Monday, January 5, 2015

Review: THE DUKE OF DARK DESIRES by Miranda Neville

Finally! Lord Julian's book is here and it definitely delivers! From the first chapter you'll become enraptured by this seductive tale of mutual subterfuge which is sprinkled with wit and heart. An unwanted dukedom, three unwanted wards, but a very much wanted governess will drive Julian Fortescue to commit unthinkable acts-- such as love and rising to responsibility.

Read an excerpt: here

If you thought Marie Antoinette had it bad, those aristocrats who survived the French Revolution might beg to differ. One fortunate (or unfortunate) noble who made it was Jeanne-Louise Marie-Adoree de Falleron, the once pampered daughter of the Marquis de Falleron. She endured the horrors of witnessing her family's execution and jumping from traitorous "protector" to "protector" to stay alive. She vows revenge against the man named Fortescue who betrayed her father's trust and foiled her family's escape plan- just as soon as she finds him.

Going by the alias of Jane Grey, Jeanne's hunt leads her to London and the home of the new Duke of Denford. The unexpectedly handsome new duke has just been saddled with the care of his precocious half sisters. This allows for the perfect opportunity to infiltrate the home of a member of the Fortescue family and with that Jane applies for the position of governess. The dubious potholes in her past notwithstanding, the duke finds her (and her looks) satisfactory and gives Jane the job. A dangerous dance of balancing pretenses and desires ensues, becoming further complicated with the entry of some treacherous characters in the form of an evil surviving cousin of Jeanne/Jane and a nemesis from the art world who has his eyes on Julian's treasured collection.

4 Red Roses

My Favorite Part of the Story: Was witnessing Julian rise to the challenge and become an admirable brother, friend, lover, and peer of the realm. From the previous book, you know Julian isn't as dark and careless as his persona lets on, but it was very gratifying to see his evolution and the ways in which Neville displayed this. I was in love when he was a rotten apple, so I am positively smitten now.

I am no longer surprised when I reach the back cover of a Miranda Neville novel and realize she's done it again. This has to be one of my favorite stories and a perfect end to an exciting series. I can't think of much I didn't enjoy in this book. The references and respect of art (some aspects I could actually identify!) were always well represented and complimentary to the story. That rat of a cousin Jeanne/Jane had truly got under my skin, and the three step sisters were endearing and funny. I am never one for a long, drawn out, secret identty plot, but Neville made it bearable with her amazing secondary characters and scenes filled with heat. I am already anxiously awaiting what Neville conjures up next!

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