Daring the Duke by Claudia Dain

Time Out! I haven't seen so many people crowded into one spot since the after Christmas sale at Macy's. And I wasn't expected to remember any of those people.

See this at the top of my head? It's a frown, Ms. Dain, as I try to keep track of everyone in this book. I know I've read the others in the series, but I can't remember... I can't remember... aaakkk! Daring the Duke is about Jane Elliot and the Duke of Edenham, I know this because it says so on the back of the book. Thank heavens for that back blurb, because I couldn't even begin to guess who the main characters of this tale were. Well, I guess at the end when they were sailing off into the sunset, I probably would have realized.

I did read one of the other books in the Courtesan Chronicles, but not all of them and I'm not really sure reading all of them would have helped. Maybe, if I had all of the books in front of me and I could read them one right after another, I think I would have enjoyed it more. You know - like a good Masterpiece Theater show, like Cranford with all those wonderful characters. Alas, these books are being published too far apart for this phenomenon to take place.

So, I think that if you are going to read this series, you should read all of the series because it is an interesting concept. I did find the dialogue, conversations, gossiping, and the brothers to be amusing. I also found the fistfight between all those silly men to be very funny. I just wish there had been more of a focus on the main characters, although I want Sophia to have a happy ending story of her own. I hope that is in the works, but based on what I read in this one it could be awhile, because there were at least 5 other story-lines going on.

I do have a quibble... I found the constant reminder that Jane was an American rather irritating and by the end of the book it was getting on every inch of my nerves. I wanted to reach through those pages and put some tape over her mouth... I'm an American, you're a Duke, we are not Colonists, we won the war... blah blah blah.

So, this book was an interesting concept, maybe like Gosford Park (which I loved). I just felt that there should have been more emphasis on the main characters. It wasn’t so much that I had a hard time following what was going on, it was just that there was too many characters involved in what was going on. The story was just too busy.

Time/Place: Regency England
Sensuality Rating: Warm

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