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Duchess by Deception (Gilded Book 1) Kindle Edition
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"Force has crafted a masterpiece with the perfect amount of romance."
-Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW
"A vividly described, deeply erotic romance."
About the Author
- ASIN : B07CWDR4PS
- Publisher : Zebra Books (January 29, 2019)
- Publication date : January 29, 2019
- Language : English
- File size : 2631 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 338 pages
- Page numbers source ISBN : 1420147854
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #35,130 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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But with that said, I really, really wish she hadn’t tried her hand at historical romance because this is a hot mess. It’s got some absolute clangers in terms of historical inaccuracies and a hero who tells continued and repeated lies to the heroine and then tries to tell her it’s all for her benefit. While refusing to allow her to sleep apart from him because ‘she’d never forgive him if he gave her too much time to think about the many ways he’d done her wrong’ and basically forcing himself on her even when she told him she wanted him to leave.
I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start with the historical and geographic inaccuracies. Set in 1902, mostly at the Duke of Westwood’s Essex estate. However, it reads more like a Regency romance than an Edwardian one; the only thing non-Regency was ‘collar and tie’ on the gentlemen rather than cravats. The duke, Derek, and his love interest Catherine elope to Gretna Green to get married hastily… which is the first thing I scowled at. In 1856 the law was changed to stop the scandalous Scottish marriages taking place, requiring at least one member of a couple wishing to marry to be resident in Scotland for 21 days prior to a marriage. Which didn’t happen. So in 1902, no couple from England are running off to Gretna and getting married on the day of their arrival.
Which brings me to another point. In 1902, the journey from Essex to Scotland could have been managed in a couple of days, as Derek and Catherine did - but certainly not by horse-drawn carriage, which would have been a 6-day journey at least, but nobody would do it that way. Trains ran the length and breadth of Britain by that time and they would only have taken a carriage as far as the nearest station. Guess what else isn’t even mentioned in the book? That’s right. No trains. The Duke’s carriage magically transports them from Essex to Scotland with just one overnight stop.
Historical and geographic inaccuracies aside, I thoroughly disliked the plot of this book. Derek flat-out lies to Catherine about who he is and continues to do so even after they’re married until he’s caught out, which is dubious consent in my book at the very least. And then he refuses to allow her to be righteously angry because he’s afraid she won’t forgive him, which would frankly be the least of what he deserves.
Oh, and did I mention the sex? This pair are at it like rabbits within a few days of meeting, before getting married and afterwards, and not content with them, Force also writes in a romance between the duke’s cousin and Catherine’s younger sister and writes a whole separate story in which they get married and have sex too. There were so many sex scenes I started skimming them after a while. This is NOT supposed to be erotica.
I almost quit reading this at the 70% mark, but I don’t believe in critiqueing something without full and informed knowledge, so I soldiered on. Shortly after that Catherine did finally read Derek the riot act properly, saying she couldn’t reconcile the goodness she saw in him with the man who repeatedly lied to the woman he claimed to love. At which point he went off in a sulk and took off to London for three days, letting her find out about it from the housekeeper.
Guess what? The genuinely epic grovel this story desperately needed never, ever happened, Catherine decided sex with Derek was good enough to not care about his lies and when he fell ill with influenza, blamed herself for putting stress on him, and SHE apologized to HIM. Self-gaslighting was a new low even for this book.
I honestly can hardly believe a writer with as much talent as Marie Force wrote this utterly dreadful drivel. Please, please go back to writing contemporary suspense, ma’am. Or maybe get a sensitivity reader and an editor knowledgeable about the historical period you’re writing about to clean up the horrible mess of inaccuracies and dubious consent before you publish the rest of the series.
I can hardly believe I’m saying this, but I cannot possibly give this awful story any more than one star.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book for review through NetGalley.
What I liked.
Very well written and edited. Not one misspelling that I can remember.
The plot flowed pretty well.
The characters seemed well developed enough for me to root for them.
The back story for all the characters made sense.
The dialogue was well done, but overly sweet by the end.
Sex scenes were well written.
The bad guy was well written and truly despicable
What I didn’t like. Spoilers ahead. Skip to the end for the wrap up
They fell in love too fast for me. The nice thing about historicals is the slow build. She barely recovered from a fever and had only met before she got sick, yet they were both so inlust they couldn’t wait for marriage. Kind of a big deal back then. Also his cousin gets a love story in this book and it’s the exact love at first sight scenario. Ugh.
Also, I felt like a girl from this era who had almost been raped might have at least some trauma and have reservations rather than pushing him for pre-marital sex.
Derek was not a strong lead. I like my book boyfriends to be flawed, but not IDK what the right word is........slimey, weak willed, ?
He was terrified to tell her the truth and let it go on far too long. Then seduced her into physical relations even though she asked him for space. He came off as desperate, needing for her to forgive him, but he didn’t act honorably or contrite enough for me.
By the end of the book the dialogue ran on and on with how much they loved each other and were so lucky, and how happy they were, etc. it got old fast. I stopped reading with only a little of the book left, to go to sleep, and usually I will finish a book when I’m that close. I was pretty sure how it would wrap up, and I wasn’t wrong. The epilogue was mostly about setting up the next book.
there were a few modern phrases that didn’t seem to fit in this era.
Wrapping it up
All in all I found this an ok read, not great but not horrible. A weak Hero, but he was likable enough. The Heroine was semi-strong but not much in the way of strong will. I guess it’s not her fault for being deceived.
I would recommend this to anyone who likes the old fashioned sweet historicals with a little spice. There are fairly graphic sex scenes if you aren’t into erotica, then you won’t love those. Not much angst or sexual tension.
I will NOT be reading the rest of the series nor do I have any interest in reading more from this author.
Top reviews from other countries
I was excited to read Duchess as soon as Marie told her readers about its acquisition.
Our Duke Derek Eagan is dreamy, smart, compassionate and a real visionary. Derek wants to find a wife who has more depth than most of those he's met in London.
Catherine McCabe is an amazingly strong and sure heroine (like all those Marie writes). Catherine is fleeing from the man she's been promised to and is on a mission to find the lost key to a Hepplewhite chest left to her by her Grandmother and she won't let anything or anyone stand in her way.
Derek finds Catherine digging on his land and their unlikely connection begins. They take us along, on what turns out to be a very bumpy but enjoyable ride.
Duchess contains super hot, steamy scenes between Derek and Catherine as well as a secondary couple, that are not to be missed. A 5 star read in my books.
Very excited to go to Newport, Rhode Island in the second "Gilded" story Deceived by Desire later this year.
Fell in love with Derek and other characters in this book, will definitely be reading the next one.
Was not a wishy washy story it seemed real and you could imagine all the events taking place.