Title: My Fair Duchess (Once Upon A Rogue, book #1)
Genre: Historical Romance
Author: Julie Johnstone
Publisher: Night Shift, 2014
Source: Purchase (free on Kindle) Audio available, Tim Campbell narrator
Sexy Rating: 5
Violence Rating: 5
Description from Amazon.com:
After years of playing the rogue to hide a dark family secret, the Duke of Aversley feels tainted beyond redemption and cynical beyond repair. Never does he imagine hope will come in the form of a quirky, quick-witted lady determined to win the heart of another aristocrat. Thanks to a painfully awkward past, Lady Amelia De Vere long ago relinquished the notion she was a flower that had yet to blossom. But when her family faces financial ruin and the man she has always loved is on the verge of marrying another, she’ll try anything to transform herself to capture her childhood love and save her family―including agreeing to participate in a bet between her brother and the notorious, dangerously handsome Duke of Aversley. Bound by the bet, Amelia and Aversley discover unexpected understanding and passion beyond their wildest dreams, if only they can let go of their pride, put trust in each other and chance losing their hearts.
A really good read packed with drama and some violence. I’m warning up front that there is an attempted rape scene. The romance is slow to develop and feels very natural that Amelia and Colin should fall in love. The bet seems a bit convoluted and I had to read about it several times to fully grasp what it was about but this could have just been me. That Amelia’s brother Robert was so prideful was really disappointing and once again in a HR novel I’m wishing that these characters would just be upfront and honest with each other, especially Amelia’s mother. Now the Duke of Scarsdale was certainly an interesting character and I see that he gets the girl in book #2 of this series. Although I did want to shake a few characters out of their misguided actions, I truly enjoyed this book.
( I also listened to the Audio Book of this title and Tim Campbell does an excellent job of giving each character their own voice. He is such a terrific narrator that it upsets me when he is disparaged by other reviewers because he occasionally gets a word mispronounced in the British accent. (He is an American actor and as far as this American is concerned he rates an A+ and his accent is perfectly okay for me.)