Monday, June 3, 2013

Early Review: What the Duke Desires by Sabrina Jeffries

What the Duke Desires
by Sabrina Jeffries
Series: The Duke's Men #1
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication date: June 18, 2013
Genre: Adult Historical Romance
Purchase*: Barnes and Noble/Amazon/Book Depository
Source: ARC provided for unbiased review
*purchase supports this blog


Maximilian Cale, the Duke of Lyons, accepted long ago that his kidnapped brother was dead. When a cryptic note from investigator Tristan Bonnaud claims otherwise, Max seeks out Tristan’s sister, Lisette—and is infuriated to learn that Tristan has also mysteriously vanished. Have the siblings perpetrated an elaborate hoax? Or is the fiercely protective beauty as innocent as she claims them to be? Fearful that the powerful Duke will destroy Tristan’s career in his zeal for the truth, the clever Lisette convinces Max to accompany her to Paris in a joint search for their loved ones. But their journey takes a seductive twist when they pose as an ordinary husband and wife—not an English Duke with a tarnished family name and the illegitimate daughter of a viscount—and discover an exhilarating passion free from the damning secrets of the past. With the line between danger and desire enticingly blurred, they discover that some mysteries, like those of the heart, are answered tenfold in the bliss of a true and trusting love.
Sabrina Jeffries knows how to weave a tale filled with swoon-worthy men, strong-willed woman and suspense. Her new series The Duke’s Men starts of strong with What the Duke Desires the first book in the series. Her tale captured me in the first few pages and kept me enthralled till the end. A tormented Duke, a lost brother, a bastard daughter and a pretend marriage all created a suspenseful, romantic tale as we traipsed around Europe. Three word review: romantic, suspenseful and hot.

A knock at the door arouses Lisette Bonnaud from her sleep, as she and her butler find Maximilian Cale, Duke of Lyons at the door demanding to see her brother Tristan. He claims Tristan is in London and has sent him a cryptic note about his dead brother. Max fears that the siblings have created some sort of hoax, but Lisette knows Tristan would never return to London; the risk is too great. However, Tristan hasn't sent a letter in ages and she fears something has happen. To protect her brother, Lisette convinces the Duke to travel with her disguised as siblings to find her brother and seek answers. Thinks quickly go amuck when a local woman spots Lisette, alone and unchaperoned with Max. The quick thinking Duke announces they are newlyweds. The tale that unfolds is action packed, romantic, suspenseful and funny as they travel incognito.

The players in this new series are quite delicious, flawed and yummy! First we have Max Cale, the handsome and intimidating Duke of Lyons. His childhood has left him with serious trust issues and a real fear concerning his future. Traveling in disguise with the outspoken Lisette shows him an entirely new world. He finds himself intrigued and drawn to Lisette. She awakens new fears in him and astounds him as she treats him as an equal. I loved how he was undone by her and how she made him review his fears and ideas. We see both the ducal side of him and the tender. Lisette has always been aware of exactly who she is and her opinion of Dukes and the ton aren't very high. She loves her brothers and will stop at nothing to protect them. Her reactions to Max were fun to watch and I enjoyed this strong, stubborn woman. The romance developed slowly and the chemistry felt genuine. Tristan fled London after the death of his father and works for the Paris police. While we didn't get much time with him I am looking forward to hearing his story. Dom is their half-brother and owns his own private investigative service. His interaction with Lisette was delightful and I am already in love. Secondary characters were memorable, and helped propel the tale forward.

I have always loved arranged and pretend marriages within a plot as it makes for delicious situations. Jeffries has this remarkable gift for taking a story line and crafting her own unique take on it. The Duke’s Men is the perfect title for this series and I giggled when it clicked in the story. The character's banter felt genuine and each was well-developed. The romance was fun with some hot moments that sizzled the pages. The tale is fast-paced and filled with danger as they search for Tristan. I found this thread of the tale intriguing and while the tale focuses on the couple the other threads do not suffer. This is one of the things I most admire about the author. She can skillful weave a mystery and romance together giving me that book high I chase. I read this in one sitting as I giggled, cheered and sighed for the characters. If you are a fan of The Hellion of Hallstead series you will find a connection and I thought it was cool how she linked the worlds.

For fans of Jeffries What a Duke Desires will delight you and for those who haven’t tried her books this is the perfect introduction. I will be putting this series on my auto-buy list and look forward to the next adventure.

Four and half cups of coffee out of five
Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba The Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

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40 Comments:

At July 17, 2013 at 9:50 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

Me too and Jeffries just weaves her magic into it!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:51 PM , Anonymous Cyn said...

I'm so excited for this! I love the fake marriage trope! haha. So glad to see that you enjoyed it (: I'm glad Maximilian gets a happy ending.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:52 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

So do I she delivers every time I open one of her novels!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:52 PM , Anonymous Lily B said...

I love Sabrina Jeffries <3 I am going to have to crack this one open. Max sounds....yummy

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:52 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

ooh this series is going to be such fun..and all of the "men" are dreamy!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:52 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

ooh agreed Diana!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:52 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

Dukes are very smexy in their hose and boots!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:52 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

I so agree this was such fun and ooh I want the next one now!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:52 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

Agreed she is a historical romance goddess!!!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:52 PM , Anonymous Barbara Walker said...

I had to skim a little since I have my review to write in a day or so, but I loved it too! Sabrina Jeffries can pretty much do no wrong. :)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:53 PM , Anonymous Anna@herding cats said...

*squee* I'm so glad you loved it too!!! I had a great time with this one. Fake mates/arranged marriages/etc are my all time favorite storyline. You're so right. They make for some fantastic situations. So much fun. I can't for the next one to get here:)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:53 PM , Anonymous Christy (Love of Books) said...

I swear, you and all your dukes! :P Yeah, the arranged/pretend marriage thing would be something most people who think I'd like, but I usually do.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:53 PM , Anonymous Lauren said...

I'm with you, arranged or faked marriages always create such delicious sexual tension! I especially like it in historical settings, because I guess there's a bit more believability and smoldering than in modern times. Now I'm curious why The Duke's Men is such a fitting series title. I guess I better read it and find out. Great review!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:53 PM , Anonymous Diana Leigh said...

Pretend marriages are fun, especially when they lead to steamy encounters.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:53 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

haha yes it is and I so enjoyed this, I love all of her books

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:53 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

totally agree and this new series might just surpass our beloved Hellions!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:53 PM , Anonymous Danielle @ Book Whore said...

Sabrina can do no wrong in my eyes. Every novel she writes captures me. Glad I made you pick up her Hellions series so long ago! Must...make...more...fans...

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:53 PM , Anonymous Jennifer Bielman said...

It's a good sign when a book makes your giggle. :) I love how the characters sound. Happy this was a good one.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:53 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

ooh well this is SOOOoooo the book to pick up this genre again..it was wonderful!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:54 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

ooh you must, a regency for sure..you love steampunk and history. They are really just romances, and mysteries and adventure the ladies just wear fancy clothes and the men own estates!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:54 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

LOL..you are going to love it! Enjoy Jenny :)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:54 PM , Anonymous candacerobinson said...

Every time I read one of your HF romance reviews it gets me in the mood for one! I have one on my shelf I'm anxious to read so I guess maybe it's past time to pick it up!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:54 PM , Anonymous Jenny @ Supernatural Snark said...

YAAAAAAAAAAAAY KIMBA! I just got a copy of this book at BEA and I'm SO excited to read it! This will be my first book by her, and clearly I'm starting with a winner. I love a good tormented hero:) So glad to know you loved this book so much, I can't wait to read!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:54 PM , Anonymous Heidi said...

What a delicious cover. You know I don't think I have ever read this kind of book and every time I see one on your blog I think, I must try one of these sometime as they entertain Kimba!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:54 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

oh yes indeed perfect for sand and sea with a nice umbrella drink on the side!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:54 PM , Anonymous BarkLessWagMore said...

I'm going to have be on the lookout for this one It sounds like the perfect book to bring to the beach.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:54 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

I am so surprised you do not love them especially Regency. I may just have to send you one and guilt you into reading it!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:54 PM , Anonymous Danielle Chapman said...

One of these days I will read a historical romance and I will totally give you all the credit! This one does sound good, thanks for the review!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:54 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

ooh it is such a good one and I am loving the characters for future books as well!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:54 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

The romance was slow-to build and while there was tension the steamy part was towards the end and perfect.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:54 PM , Anonymous Ellen said...

This one sounds really nice and steamy. Thanks for the great review.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:55 PM , Anonymous kindlemom1 said...

Swoon worthy men and strong willed woman are so my thing. I think I need to read this one!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:55 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

Agreed I love the cover and an auto-buy author as well!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:55 PM , Anonymous Debbie Haupt said...

Kim Great cover and great review. Sabrina is one of my go to authors in the historical romance genre.
deb

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:55 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

Well this one has several!!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:55 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

Me too Felicia and ooh you are gonna love this new series! I want book two now!!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:55 PM , Anonymous brandileigh2003 said...

You know I like some swoon worthy men and sounds like she can write them

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:55 PM , Anonymous thegeekyblogger said...

Sabrina is one of my favorites. I will be getting this one on audio. :) :) Great review :)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 10:01 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

indeed it was!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 10:01 PM , Anonymous Blodeuedd said...

Ohh sounds fun :D Yes I would go for it

 

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