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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great start of a trilogy!
Lady Alexandria Featherstone has been told her parents are dead but she doesn't believe it all. She just knows they must be alive and that something has happened to them while our on their last treasure hunt. Gabriel, the Duke of Easton, has been assigned guardian of Lady Alexandria by the king and he wants to fulfill that assignment the best he can. The problem is...
Published on January 19, 2012 by Booklover2905

versus
70 of 84 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars UGH!
I rarely give out 1 star reviews to a book I have actually finished. If I've finished it, it deserves at least 2 stars unless it is completely unredeemable for me. I was annoyed with this story to point that I had to force myself to finish, just skimming along repetitive paragraphs searching for kernels of story. I also wanted to know how the story ended. And that is why...
Published on January 22, 2012 by akb--bookworm


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70 of 84 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars UGH!, January 22, 2012
This review is from: The Guardian Duke: A Forgotten Castles Novel (Paperback)
I rarely give out 1 star reviews to a book I have actually finished. If I've finished it, it deserves at least 2 stars unless it is completely unredeemable for me. I was annoyed with this story to point that I had to force myself to finish, just skimming along repetitive paragraphs searching for kernels of story. I also wanted to know how the story ended. And that is why this is only 1 star instead of 2 stars: There is no ending! There is no resolution! There is no romance! There is no connection! The hero and heroine meet once at 93% into the book, but don't know it's the other. This is the first book I wanted to throw across the room, but it was on my Kindle and didn't want to break it. I did scream and groan and lament the fact that I trudged all through this horrible mess called a book for absolutely NOTHING!

Obviously, I have some strong negative feelings about this "book."

Lady Alexandria Featherstone's parents are high profile treasure hunters and have gone missing. The King has declared them dead and has ordered Gabriel, the Duke of St. Easton, to take guardianship over Lady Alex to keep her safe from those who possibly harmed her parents, who seek the same treasure, and who would use her to find it as well. Alex chafes at the idea of having a guardian and doesn't believe her parents dead so she sets out to follow "clues" left behind by her parents to save them. Gabriel pursues her across England and Ireland trying to protect his ward from harm.

First, Lady Alex is TOO STUPID TO LIVE! She has no skills, no personality, and no common sense. Her parents never wanted a child, and have made no secret about it. She lives in squalor and is shocked to find out that she has a fortune that rivals the duke's, which we hear over and over again is richer than the King! So, her parents never showed her any love yet she is worried for them and determined to save them. She runs off without a companion and shocked when men treat her as a common whore because she isn't acting like a lady. She has no sleuthing skills, yet everyone clamors about how smart she is because she goes to the post office where her parents posted a letter. Wow! What deductive reasoning you have! She tells everyone wide and far that she's looking for her parents and searching for treasure. Wow! Way to keep a low profile! She throws several temper tantrums throughout the story, yet when one of her companions she collects along the way gets hurt he says to her "Quit that blubbering and act like the woman I know you are." Really? And what woman would that be? The one that freaks out over everything? Because, yeah, she's doing that right now. Where is this strong, capable, smart woman you think you are talking to, because it isn't Alex.

Everyone she meets seems to fall under her spell and is from then on her loyal friends, yet I could see no reason for it. All she does is say hi, tell them her whole life story about searching for her parents and treasure, and they smile and think she is amazing.

I liked the idea of Alex and Gabriel falling in love through letters, but I couldn't even understand how it happened. They exchange a few letters, in which Alex tells more lies than truths, yet Gabriel is falling for this woman? The letters are very few, they show Alex as an ignorant lady of ill breeding as she is rude, demanding, and plain stupid for calling the King names! And Gabriel wants to love this woman?

The mystery of the missing parents and missing treasure is never resolved, yet we hear all the "clues" (and I use that term "clues" loosely, this isn't Sherlock Holmes or anything remotely intelligent) at least twice as Alex follows her "clues" and questions people and then a few days later Gabriel, hot on her trail, questions the same people and we hear the same "clues" yet again. Repetitive!

Oh, and Gabriel. Sigh, where to start. He actually wasn't so bad if he wasn't so stupid. It's never clear WHY the King calls on HIM to protect Alex. What skills does he have to bring to the table? Huh, not sure. We do know that he has studied just about every subject. He gets obsessive about something and learns all there is about it and then is bored with it and moves on. And he is rich. So, why is it HIM the King wants to pursue this? Don't know. As I said before, we don't get an ending. And so much time is devoted to his new ailment of losing his hearing that that is all that is remarkable about him. He's lost his hearing and has to deal with it. And he's too stupid to follow an inept treasure hunter.

I know several people will mark this review as "Not Helpful" just because I'm giving it 1 Star, but really I was that annoyed with this story. I slogged through all that annoyance to get to absolutely nothing--there was absolutely no payoff in the end to make it worth it.

My Recommendation: Skip this headache and timewaster. If you are still inclined to read this, I'd suggest waiting until the release of the second book The Forgiven Duke: A Forgotten Castles Novel so that you can at least find out how it all ends. Cliffhanger doesn't even begin to describe how this book ends as not one item in this story is resolved. (And really, I can't understand WHY the DUKE has to be FORGIVEN when it is Alex is the liar and the inconsiderate imbecile who is in serious need of forgiveness--not the duke who has done NOTHING wrong!)

Forgotten Castles Novels
The Guardian Duke
The Forgiven Duke: A Forgotten Castles Novel

I wish I had just skipped this one or just stopped reading once I realized it was a dud. *groan*
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great start of a trilogy!, January 19, 2012
This review is from: The Guardian Duke: A Forgotten Castles Novel (Paperback)
Lady Alexandria Featherstone has been told her parents are dead but she doesn't believe it all. She just knows they must be alive and that something has happened to them while our on their last treasure hunt. Gabriel, the Duke of Easton, has been assigned guardian of Lady Alexandria by the king and he wants to fulfill that assignment the best he can. The problem is Alexandria does not want to allow and runs of on her own in search for her parents. She manages to always stay one step ahead of the Duke who is bound and determined to catch up with her and bring her back to London safely.

This was such a fun book to read. I loved reading the letters written between Gabriel and Alexandria and wondering what would happen next. This book kept me guessing all the way through. As soon as I thought he would catch up to her she came up with a new way of getting ahead. Jamie Carie did a great job at keeping the story interesting and weaving the two characters stories together. This book left me very excited to read the next book in the series. It ended with a big cliffhanger that left me with more questions and the thrill of what will happen next. The next book, The Forgiven Duke, releases in July 2012.

Note: I was given an advance review copy of this book from the author and publisher in exchange for my honest review.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good beginning to a series...with a major cliffhanger!, February 17, 2012
This review is from: The Guardian Duke: A Forgotten Castles Novel (Paperback)
Jamie Carie has captured my attention once again with her newest release, The Guardian Duke. This first book in her A Forgotten Castle series will have you traveling across countries as Lady Alexandria is determined to find her parents...and Gabriel, the Duke of St. Easton, is just as determined to find her.

Both Alexandria and Gabriel make for unique and endearing characters. Gabriel especially. He captured my attention from the very beginning and I always looked forward to reading one of his scenes. With all of the problems he is constantly facing--and now having to be a guardian to a young woman who is anything but compliant--had me cheering him on throughout the book.

I confess I didn't like Alexandria as much. She seemed...ditsy, almost, in the way she went about things. I don't know, but it got on my nerves a little. Montague was really cool, though! I loved how he just swooped into Alexandria's path like a guardian angel and protects her along her journey.

The first half of The Guardian Duke was a little slow going, but not terribly so. But be forewarned--there is a major cliffhanger at the end of this book. I am anxiously awaiting the next book in this series, I can tell you! What will Gabriel and Alexandria go through next??

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received one or more of the products or services mentioned above for free in the hope that I would mention it on my blog. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers. 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
5.0 out of 5 stars An intriguing beginning to a spell-binding series!, October 21, 2013
This review is from: The Guardian Duke: A Forgotten Castles Novel (Paperback)
Having read all of Jamie Carie's books, I would definitely call myself a fan of her writing. When I first saw The Guardian Duke come out, I never got around to reading it but it looked like something I would enjoy. Eventually, there was a whole trilogy out and I still hadn't gotten around to reading them. I was very excited when NetGalley offered the chance to read and review the books. I jumped on the chance and was thoroughly entertained by this series.

Gabriel is the Duke of St. Easton. One day he suffered a fever and ended up losing his hearing. When Alexandria Featherstone's parents are presumed dead, she is placed under the guardianship of the duke. Having never met each other, they take up a correspondence through mail. Alex believes her parents are still alive so she sets out to find them. Meanwhile, Gabriel believes Alex needs him so he goes to her castle, only to find her gone. So he sets out after her only to find himself a few steps behind everywhere he goes.

I loved the romantic aspect of them writing letters to each other yet not ever having met. I enjoyed the story and found it to be intriguing and gripping. I didn't want to stop reading because I wanted to know what would happen. This book definitely leaves you on a cliffhanger where you're going to want to pick up the next book right away. Thankfully I was able to do that. I really like Jamie Carie's books because her writing style is just so different and unique and it's refreshing to read something that is somewhat different from everyone else's.

I received a free ecopy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. I received no compensation for this review nor was I required to write a positive review. All opinions stated are my own.

Leah B.
Must Love Books
mustlovereading.wordpress.com
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unique read, July 6, 2013
The Guardian Duke was such a unique read. I am not usually a fan of epistolary novels; however, the letters were just a part of the book, not the entire book.

Alex is a young girl who has absentee parents (apparently this phenomenon is not limited to contemporary or paranormal YA). She has practically raised herself and is living in dire straits, with no money to maintain her parents' crumbling castle.

Gabriel is a young duke who has recently suddenly lost his hearing. He struggles with his condition and feels that no one around him understands. When Alex's parents are assumed dead after they fail to return from one of their treasure-hunting trips, the King assigns Gabriel with guardianship of Alex. They start to communicate via letter and a grudging friendship ensues.

Alex decides to set off to find her parents, never believing that they are dead. Gabriel sets off to visit Alex and help her repair the castle and her parents' estate. He finds her gone and tries to find her. Alex runs into trouble during her journey and meets two friends along the way.

What I really liked about this book was the subtle faith and the development of the relationship between Alex and Gabriel. I loved that they fall in love with each other solely based on their letters. The inclusion of the letters at the beginning of each chapter was a nice addition to the story and I got a lot of enjoyment out of them.

What bothered me about this book was the lack of closure. I thought the story cut off rather abruptly, even more so than most cliffhanger endings in series novels. It definitely left me excited for the second book in the series, but I was also frustrated at the very open ending.

Overall, I would recommend The Guardian Duke, especially for fans of Christian fiction and historical fiction. While I wait for The Forgiven Duke (book two) I am going to read more of Jamie Carie's work.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Book 1 of Forgotten Castles, February 11, 2013
This review is from: The Guardian Duke: A Forgotten Castles Novel (Paperback)
This is a historical Christian romance with a bit of mystery. This story takes place in 1818. Gabriel Ravenwood is the Duke of St. Easton. He has a love for music and loses his hearing suddenly. The doctors cannot figure out why he has lost his hearing. Gabriel gets a letter from the king appointing him as the guardian for Lady Alexandria Featherstone of Holy Island. Her parents are treasure hunters that have been missing and have been presumed dead. Upon hearing that she has been appointed a guardian, Alex decides to find her parents as she believes them to be alive still. Her travels start in Ireland and she will meet danger upon the way. She will also gain 2 traveling companions who protect her. When Gabriel journeys to Holy Island to bring Alex to London he discovers of her travels and goes after her as she is in danger. He has never met her yet as they have only corresponded through letters.

I really enjoyed this story. I really grew to like these characters, each dealing with their own problems the best that they can. The author did a fantastic job of describing the scenery. I could imagine all these characters and places while I was reading. There wasn't too much romance in this story as all the feelings that developed were through letters. The author did leave a little cliffhanger at the end so it's a good thing I have the next book waiting for me to read it!

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
4.0 out of 5 stars Review from Martini Times Romance Book Reviews (Martinitimes.com), February 5, 2013
I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for a review.

In Jamie Carie's christian regency romance novel, The Guardian Duke, she begins the story of Alexandria Featherstone and her quest to find her missing, treasure hunting, parents.

This book is the first of a trilogy in the Forgotten Castles Novels. I have read them all and will give a review of each. Let me begin my review by saying that I highly recommend all three books to be read right after each other because where one book ends, the other picks up immediately after.

The writing is very well done, and I encourage anyone who enjoys a historical romance and adventure to give this one a try, even though it's also a christian romance.

Ms. Carie delivers many powerful messages through her characters. Messages that give hope when your faith is low, reminds us that God is all forgiving no matter how bad we believe our sins to be, and He has a plan for our lives.

For the full review please visit Martini Times.com - [...]
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Determined Wills Collide, September 29, 2012
Alexandria Featherstone is used to being alone. Her parents have always been away more than home. But when they do not return after a year of being gone the King declares them dead and hands guardianship of Alexandria to Gabriel, the Duke of St. Easton. Alexandra and Gabriel share letters but before they can meet in person she takes off on her own to find her parents, believing they are still alive.

There are parts of this story that are quite unbelievable. As rich as the Featherstone's seem to be, why do they leave their daughter practically penniless as they pursue their dream? I have a certain thought on that and it may be explained in the sequels to this story. Lady Alex is stubborn and determined. She uses falsehoods to get what she wants, knowing that it is wrong and not what God would have her do. Gabriel is the proud Duke of Easton who is brought to his knees by an unexplainable malady. He has to learn to work with the help of others instead of relying on his own abilities. His disability appears at the same moment he learns of his new guardianship.

Even though some bits of the story seem to be a bit preposterous I was hooked quickly. I really did enjoy the story as a whole and I think leaving the story unfinished, in the traditional sense, was clever. I will be getting the rest of the series!

I received this book free of charge from B&H Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great trilogy start, September 23, 2012
By 
Glenajo (Rockwall, TX) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Guardian Duke: A Forgotten Castles Novel (Paperback)
After the King ordered Gabriel, the Duke of St. Easton to be the guardian for Lady Alexandria Featherstone whose parents are missing. Alexandria, who practically raised herself, does not feel the need for a guardian at this point. Alexandria wants to find and save her parents, and she assumes that the Duke is a stuffy old man who will put a stop to her desires. Immediately, Alexandria begins her plans to find her parents while keeping away from Gabriel and walking right into danger.

The Guardian Duke starts this series off on the right foot. Carie weaves an interesting romantic mystery as the main characters deal with personal problems and attempt to strengthen their relationships with the Lord. Carie describes the scenery beautifully, building visual pictures of the travels. This is a great read for historical romantic mystery readers of all ages.

Received Galley from NetGalley.com
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars the story lingers long after you close the cover, July 11, 2012
This review is from: The Guardian Duke: A Forgotten Castles Novel (Paperback)
I started The Forgiven Duke the same moment I finished The Guardian Duke. There is not so much as a cliffhanger ending as a story left unfinished. In the interview I posted yesterday, Jamie Carie said
I was able to really dive into their growth and development and create a sweeping plot that covered so much more ground than a stand alone story.
This is so evident in this story. Alex is revealed slowly and deliciously through her love for her parents, her care for her island, her old castle and the people that live there. (Oh yea, she lives in an old castle!!!)

Gabriel is revealed in so many layers... through frustrations and conflicts. The idea that he and Alex will get together also grows gradually. There's no insta-love OR love triangles. And I thought we had to have one or the other, at least!! Oh, no... this story has two unique characters with natural attractions that just keep compounding despite (or because of) the oddest circumstances.

I love the setting in the early 1800's Great Britain. I can feel the wind off the ocean, hear the accents during the trek across Ireland. Too fun. The clothes are described just enough to visualize Jane Austen style fashions. Too cute. I love the setting and I love, LOVE the characters.

Hey... even the supporting cast is full of flavor. I picture Meade in his alligator costume, spindly and leaping to Gabriel's assistance before he even asks. He's eager to please, but loaded with his own opinion, which is not always the same as "his Grace's". Admiral Montague is too utterly noble. He has his own past aches and although he is helping Alex, she is helping him, too. Baylor is the perfect Irish giant especially with his wife, "my harpy". Lol. Oh, and John Lemon... I had to laugh when he was referred to as a "fop" by Gabriel, of course, in a very jealous moment. He's the perfect, handsome gentleman. all gracious and kindness. But I can see that FOPness, too... it's there!! But Gabriel really shouldn't be talkin'... he lingers to "assist" a widowed beauty, the lovely Claire Montgomery. Oh, if only Alex knew!!

The flip-side of this book... is it is not a "fast" read. It has a lulling pace that unfolds it's secrets at it's own pace. There's a little action, I suppose, but the moments are brief. Minor incidents. There is also a bucket-load of cuteness. Lol. It's true!! I don't mean the parts where everyone tries their darndest to do the right thing - no, that's refreshing - but the parts where things keep working out well. Like... it's so handy that someone rescues Alex at just the right moment, or that they happen upon the group of people who remember an important clue on Alex's search. Over and over. I caught myself wishing that more things went wrong. Lol. The tension and the close calls between Alex and Gabriel start increasing by the end, though... so I have no idea what I'll do when I finish the next book. Probably camp out on the author's back porch 'til she coughs up A Duke's Promise!!

My Rating: 3.5 - This book is definitely worth reading. The scenes linger long after the covers are closed.

Cover Commentary: Gotta love the cover!! I think it's so great how well the model matches Alex!!
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The Guardian Duke: A Forgotten Castles Novel
The Guardian Duke: A Forgotten Castles Novel by Jamie Carie (Paperback - February 1, 2012)
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