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Duke Most Wanted (Heiress Brides) Mass Market Paperback – April 29, 2008
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"Everything her readers crave: wit, deliciously sensual romance...laced with intrigue and danger."—Booklist (on the Bradley’s Liar’s Club series)
From the Back Cover
From the USA Today bestselling author of Desperately Seeking a Duke and The Duke Next Door comes an enchanting tale of inheritance at first sight.
IN THE GAME OF LOVE
Sophie Blake’s grandfather willed his fortune to the first of his granddaughters to marry a duke. Since her cousin, Deirdre, will seal the deal any day now, the quiet, bookish Sophie can sit back and enjoy her time with the only man she truly adores: Graham. No matter that the part charmer, part scoundrel has absolutely no designs on her! Sophie is content to engage Graham in lively conversation, beat him at cards. . .and probe at the darkness hiding behind his rakish smile.
YOU’VE GOT TO PLAY BY HEART…
Then Graham unexpectedly gains a title, an estate in near ruins and a mountain of debt. If there is any chance of survival he must find a rich wife—quickly. As his hunt for a bride begins, Sophie realizes that she isn’t even in the running. Suddenly no longer content to be a wallflower, Sophie gets a stunning make-over and becomes the belle of the ball. Lots of heads are turning…including Graham’s. But this beauty has secrets of her own. Will she be his salvation or seal his fate?
“Everything her readers crave: wit, deliciously sensual romance...laced with intrigue and danger.”—Booklist (on the Bradley’s Liar’s Club series)
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Top customer reviews
Out of the blue, Graham the fourth son of a duke gains the title along with a mountain of debt and an estate so neglected it would take a miracle to bring it back from ruin. Graham needs to find a wealthy wife ASAP. Sophie who has fallen in love with Graham, knows she can save him but he's never looked at her romantically and she can't tell him the conditions of winning the Trust or she would forfeit it. With the help of a kindred spirit, Sophie gets a dazzling makeover that makes her a star attraction, but the only one she wants to attract is Graham.
*** This last of the series could almost be called a Cinderella story, where a fairy godmother appears to turn the ugly duckling into the proverbial swan. Sophie had not come to London with any intention of marrying, least of all to such a lofty noble. From the very first book there was always a hint that Sophie was hiding a secret and the twist towards the end of the story was somewhat of a surprise, though several statements led me to guess the outcome earlier.
The author took a gamble with Sophie and what started out as a very pleasant read where one tends to want to champion the underdog, i.e. the ugly duckling, Sophie's character comes into question when her very big secret was revealed. Sophie and Graham's romance was so natural progressing from a comfortable friendship to love that her lies to Graham were a bitter pill to swallow, not only for Graham, but for the reader as well.
The recurring character of Lementeur was a delight, his beautifully described couture creations and advice on how Sophie should conduct herself were captured both vividly and at times with great amusement. Bradley also brought to a nice conclusion the miss-adventures of the nefarious solicitor Wolfe who tried his best to prevent any of the cousins from winning the Pickering trust and cutting off his monthly stipend.
Bottom line: While the last of book of a trilogy is usually the best (i.e. save the best for last) this didn't happen. On the whole, each book of the trilogy is stand alone and entertaining but this series is nowhere near as exciting as previous Bradley series (The Royal Four, or Liars Club) have been.
Marilyn Rondeau, for [...]
Sophie is the last unmarried cousin of the Heiress brides. She feels she is plain and ugly, in fact has been told so by her "chaperone" but in reality she is tall and coltish. She never aspired to enter into the race with her cousins to be the first to marry a Duke and receive the inheritance. There is a man though that enthralls her; he is Graham, a fourth son of a Duke, who knows he will never inherit the title because there are so many waiting in line before him.
I liked Graham's effortless charm, his wit and his carefree attitude. Sophie who is incredibly serious minded and bookish needs someone like Graham and he needs her to keep him focused and grounded. Graham is totally unaware that Sophie has any feelings for him other than friendship.
Their lives change dramatically when Graham inherits the dukedom when his father and brothers all die. Graham discovers that his estates need money and must marry quickly. Sophie knows she can provide funds if they marry, however she cannot tell Graham about the will or she loses the inheritance. Therefore she needs to win him. She turns to a dressmaker, an early "What not to Wear", gown designer and she is changed into a graceful lovely woman. Graham is stunned but still must marry for money.
He is about to ask a rich widow as his bride but Sophie has something to say about that. Sophie is fearless in her new role but she also needs some protection from herself too which causes Graham to step into protector role. Their romance is sweet and the way they go about engaging in everything from flirting to lovemaking is atypical.
There is a plot twist toward the end of the novel I never saw coming but I felt it added flavor and depth to the story. I have always been a fan of Celeste Bradley and she finishes up her trilogy quite nicely.
Graham was A likable hero but I didn't buy into the fact that he was A rake and his character was not developed enough. I really didn't understand the conflict he had with his family and I felt that his hatred towards them was unreasonable.
The twist in the end was shocking. I was not expecting it. I thought that it gave the story A nice surprise, but what bothered me was that Graham was not able to forgive Sophie until the fortune was secured. I wish that he would have proven himself to still want her without the fortune.
There was only one love scene and the sensuality was five out of ten. I started to lose interest in the book close to the end and I found myself rushing to the finish but it was not A bad book, especially if you love to laugh.
Most recent customer reviews
They really are quite a pair!Read more