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The Hazards of Hunting a Duke (Desperate Debutantes, Book 1) Mass Market Paperback – June 1, 2006

4.3 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

After their mother's untimely death, Ava Fairchild, her sister Phoebe, and their cousin Greer discover their family's fortune is now under the control of their penny-pinching stepfather, Lord Downey. To avoid Downey's plan to marry them off to the first suitors who show up, Ava decides to find her own husband. Fortunately, Ava has already met the perfect candidate: Jared Broderick, the Marquis of Middleton. Tired of being pressed by his father to abandon his rakish ways and marry a respectable woman, Jared realizes that marrying Ava offers the perfect solution to his problems. What Jared gets, however, is a wife who isn't about to accept a mere marriage of convenience but rather a woman who will settle for nothing less than a marriage based on love. The first in a new series by the exceptionally entertaining London, this romance is another of her delectable combinations of superbly crafted characters, graceful writing, and sinfully sexy romance. John Charles
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved


"London's characters...will steal your heart."

-- Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Star; First Edition edition (June 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416516158
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416516156
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,468,437 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
First, I would like to address M. Garland who didn't care for this book and wasn't sure she would read any more. Don't let this one book influence your opinion of a really wonderful author. I've read all of Julia London's books (save for the Highlander series because I'm just not into that sort of thing)and this is my least favorite. She wrote Devil's Love and Wicked Angel and then the Rogues series and they were all really, really good. Even her contemporaries are worth a read.

This book grinded me for several reasons and I'm not just picking on London here, but every author who does it. Two people marry for convenience and then one day, the woman decides she wants more out of her marriage and she starts to pout and whine because he can't give her more for one ridiculous reason or another. They become estranged and then poof, one day he wakes up, gets hit with a brick and realizes that yes, he does love her. Then everything is fixed and good thing, because she's usually pregnant.

Another thing that I'm tired of seeing is the total lack of communication between husband and wife. If my husband saw me come out of the woods with another man (a little role reversal, but the same idea)whom he suspected I was having an affair with and I really wasn't, I would say a little more than, "I'm sorry." It only made Jared look more guilty and gave his wife yet another reason to sulk. Why didn't he explain to her what really happened??? Why is there always such a frustrating lack of communication between the hero and heroine? Why can't they just be honest and forthright with each other so that we're not left skimming through the several pages of 'she couldn't live like this' and 'he couldn't live like this' before they FINALLY decide to really talk to each other?
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I liked this book. I have read literally hundreds of regencies. And I think you must agree that many regency heroines do pretty stupid things.I liked Ava. She was not stupid. She's everything a regency heroine should be: intelligent, lovely, loyal, and kind. There was a lighthearted tone to this book that I enjoyed. The banter and flirting between Ava and Jared were very well done. The situtation with the household staff she recruited was comical. She was typical of girls of her class who were encouraged to marry "up." When she agreed to marry Jared, she was virtually destitute. She loved her sister and cousin (they in turn loved her which reflects Ava's worthiness) and she wanted to provide for them. How better than to marry the heir of a duke? Now, the hero. Typical regency hero: handsome, rich, and a hottie. But he was not cruel as many of them are; he was indeed conflicted. He had real issues with his father and the early loss of his mother. He didn't believe he even knew what love was. Wow. Now I'm flashing back to that notorious interview of Prince Charles and Princess Diana where he said (the cad!) "whatever 'in love' means." Sorry to digress. This is not an intense Lisa Kleypas-type historical regency. There's a little angst but the good hearts of both the hero and heroine win out in the end. After reading the first reviews posted, I thought "What?" I actually reread the book to determine if I was that much off-base. I'm happy to say I'm not. As a veteran reader of hundreds of historicals and regencies, I think this is an enjoyable read. I'm giving it 5 stars because I think the extremely low rankings of other reviews are very unfair.Read more ›
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I found this book lightweight - not in its physical properties (it was a satisfyingly chunky book at nearly 400 pages) but in terms of its content. The basic story is that Jared, the Marquis of Middleton, is a rake who has numerous affairs but has no wife and legal heir. His father, the Duke of Redford, wants him to settle down and get a legitimate heir but Jared is unwilling.

Ava and her sister Phoebe discover, after their mother's death, that their stepfather will not give them any money - they merely have their small dowries left. Therefore they need to get some money in order to continue to live acceptably and to provide employment for the various people that they have helped (Ava's lady's maid is a former prostitute, the butler is another lame duck, etc).

Of course Ava hits on the plan of marrying the Marquis of Middleton to solve their problems and, spookily, he hits on the plan of marrying Ava to shut his father up. So they marry. After a successful wedding night they become estranged, the reason being that Ava wants his love and thinks he's still seeing his mistress. Jared believes he can't love, it's not within him, so keeps away from his wife - apart from telling her he needs an heir.

It's often said that authors should "show, not tell" what's going on in their characters' lives. This is a very true adage in respect to this book - Julia London TELLS us all the time what people are feeling but we can't really sense/detect this from their behaviour. It's pretty tricky to understand why Jared likes Ava and puts up with her being pretty annoying. And why he just doesn't tell her outright he's not still keeping a mistress - the Big Misunderstanding doesn't work properly when it could so easily be discussed.
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