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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Unexpected plot twists, witty dialogue and an engaging cast of secondary characters contribute to the charm of a new Regency romance by the author of The Heiress Bride . The Earl of Chase's illegitimate daughter Josephina Cochrain, nicknamed "the Duchess" by her antagonistic cousin Marcus Wyndham because of her precocious self-possession, unexpectedly becomes both legitimate and an heiress upon her father's death. His nephew Marcus receives the title but little else; Josephina inherits most of the money but will lose it all unless she weds her obnoxious cousin. The two protagonists are quite predictable, although Josephina at one point embarks on a course of action completely out of character, but Coulter surrounds them with memorable eccentrics, and the action never slows. Attempted murders, hidden treasure and a special secret of Josephina's known only to her faithful manservant Badger all ensure that this first volume in a planned trilogy creates plenty of situations for subsequent novels to explore. Doubleday Book Club main selection; Literary Guild alternate.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

The earl of Chase finds a way, despite the strictures of entailment and primogeniture, to leave nearly his entire inheritance to his illegitimate daughter, Josephina. The will leaves his nephew Marcus all of the entailed lands and residences with an allowance of only 200 pounds per year; Josephina inherits almost everything else. If the two marry, the estate can run smoothly. However, the earl's will also stipulates that if the pair do not marry, the estate will be passed on to distant American relations. The "colonials" hear the news and dash over; meanwhile, Josephina has traveled to Paris (where the earl is helping to restore a monarchy to France) and maneuvers her cousin Marcus into marriage. Their return home is tumultuous because of the interloping Americans, who wish to break up the marriage and search for buried treasure--the Wyndham legacy. Lots of wordplay and other frolicking fill the pages of Coulter's pleasant, sure-to-be-popular historical fiction. Denise Perry Donavin --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Legacy Series (Book 1)
  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio; Unabridged edition (January 29, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781441835314
  • ISBN-13: 978-1441835314
  • ASIN: 1441835318
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.1 x 5.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,535,541 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Catherine Coulter is the New York Times bestselling author of 75 books. Her hugely popular FBI thrillers include The Cove, The Maze, The Target, The Edge, Riptide, Hemlock Bay, Eleventh House, Blindside, Blowout, Point Blank, Double Take, Tail Spin, Knockout, Whiplash, Split Second, Backfire, Bombshell, Power Play and Nemesis. She has a new international thriller series -- A Brit in the FBI -- co-written with JT Ellison. These include The Final Cut, The Lost Key and The End Game. Also coming out soon is the first in her novella series, starring Grayson Sherbrooke (from the Sherbrooke historical romance series), titled The Strange Visitation at Wolffe Hall. Coulter lives in northern California with her three thriller cats and her thriller husband.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 23, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I cannot believe I actually finished this book! I struggled through it. Marcus, Earl of Chase, is demeaning in character. He is cruel and say the most hurtful things to someone who does not deserve to be hurt in such a manner. Duchess, an independent woman (and made to be believed an intelligent person)accepts this form of verbal abuse. She keeps the hurtful words within herself until she's fed up and resorts to physical violence. (Oh, that's rich for a romance novel). This story was so disappointing that the mystery of the "legacy" is lost within the plot. Three-quarters into the book is when the romance (if one could call it that) begins. But lets not forget a forced marriage, a marriage to a first cousin, a man who HATES his wife, and a man who hates that his wife is pregnant to his child. But the man does get his way when his wife miscarries. Nothing is mentioned in the book if she conceives again, but even if its mentioned in the other books, I don't think I'd really care. This book does not strike me as romantic...I believe it struck me more of a book of depression or hatred. Oh and to think I bought the complete trilogy. Dare I start on the next book?
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Caro on April 27, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I agree with both the positive and negative commentary for this book. Overall though, I believe while it may not deserve 5 stars it doesn't deserve 1 or 2 stars only!
The beginning was a bit disturbing to me..Marcus the newest Earl of Chase was a complete idiot! He acted like a foolish child and deserved to be coshed! Duchess herself was a bit odd and I can see how some would see her as a complete weakling. While all that did bother me at first, I was happily disproven as the book continued and the characters grew. The only real problem I had was how close Marcus came to raping Duchess...but I suppose that would be for you the reader to decide.
I think it takes great talent for an author to round out her characters so very nicely. Marcus, you will discover is not such a bad bugger after all but is a bit immature for his age and has a quick temper. Duchess, well:) she finds her confidence and her own strength and I'm sure you will love her in the end.
The BEST part of this books are the characters! Mr. Badger, Mr. Spears, Miss Maggie are so very wonderful! You will enjoy their spirit and mischief even if you find you don't like Marcus and Duchess!
The romance is enticing.
The mystery is superb.
The characters even better.
If you can brave out the first more rougher part of this book you will definitly enjoy yourself!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By marye on September 19, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have read this book twice. The first time I thought it was ok but on the second reading, I wondered why my standards had slipped so on the first reading. Marcus is cruel and says studid things -- repeatedly. His dignity crashes completely under what could be considered a justifiably outrageous situation with the will. But the things he says are so very outrageous and mean spirited. He was not an admirable character. However, I did understand his frustration with the Duchess, whom I also came pretty much to dislike. If I read one more time about how still she became and then became even stiller, I think I would have screamed, actually, I did scream. What was there about her to fall in love with much less like unless it was the physical (which is what drew in Marcus). She never talked to Marcus, never shared a bloody thing with him about herself and this was supposed to make her a sympathetic character? We were supposed to feel for her because she "saved" him? Mostly I found them both to be idiotic.
My main conclusion was that this was a "thin" book that was transformed into a novel with the use of verbose (and completely out-of-character for the time) servants, redundant description (why say it once if you could say it twice) and inane analogies.
I could just hear Ms. Coulter's editor in the background "make it longer so we can charge more." "Filler, filler and more filler. This is going to be a hard back and it has to be a certain length!"
This is definely not a recommend. Read the modern books, they are far more believable.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Kelly on April 4, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is just an okay romance. The first part when Marcus wanted to take care of Duchess and second half when they were at Chase Park was more engaging. As expected, Marcus was quite a jerk until Duchess was hurt, the more serious her injuries, it flashed out more feelings he had for her. As for Duchess, she was quite annoyingly frigid in her responses, not enough initiatives to say what was on her mind until being thoroughly enraged by Marcus. Still, it was had for the reader to understand when they started to feel for each other. Marcus seemed not to care much about Duchess' feelings by continuing to see his mistress, by saying all the hurtful things and using her body to satisfy his lust and then scorned her after. But it must be frustrating to deal with Duchess too; she built a wall around herself. There were some romantic moments towards the end, but it felt kind of too late in a way. Furthermore, the peppering of political characters during that time throughout the story could be confusing and distracting to the story. The ending felt like an anti-climax too, who cares about the outcome of Maggie's romance, which was barely mentioned earlier anyway. Also, I found it a bit stretched for Trevor to smuggle two unconscious human beings out of the mansion without rousing anyone.
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