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The Irish Duke (Signet Eclipse) Paperback – March 2, 2010

3.4 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

As children, James Hamilton, Lord Abercorn asked for the hand of Louisa, daughter of the duke of Bedford. Though she refused him, Abercorn never loses hope of marrying her, despite her later vow never to wed or bear children. As she grows more beautiful, Louisa earns the admiration of men and the envy of her insecure sister, Georgy. When Georgy's irresponsible behavior embroils the entire family in scandal, Louisa is forced to marry the handsome Abercorn, setting them up for a turbulent journey toward regaining trust and, inevitably, falling in love. Henley (The Decadent Duke) is a historical romance veteran, and her skill shows on every page, despite her dedication to formula; her heroine is typically willful, beautiful, talented and innocent, while the hero is a patient, faithful variation on the charming rogue. Henley's satisfying balance between romance and sexuality will help genre fans overlook the contrived plot.
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From Booklist

James Hamilton, Lord Abercorn of Ireland, has loved Lady Louisa Jane, daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Bedford since they were children, and Louisa loves him. But Louisa’s fear of childbirth causes her to spurn his advances. The emotional journey from Louisa’s childbirth phobia to her role as the mother of 13 is a fascinating one. The fact that Lady Louisa is Princess Diana’s ancestor makes this story even more interesting. Henley’s novelization of the woman who lived through five monarchs and became a grande dame of British nobility is rich with historical detail and romance. Once again, Henley has penned a tale that keeps the reader engaged from beginning to end. Fans of the romance genre will be interested to know that one of the real-life Louisa’s daughters became a romance writer. --Shelley Mosley
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Product Details

  • Series: Signet Eclipse
  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Signet; 1 edition (March 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451229207
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451229205
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #331,490 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This "story" was alluring, exciting and witty. However it was tediously too detailed resulting in a VERY slow pace and boring read at times. The author was TOO detailed in that the characters were OVER dialoged. I don't know if this book went through a good editing process, because many of the scenes could have been easily summarized in a narrative paragraph as opposed to writing it into the character dialog. Having said this and analyzing the characters, our protagonists were a good match for one another. I totally fell in love with our hero, but at times I found him to be overly crazed and too lovesick over our heroine, and she knew that all too well. I appreciated the fact that he was determined to win the love of his girl no matter what, but the whole issue that led to their very rushed wedding was a bit too farfetched in my opinion. Also, even though I enjoyed our heroine's innocence and virtuous behavior, at times when she needed to put on her backbone and stand up for herself, she simply wouldn't out of fear and love for others; she was too much of a sacrificial lamb that really came out as lacking a backbone. Luckily our hero was too smart and sought answers for himself in order to get to the truth to all the issues that kept threatening to tear them apart. Having said this, our heroine lacked a bit of maturity as well.

I did not care for so many additional characters our author kept throwing into this story; it was really difficult to keep up with all of them and many didn't add any value - one thing was for sure, our heroine's sister and secondary character to this plot was too shallow, cold, heartless, self-centered and plain trashy and why she didn't appeal to me not one bit.
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By A Customer on March 5, 2010
Format: Paperback
As the Dowager matriarch of her family, in 1894, octogenarian widow Lady Louisa Jane Russell holds court as she always has while looking back over the decades of her life. In 1819 Lady Louisa loves her position in society, which allows her to enjoy life to the fullest. Irish nobleman James Hamilton went so far as to propose, but she ridiculed him for being Irish with a speech impediment; of course he was nine years old at the time and she was his age.

In spite of her putting him down, they become friends though he never has given up marrying his Lu. Other men want her too, but though she adores them, she prefers her independent gaiety more so. However, over a decade later, a family scandal leaves Lu with the choices of marrying her kindhearted Irish admirer, someone else, or face scornful disgraced exile.

Few if any writer can interweave historical information to enhance a story line as deftly as Virginia Henley can and does with the enjoyable The Irish Duke. The story line is driven by the heroine who tells her great-granddaughters about her life with her late beloved Irish Duke who to his death insisted B is pronounced as a V. Fans will relish Ms. Henley's fine nineteenth century historical romance as the exhilarating plot with its strong lead protagonists brings the era to life.

Harriet Klausner
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Format: Paperback
I was so disappointed! The book was "choppy"...almost like a rough draft that she meant to go back and enrich with additional thoughts and descriptions. Instead, it was hard to keep the characters straight (there were WAY too many of them) as they had similar or identical names and no distinguishing "features". The only character that you could remember was the oldest sister, and that was only because she was promiscuous. I never "liked" any of the characters enough to CARE what happened to them...
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By MJ on September 21, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
I wasn't sure if I would like the book once I started reading. It had nothing to do with the story, but with my enjoyment for happy ever after. Yes, this is a love story and Louisa and James did have a happy ending I just want them to stay forever young. Real life has a lot of good and bad and yo me saying goodbye is the worst so just by reading the first few pages I knew that Louisa was alone and that James had passed on. No that was not a spoiler or anything because Louisa is around 90 years old and James was 2 years older so it stands to reason he died of old age.

I found to my delight that the story was better than I expected even knowing the ending because it made the story real. It was also good that the author used real historical facts and that there really was a James and Louisa of Abercorn. James is a hero any woman would long to have. When he was 9 he fell in love with 7 year old Louisa and promised to marry her and everyday from that moment on he never wavered. He fell in love and work to have Louisa where she belong; in his arms.

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Might be a SPOILER but not really
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The were tiny insignificant things that bothered me which caused me not to give it 5 stars. The first thing that bothered me was the promiscuous sister Georgy. I find it hard to believe that Georgina, the worldly mother, didn't know what her eldest daughter was up to. Georgy was a selfish brat who gave out sexual favors as easy as breathing, but then had the nerve to be jealous of Louisa who wanted nothing but the best for her. I know the story wasn't about her but I wanted Louisa or someone to slap some sense in her.
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