March 11, 2011
I truly loved What I Did for a Duke by Julie Anne Long. It is a great addition to the Pennyroyal Green series! It had everything one could ask for: heartwarming episodes, funny banter, interesting characters, sexy hero and sensual tension. Oh sure, there were occasional moments where I didn't understand what Genevieve (heroine) was thinking, and there may have been a typo here and there, some interesting usages of titles when addressing people, and I hope the author didn't come up with the title of the book. But, these were just minor hiccups on the road to a wonderful love story.
And, that's what this tale is about. Love. All different kinds of love, all different depths of love. When this story begins our hero, Alex, has just caught his fiancee with Genevieve's brother (Ian)... in bed... naked. And it is with this opening scene that we are given a glimpse of a remarkable hero, who appears cold on the surface but underneath is seething with o-o-d-l-e-s of emotion. He lets Ian go, but promises revenge. And, yes fellow readers, his revenge is to seduce a sister of Ian's. However, don't get excited. This revenge doesn't go the way that most Romanceland revenge set-ups go. First of all, Genevieve is on to him almost from the beginning. Secondly, the revenge that Alex exacts on Ian is actually quite amusing.
Let's talk about Genevieve. She's in love with Harry, her childhood friend. Or she thinks she is. He's comfortable, they have a lot in common, they are used to each other. Imagine what happens when her world is sent spinning because her old comfortable shoe, Harry, lets her in on a secret: he's going to propose to their friend Madeline. Enter Alex. She is not comfortable with him; oh sure, she enjoys bantering with him but he makes her want things she shouldn't want. He makes her skin crawl, and in a good way, but she doesn't like that.
And then there is Alex, a manly man with so many sides to him. I really can't find the words to express what a wonderful character he was. In the course of the story, we find out he was married before and contrary to most Romanceland stories, he actually loved his first wife. Which is one of the things I liked, because I know that his love for Genevieve is just as deep as his love for his first wife. This is also something that you normally don't find in a romance book - usually it's "I loved my wife, but that was small in comparison to what I feel for you." As I said before, there were a whole lot of different loves explored in this book.
There is an age difference, which I had no problems with. Hiccup time: I got just a little irritated with Genevieve for being afraid of her strong feelings for Alex, and still wanting the comfort of Harry, but that was just a minor h-i-c.
All in all, this is a wonderfully written story with great insight, and one in the Pennyroyal Green series not to be missed.
Time/Place: Pennyroyal Green England
Sensuality Rating: Hot!