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A Duke in Shining Armor: Difficult Dukes: 1 MP3 CD – Import, 28 November 2017
MP3 CD, Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged
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Not all dukes are created equal. Most are upstanding members of Society. And then theres the trio known as Their Dis-Graces.
Hugh Philemon Ancaster, seventh Duke of Ripley, will never win prizes for virtue. But even he draws the line at running off with his best friends bride. All hes trying to do is recapture the slightly inebriated Lady Olympia Hightower and return her to her intended bridegroom.
For reasons that elude her, bookish, bespectacled Olympia is supposed to marry a gorgeous rake of a duke. The ton is flabbergasted. Her familys ecstatic. And Olympia? Shes climbing out of a window, bent on a getaway. But tall, dark, and exasperating Ripley is hot on her trail, determined to bring her back to his friend. For once, the world-famous hellion is trying to do the honorable thing.
So why does Olympia have to make it so deliciously difficult for him . . . ?
About the Author
Loretta Chase has worked in academe, in retail, in the visual arts, and in video as a scriptwriter. Finding reality too improbable, she turned to writing fiction. Her bestselling historical romances, set in the Regency and Romantic eras of the early nineteenth century, have won a number of awards, including the Romance Writers of America's RITA and the RT Book Reviews' Historical Romance Award.
Kate Reading is an Audie Award-winning narrator and has received dozens of Earphones Awards. She has been named by AudioFile magazine as a Voice of the Century, as well as the Best Voice in Science Fiction & Fantasy in 2008 and 2009 and Best Voice in Biography & Culture in 2010. She is also a theater actor in the Washington, DC, area and has been a member of the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company since 1987. Her work onstage has been recognized by the Helen Hayes Awards Society, among others.
- Publisher : Blackstone Pub; Unabridged edition (28 November 2017)
- Language : English
- ISBN-10 : 1538456389
- ISBN-13 : 978-1538456385
- Item Weight : 82 g
- Dimensions : 13.46 x 1.52 x 17.27 cm
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from India
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And it's performed so well!
This is probably one of Reading's best narration. The drunkenness and the exasperation just comes through so well.
Though to those who are fluent in English and used to British period movies/dramas, may I suggest that you hear it at 1.3 or 1.5 times speed. It gives it more energy and the emotional inflections make more sense.
Top reviews from other countries
'A Duke in Shining Armor' starts out as a light-hearted romp, and ends with one of the Dis-Graces finding true love - but still showing much of his overgrown adolescent personality; one imagines that he will never be a truly serious person. Lady Olimpia is an endearing character, but without the very real trials and tribulations that other heroines have had - that said, I loved her transformation by the end of the book. Read it in this frame of mind, and I think you will enjoy it - I did, because it has all the author's humour and witty exchanges, and sets up the next two in the series, with two very different characters.
After attending his sister Alice’s marriage to Blackwood, Ripley had spent a year on the Continent and, on his return, he is shocked to discover that Ashton is about to marry Lady Olympia Hightower. Furthermore, Ashton is relying on him to ensure that everything goes without a hitch – not an easy job when the bride fails to make an appearance and Ashton is imbibing too much, with the result that he would either ‘sink into a stupor and subside ungracefully to the floor‘ or ‘he’d pick a fight with someone.‘ When they go in search of Ashton’s elusive bride, Ripley finds her climbing out of the library window in all her wedding finery. True to his promise to Ashton, Ripley follows her out of the window, determined to bring her back.
Lady Olympia had not received a single offer of marriage in the past seven years of being out in society, and her only claim to fame was being voted the Most Boring Girl of Year for those years. Her parents are loving but, when it comes to money, they are not financially astute. Her father had wasted vast amounts of money on seasons for Olympia with the view to finding her a husband. Not once had he considered the adverse financial implications for his eldest son and heir, or his other five sons. So, when Olympia catches the eye of the Duke of Ashton and he proposes, it is the answer to her prayers. He might be a notorious libertine, but he is also wealthy, handsome, charming and he seems to like her. It is only on the day of the wedding that doubts, fuelled by rather too much brandy, start to set in and she runs away with Ripley in hot pursuit.
At first, Ripley has every intention of persuading Olympia to return to her fiancé but soon finds himself falling in with her plans to go to her aunt’s. It’s a journey that will change their lives for ever.
I love a good road-trip romance especially when it involves assorted mishaps and misadventures along the way, including a dunk in the river, a runaway dog, a naked duke and more-than-friendly kisses in a post-chaise. The delightful banter between Ripley and Olympia is full of Ms. Chase’s trademark wit and humour which I love so much about her books.
He blinked. “Remarkable. You have a plan.”
“Yes. I only needed the mental stimulation of your stimulating company.”
“Any chance of stimulating you into telling me what, exactly, you’re running from?” he said. “Better yet, any chance of your changing your mind, like a good girl, and turning back? Any chance of something, oh, you know, bordering on reasonable?
Although of short duration, the journey creates a sense of intimacy between Ripley and Olympia. They talk and get to know each other in a way that would not have happened in the normal course of things, given the constraints of society. Ripley discovers that Olympia is far from the boring person she believes herself to be. She is clever, spirited and funny, with a passion for rare books. Olympia discovers that beneath that rakish exterior (a lifestyle which had already begun to pall, according to his Aunt Julia) lies a man who is charming, kind, astute, witty and, most surprising of all, he reads romances!
I love the way in which Ms. Chase gradually builds the sexual tension between Ripley and Olympia, but both are determined not to succumb to temptation. Ripley’s sense of honour prevents him from stealing his best friend’s fiancée, however much he might believe that Ashton doesn’t deserve her. While Olympia doesn’t want to destroy the lifelong friendship between Ripley and Ashton and neither does she want to hurt Ashton. But the heart wants what the heart wants, and I was delighted to see Olympia throw away the rule book and be the one who takes the initiative. Poor Ripley doesn’t stand a chance!
There she was, the spirited general of a girl who’d mowed down a bully. There she was, in a lot of white underthings and a naughty corset, the most deliciously irresistible thing he’d ever seen.
Ripley never resisted temptation. He hardly knew how.
He couldn’t look away or run away or do the right thing. He’d never been a saint and he wasn’t about to start now, of all times.
She said, “Is this too subtle for you?”
“No,” he managed to choke out. “Dammit, Olympia.”
Two limping strides closed the space between them. Two more brought her up against the wall.
Sometimes the scenes are so vividly written that they conjured up all sorts of wonderful images in my mind. I think my favourite scene must be the one with the mechanical invalid chair which Ripley is reluctantly using after he sprains his ankle. It’s had me laughing out loud at Ripley’s antics.
It is obvious that Ashton will not take kindly to his best friend running off with his fiancée and marrying her, and matters have to be settled in the time-honoured way. Luckily, this is a romance and therefore all ends happily.
With his excessive drinking and volatile temper, it seems Ashton will have a difficult journey ahead before he attains his Happy Ever After. I am intrigued by the reason for the obvious estrangement between Blackwood and his wife, and there is definitely some history between Ripley’s Aunt Julia and Ashton’s Uncle Frederick that I am keen to learn more about.
MY VERDICT: This is a delightful story filled with fascinating characters, sparking wit, laugh-out-loud moments and a captivating romance. I am certainly looking forward to the other books in the series. Highly recommended.
If you enjoy light hearted historical romps then this is you.
Lady Olympia Hightower is twenty-six years old and has given up any hope of falling in love. So she is happy to marry the oafish Duke of Ashmont, knowing it will help her family financially. Unfortunately she gets cold feet on the day of the wedding and exits the ceremony via the window. She is caught by the groom's best friend Hugh, the Duke of Ripley, who gives chase. Unable to persuade her to return, he tries to do the honourable thing and offers to escort her anywhere she chooses, with the aim of keeping her safe from harm. Of course this is the exact moment when everything begins to go wrong, leading to a catalogue of disasters and pursuit by a furious bridegroom, who has completely misunderstood the situation.
The strength of this story is in the deliciously funny banter between the main characters. A road trip combined with a comedy of errors, the story didn't go in quite the way I thought it would, which is always good, and I do hope the wonderfully eccentric cast of characters, particularly Aunt Julia, Uncle Fred, Blackwood and Jonesy, will appear in the subsequent books as they started to feel like friends.
If you enjoy this one, you might also like Lord Perfect, by the same author.