To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. Instead, our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought the item on Amazon. It also analyses reviews to verify trustworthiness.
The Duke effect was an enjoyable read which followed a very predictable storyline. The youngest Langley sister, Nora, has followed in her physician father's footsteps and cares for folks in their village. She's corresponded with Col. Sinclair on medical subjects for several years, signing her letters with her father's name. When Col. Sinclair shows up on her doorstep wanting her father's help, her deception is revealed. But Nora goes to help anyway, hoping he'll not reveal her deception to the world at large.
It's a pleasant read with likable characters (though I didn't much care for the duke by the end). But it had no real surprises. And the book's catchy name seemed only to refer to the fact that there's a duke in it. While well worth reading, it's not as good as other novels I've read by Ms Jordan.
I generally adore Sophie Jordan's work. But this was... Awful. I mean, for a sub-par writer, it might have been ok. But this is well below what I expect of Jordan.
It's like we're still missing a quarter of the book. Was there a looming deadline, or something? The Duchess was lovely and gracious and perhaps not as aware as she could have been but she was innately kind. Nora and Constantine abandoning her seems to lack integrity and mercy on their parts. And until about halfway through, the Duke exhibits signs of care, before turning into an evil bastard. I could see him being nervous for the sake of the duchess. And he even looks chagrined at his behavior. But then he practically pimps Nora out and the bit at the end about turning her into a mistress is SO cliché.
And Constantine really effed that up, so badly, twice? And then she just rolls over for that fly-by proposal?
Nora has been writing to others as her deceased father for 5 years. Trying to use her knowledge from her physician father to help others in a society that says women can't. When Constantine Sinclair comes looking for her father to help a family member he discovers the truth and Nora is ever more determined to prove herself. What's not to love about a woman who knows her Mind and is determined to break through barriers and the man that falls for her. Loved this book.
Historical Romance is my favorite genre and I am still caught off guard when I read women being seen as delicate and unable to have any thoughts of substance. Nora is spectacular, strong, smart and competent. She knows her mind and is mostly not afraid to voice her opinion.
I was surprised by Sinclair's reaction to discovering his correspondence was with Nora. His ego was dented and he reacted like a little boy. That was disappointing, but he rebounded nicely after she called him on it.
Not at all what I expected from brilliant curious Nora who eschew society! Who would have thought that 200 or more pages of this dribble would be used internalizing Nora's whining about eschewing society yet caring how she didn't fit in and what people thought of her! Her brilliance in herbal medicine was a joke. The writer ended up making her look like a child playing at medicine. She knows nothing and all her confidence was just trial by error...no breakthrough thinking. You would think the writer would have spent most of the book showing Nora's talent by application, but the one moment she was required to shine, fizzled out into nothing! Unlike her sister's books, I could not feel any attraction, sexual or otherwise, between her and Con; it was all contrived and pushed down my throat! They barely spent time together to get to know each other or converse or do anything to create tension! No discussion of personal matters in the letters he shared with her; infact, we learned absolutely nothing about Con! No romance or push and pull or even kisses before their first and only sexual encounter (am disregarding the encounter with the potion, that kiss didn't last long), which the writer added as an after thought after the 300 page mark! The book was over!!
The book became rather tedious because the characters thoughts went on and on. There was less talking between characters and much more script of their many thoughts, way too much! If the author had reduced the thinking and increased descriptions of action or dialogue, it would have been improved.