Wednesday, September 23, 2009

When Seducing a Duke Advanced Book Review *Kathryn Smith*

When I heard Kathryn Smith was going to write a straight up historical romance and it would be a Victorian one at that, I did a little jig. I do believe it has been almost five years since she has written a non-paranormal historical romance.

When Seducing a Duke takes place in London, 1877. Greyden Kane, Duke of Ryeton is a very rich and privileged man. He has lived a very debauched life where he has seduced both mothers and daughters alike, enjoyed taking the virginities of young innocent misses and has “frigged” more than his own share of widows. Then an event three years ago changed his life forever. One night while he was enjoying himself and had too much to drink, he was attacked and given a six-inch scar on his face. He turned his back on his friends and the London society who came to despise him. Because Grey’s beautiful face was ruined, he hid, literally behind a mask he know wears to hide his scar.

Grey still has wants and desires and for some reason he joins his younger, equally rakish brother Archer to Saint’s Row, a club that gives the appearance of propriety and good manners, but beneath it all many are able to act out their most scandalous desires. This night the Kane brothers enjoy a masked ball where many anonymous women are open to having a few hours in a secluded room with the men of their choosing. Grey doesn’t want just any woman. He lusts for Rose Danvers, a woman ten years his junior. Rose’s deceased father helped Grey in so many ways. And as Danvers lay dying, he made Grey promise that he wouldn’t touch Rose or ruin her. Grey makes that promise even though he yearns for Rose to the point where it hurts. As Grey is watching the orgy like events below him, he spots a masked lady in the distance who robs him of all breath. She reminds him so much like Rose. He will have one night with this mysterious lady. She welcomes his attentions and they engage in amazing sex in one of the special rooms.

The masked woman is Rose and she knows what she has done is beyond foolish. But she has always loved Grey and wants to belong to him, even with his past. She wonders if Grey really has no clue she was the masked woman he so wonderfully loved. Grey acts towards Rose with kindness as much as a brother would. Because he feels he owes the Danvers a world of gratitude, he will pay for Rose to go out into society so she can find herself a husband. This eats at Grey away inside, but since he can’t stand to attend balls and the parties where he would be ostracized, he stays at home hungering for Rose. He even goes back the Saint’s Row where he sees his mysterious lady again. And then he is able to put two and two together, especially one night when Rose, who has too much to drink tells Grey her feelings for him.

When Seducing the Duke is a luscious and sizzling historical with a hero who aches for his heroine. Grey has much to atone for because of his shocking past. He lives up to the Duke of Slut many times over. His redemption comes in the form of Rose who shows Grey that through love, that he has been forgiven. Grey’s guilt over the night he was scarred and the death of Rose’s father eats away at him. He battles the demons inside because he wants Rose so deeply. He lusts for her to the point he is ready to go mad but denies himself because of all the wrongs he has done to other women.

Rose is a bit of a saucy wench. She loves to read dirty magazines that no women of her station should know about. She enjoys her sexuality and wants Grey to enjoy it with her. The language these two share is very spicy, as well as the love scenes between them. Kathryn can sure write some hot love making!

I found the beginning of When Seducing a Duke to be reminiscent of a past Elizabeth Hoyt novel. Some may find it a bit unbelievable with Rose being plundered by Gray where he doesn’t know that it is she right away. Kathryn quickly nips that in the bud. The next step is watching these two try to decide what their future holds. It isn’t that hard to figure out but watching Grey try to stay away from Rose was great to because his eventual downfall, that will lead into Rose’s arms, will be all the more sweeter.

The relationship between Grey and Archer is wonderful. These are two brothers who would die for one another if there came a time. Archer is a rascal and I can’t wait for his own story. Kathryn gives you an idea who his heroine may be, but keeps you guessing. She puts some possibilities out there, but the fun in reading is trying to figure out who will be his luck lady.

Spicy, hot, steamy and passionate are only a few words that come to mind while reading When Seducing a Duke. Historical romance fans are not going to want to miss out on this one. (Avon)

Final Grade: B+



heidenkind said...

Sounds like a fun book! It's been a while since I picked up a Kathryn Smith book (not sure why), but I will have to put this on my TBB list. ^_^

Lisa said...

I usually avoid books where there is a hidden identity, but it sounds like that is addressed fairly early on, so I'll have to take a look at this one.

Maija P. said...

I'll definitely buy this!

orannia said...

Great review KB and I have to admit to being rather tempted - I like a good, rollicking historical romance :)