The Duke in Disguise
Grade : C

I hate writing C reviews. Truly, I do. But when the book I’m assigned is your classic, screamingly average wallpaper romance, a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.

You’ve got your impoverished young heroine who takes a job as a governess to a spunky (yet adorable) little boy. You’ve got the remote master of the house, in this case a duke, though he really isn’t as the reader soon learns because he’s taking the place of his brother for reasons that never really made a lot of sense to me. You’ve got your bad guy who seems to be targeting the poor, sweet little boy. You’ve got your basic sexual tension, which the heroine sort of huffily denies, well, until she doesn’t anymore.

The plot involves the young governess and the “duke” she thinks is a jerk who regularly takes one of his women employees as his mistress for a month, then dismisses them, only apparently they’re so sexually satisfied and well paid that they go away happily. Of course, since he’s not the duke, he’s not the jerk either, since our hero is really the duke’s bastard brother who, in the grand tradition of these things, is also a very successful businessman so he can support our heroine in the style to which she would love to become accustomed.

So, our hero and heroine get to know each other and spend time with the adorable little boy, save adorable little boy, discover the truth about each other, and live Happily Ever After.

To be completely honest, there isn’t a spark or originality here or anything that doesn’t bring back less than pleasant associations with books I’ve read before. Make that many times before. Quite honestly, considering the relentless oh-so-safe degree of mediocrity here, I can’t think of a single reason why anyone would want to buy this book – that is unless they have endless tolerance for the brand of wallpaper European Historical Romance that seem to be dumped on the market month after month by the Publisher Who Will Not Be Named. I’m not saying that there aren’t shining lights at that Publisher, but I am saying that if they don’t find more of them soon, they’re going to find themselves in a heap of trouble pretty darn fast.

Ultimately, The Duke in Disguise is an historical romance by-the-numbers that I can’t recommend. And, okay, I’ll just go ahead and name that Publisher. I can’t help lamenting the days when Avon was a trusted brand and I actually looked forward to Avon historical romances. Unfortunately, with the exception of those few shining lights, those days are long, long gone.

Reviewed by Sandy Coleman

Grade: C

Sensuality: Warm

Review Date : June 22, 2006

Publication Date: 2006/07

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Recent Comments …

  1. Personal impression is subjective. What works for one person doesn’t always work for others, as we all know. However, when…

  2. I appreciate your comments, I find their tone completely in line with the tone of the review itself, not an…

Sandy Coleman

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