues Alex from a situation. They return to London, per the regent's orders, and Gabriel is told to help Alexandria find a husband and marry soon. I don't want to give away too much of the story as it would contain spoilers.

This book picks up right where book one left the little cliffhanger. I would recommend reading book 1 first as there is a lot of background needed. I really loved the author's descriptiveness in this book, especially in Iceland. I really enjoy a story when I can see these characters and places and the author took me right on that journey through Iceland with Alexandria. It was nice seeing Alexandria and Gabriel both overcome their fears and come to terms with their true feelings. I liked the ending of this book as it felt more complete but it still left me waiting to read the last in this trilogy.

I received this ebook free from the publisher, B&H Publishing Group, through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 10, 2012
I was so happy to finally have the chance to read the second book in the Forgotten Castles Series by Jamie Carie. I knew The Forgiven Duke would end with some sort of cliffhanger just like the first book in the series and wanted the next book to be ready and waiting for when I came to the point of wanting (and needing) more.

I was not disappointed with this second book following Lady Alexandria Featherstone and her mysterious guardian, Duke of St. Easton--whom she's only met once at a masquerade, although she's formed a close relationship with him though their letters to one another. There are so many ups and downs in the overall plot of this series; I'd categorize the books as romantic adventure if there was such a genre. I still loved all of the characters from the first book and liked seeing the separate stories as St. Easton and Alex both suffered through many trials and tribulations until their story-lines are eventually melded into one.

Even though St. Easton and Alex only finally meet near the middle of this second book in the series, the reader is well aware of everything going on between them. And there are so many other well-developed characters scattered throughout the plot that whatever the situation and whatever the setting, it is interesting to read about.

This "middle" book ended perfectly, setting the reader up with everything they could want in an ending, while also setting up a whole new adventure (and problems) for the final installment, A Duke's Promise.

I haven't begun the last book of the series, but I truly cannot wait to get into it. I received a complimentary and unedited (it hasn't quite been through the complete editing process yet) eBook version of this book by the publisher (for NetGalley) in order to give a review containing my honest opinion.

I give Jamie Carie's The Forgiven Duke 5 stars.

If you haven't read The Guardian Duke yet, I also gave it 5 stars, and I wholeheartedly recommend reading it. The Forgiven Duke will be released July 1st and A Duke's Promise will be coming out sometime this fall.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 24, 2012

Book two starts off right where book one stopped. Alex is on a ship with her fiancé John and the Duke just misses catching up with her. While Alex heads to Iceland in search of her parents with John the Duke plays detective to figure out where she is heading. Just as he is about to head to Iceland to find her he is detained and sent back to England where he must answer as to why he does not have Alex yet. Just as he sorts things out he is kidnapped and taken to Spain. Finally after that ordeal he heads to Iceland to finally find Alex and bring her home.

While all that is going on Alex is searching Iceland with John for her parents. She finds just enough clues to keep going. While she is searching she also starts to evaluate her feeling for John and wonders if she can actually marry John when her heart is secretly falling for the Duke. The climate of this book comes to a head in Iceland and I will let you read this book for yourself to see how it all turns out!

Book one left us with a cliff hanger and I was excited to read book two to see how things worked out would Alex and the Duke finally meet? This book did not disappoint. I was swept away into this adventure from page one!

What I liked: This book was interesting all the way though. Right from page one the story line grabbed my interest and before I knew it I was turning the last page. I admit to being a little worried that having three books covering the same story line might seem like over kill I was pleasantly surprised to find that was not the case. The story line continues to evolve in book two. In book one we got to know the characters and why Alex went after her parents. In this book we are still searching for them but the added story line has to do with what her parents where searching for. Really a whole new story starts to immerge with in the original and its so well written it flows together smoothly.

What I did not like: I admit the fact that the Duke is still deaf and how it fits(or is going to fit) into the storyline is kind of a mystery to me. Maybe book 3 is going to develop on this a little more.

Over all I really liked this book. I have found that when it comes to series that the middle book can be a stepping stone where you just want to get through it to the final book. Not with this one though. The added storyline about what Alex's parents are searching for made it really good yet kept the over all suspense of Alex and the Duke finally meeting. Now I am very excited to see where the third book goes and how the storyline is going to come together and finish.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 22, 2012

This book is even better than The Guardian Duke.

There is all the adventure of traveling fearlessly through Iceland on horseback, being kidnapped and incarcerated by the Spanish Inquisition with all the political pomp and circumstance of the early 1800's. I love the royal fight over the missing manuscript coated thickly with pretentious good manners. I love how Gabriel knows the game and plays along, biding his time for his own ends. And I love how Alex manages obliviously on her goodwill.

There are too many gorgeous outfits. There's the fur-lined robes and coats for traveling through the cold, dark winter of the far north. Alex's wardrobe in London is so beautiful, so fun. The setting is all very intricate including the horrible ships and the seasickness that Gabriel survives by chewing on ginger root.

The author continues flitting through danger and adventure and love like a butterfly, barely dippin' our delicate toes in grit. Serious subjects, even, are mentioned and endured, tears shed, and then life flits onward with so much hope and forgiveness that I shake my head and laugh.

Not that I didn't cry. Last night caught me under my covers reading by low Nook light tears dampening my pillow and making my eyes all puffy this morning. The romantic tension between the characters... between Alex and John and then Alex and Gabriel (in something that could never be called a Love Triangle) is absolutely exquisite. It is butterfly-innocent and so well developed that I didn't doubt the motives or actions of any of the players. I especially appreciated how Alex's choices led to costly consequences. Just because she is innocent and well-meaning, doesn't mean she has a get-out-of-jail free card.

Alex grows into a woman. I am watching with great concern on the sidelines because she is so alone. Her innocence has endeared her to everyone around her, but it's also a volcano brewing, ready to cause all kinds of irreparable damage.

Gabriel changes, too. He grows more accustomed to his "affliction" and is a better person for it, by a lot. Then he suffers more, too... first with his circumstances and then with his own soul. I could have throttled him for being so stubborn. Alex, however, appreciates the same characteristic in him. He still reminds me of Mr. Rochester... like maybe years after the ending of Jane Eyre when the two figured out how to work together and took on challenges together, or something. Does Alex remind me of Jane?! Yes... and no. The two would agree on their morals, at least.

There is a lot of praying and Scripture in this book, more than in the first. I loved it. The prayers are so close to what I would say. The questions they ask God are so perfect, down to "Why?!"

I was pulled out of the book when Gabriel repeated a verse to himself in the King James - not that it wasn't appropriate, but it was hard to pronounce all the "Th's" even in my head. Lol. There were some phrases that pulled me out, too, as in "the ton". It's correct for the time period, but uncomfortable to read very often.

As for the pace, it started slowly for me, as the two were drawn apart impossibly far and then further, yet. The adventures just hopped from one to another in a happy, endless sort of way that made me feel sleepy. Lol. That was before the tension kicked in and I couldn't put it down!

My Rating: 4 - Good book!! I cannot wait to read the third in this trilogy coming out in the fall. I am completely absorbed in Gabriel & Alex's life!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 20, 2012
Jamie Carie in her new book, "The Forgiven Duke" Book Two in the Forgotten Castles series published by B&H Publishing Group takes us back to Medieval England in 1818.

From the back cover: 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.

While it is possible to read this book first and Ms. Carie does an excellent job of getting you up to speed I really recommend reading the first book, "The Guardian Duke", first as there is quite a lot of story you will be missing. This time the story shifts from Ireland to Iceland As Lady Alexandria is still hunting for her missing parents. She is hoping that Gabriel, The Duke of the title, will catch up to her as she is regretting accepting the proposal of Lord John Lemon. Someone is after her to stop her in her quest and Lord John is questionable. This is the stuff of high adventure. This book is a bit darker than the first book but it is still a wonderful story filled with great characters that we have come to love and root for. I am so looking forward to the conclusion of this trilogy so that I can find out what happens.

If you would like to listen to interviews with other authors and professionals please go to Kingdom Highlights where they are available On Demand.

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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from B&H Publishing Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 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."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 18, 2012
Jamie Carie has done it again! She has produced quite a masterpiece in The Forgiven Duke, the second installment in her "Forgotten Castles" series. I was so impressed by the first book in the series, The Guardian Duke, that I was a little worried the sequel might disappoint. Although the two books are different in some ways, they are both just as good and equally deserving of the five stars I have given them.

In the first book, The Guardian Duke, Gabriel, the Duke of St. Easton, has been trying to catch his ward, Alexandria Featherstone, in a chase across England and Ireland, but to no avail. Alexandria (Alex) has been trying to locate her parents who are high-profile treasure hunters. At the end, Alex is sailing off on a ship to Iceland as the Duke is on shore watching her leave. They lock eyes for an intense moment over the distance that separates them--and speak to each other in the way only soul mates can. Gabriel has just decided that if he reaches Alex in time, he will abandon the Regent's wishes to bring Alex back to England and help her in her quest to find her parents. He will choose faith over duty (his family motto is "Faith for Duty"). He knows he loves her and will do whatever it takes.

The Forgiven Duke begins where The Guardian Duke leaves off. The year is 1818. Alex is now aboard the ship with her fiancé, John Lemon. Alex realizes she may have made a mistake in trying to escape her guardian, and prays that he will come. She needs him. Alex feels her life has gotten off track. John seems too eager to marry her. She wonders what his real motivations are. In the midst of all this, Alex must be on constant alert for the dangerous men who have been following her since the beginning of her search for her parents. She must also consider if she can trust those who are supposedly her allies.

The Duke follows Alex to Iceland, the last place where "the manuscript" was heard to be. This is what Alex's parents are searching for. Gabriel travels to the Black Castles of Iceland, huge black pillars from volcanic lava that look like castles. This path is fraught with dangers. Gabriel is deterred again and again. Will he ever make it to Alex in time? Why is the manuscript so valuable?

Alex and Gabriel do finally meet, and the meeting is so tender and worth the wait! Then a tragedy occurs. Will Alex and the Duke let the tragedy separate them just when they were finally brought together?

I adored this book. It was different from its predecessor in many ways, as I stated before, because it seemed to have a more intense feel to it. The Guardian Duke was a more light-hearted romp, with fun, lovable characters. The Forgiven Duke deals with much weightier subjects. The scenery here, instead of being the verdant Ireland, is the dark, dangerous paths of Iceland.

As I state in my previous review of The Guardian Duke, both are written to have an air of poetry about them. Jamie Carie writes in a way that is lyrical and mesmerizing. The Forgiven Duke uses amazing and wonderfully descriptive language. The land of Iceland feels almost otherworldly. She describes a beautiful land with fire, ice, snow, crevasses, boiling mud pits, volcanoes, and mists.

It was inspiring to watch the journey of faith that Gabriel and Alex's characters take. Gabriel prays a lot more in this book. He used to love listening to music, but now he uses music to worship God. God fills the hole in him that music used to fill. While reading I began examining myself for different areas where I might be going to things other than God to satisfy my needs. It is a good reality check for all of us. The Duke must come to the end of himself and ask for God's will in everything. That is a hard place to be, but a good one, because that is really when God can start to use us.

Alex realizes she is trying to control things by attempting to find her parents her own way and not submitting to the Duke. She now comprehends how much havoc and suffering this has caused to others. I can relate to Alex as I constantly have to give up my own issues of control to God.

I love the storyline of this series because it is fresh, exiting and will whisk you off to new places!
I give this book five stars out of five. It is a clean read. It is Christian fiction.

I want to thank NetGalley, Jamie Carie and the B&H Publishing Group for the complimentary copy of this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I express in this review are my own. This is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's CFR 16, Part 255.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 18, 2012
This is the second book in The Forgotten Castles series; sweeping us away from the rolling gray green hills of Ireland, to the beautiful land of Iceland...the land of fire and ice. Our heroine, Alexandria, has reason to believe her parents are alive and follows their trail to Iceland, along with her fiance John Lemon. However, memories of Gabriel, the Duke of Easton, standing at the shoreline as her ship sails away still haunts her, and she questions her hasty decision to marry John. Together her and John encounter many dangers amongst the Black Castles of Iceland, as many other evil people are also after the treasure her parents are searching for.

As Gabriel continues to follow Alex, he is kidnapped, beaten, and imprisoned on a Spanish ship. Will he ever be reunited with the woman he has seen but only once; the beautiful lady who has stolen his heart forever? One nightmarish night with John Lemon turns Alex's life upside down, and she wonders if her future will ever be the same again, for surely the duke would never have her now...and perhaps he never wanted her to start with. As plans are underway to marry John, will the duke's plan work to get off the prison ship and continue his search for Alex? Can the guardian duke save her from treacherous people and from herself as well? Are Alexandria's parents dead or alive? Will the Duke regain his hearing and will Alex learn to trust God's plans for her life?

Jamie Carie just "wows" me with her writing. There is never a dull moment in this series filled with twists and turns. I love the way the characters have evolved from the first book. I see a change in the duke's perspective concerning his affliction, and in Alexandria, who had alot of growing up to do! As always, Jamie's writing is superb---I love her use of imagery, and I could see in my mind's eye so clearly, every country they visited. I know she did extensive research on this series and I applaud her! Nicely done!

I received a copy of this book from Net Galley and was not required to write a positive review.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 18, 2012
In this second book of her Forgotten Castles Series once again Jamie Carie takes us back in time to the beautiful green hills of Ireland where the high spirited Lady Alexandria Featherstone is seeking to find her parents that are assumed dead. She was placed under the care of the Duke of St Easton but he has yet to catch up with her...this time he almost had her within arm's reach until once again she slipped away. This time she will travel to Iceland and encounter more danger than she ever imagined, will the Duke arrive in time to save her and take her back to London where he can keep her safe?

Alexandria is in a hurry to search for her parents, but her friends Montague and Baylor are unable to go with her this time. Montague's nephew, John Lemon has proposed marriage to Alex. He is very charming and Alex believes he will be a wonderful husband so she accepts. Since they did not have time to plan a wedding or even to find a minister to marry them before their ship sails to Iceland, they board the ship under the guise of being a couple on their honeymoon.

When they arrive in Iceland they are fortunate to find someone who has seen the Featherstones. After following several clues they find out more of the mystery of this manuscript everyone from the English, to the Spanish want to get their hands on. Will Alexandria figure out where her parents have gone and finally be able to dispel the rumors of their death?

Gabriel Ravenwood, the Duke of St Easton could not believe she had alluded him once again... as he watched her sail away on a ship bound for Iceland. Even as he watched her leaving he could feel the pull between them...this beautiful young woman who had captured his heart with the few letters he had received from her. Would God be merciful and let him finally take her back home so he could keep her safe? Will he be able to make it to Iceland in time to rescue her? Or will the very ones that are chasing her take him in the hope of using him to find Alex? Will he once and for all be able to claim Alexandria as his very own?

I loved this story; there was so much excitement I found myself not wanting to put it down. Jamie paints such a beautiful picture of all the places that the Duke and Alex travel to it feels as if I am there with them. I know she put a lot of time into the research. I also loved the way she portrayed the Duke's affliction, it was fascinating to say the least. Thank you Jamie for this wonderful story and I cannot wait to read the next one, A Duke's Promise.

I was given an ARC of this from NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion.
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