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At the Duke's Pleasure by Tracy Anne Warren

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

At the Duke's Pleasure
The Byrons of Braebourne #3

Tracy Anne Warren
Historical Romance
Published in 2010

H/h - Edward Byron, the Duke of Clybourne/Lady Claire Marsden
Setting: London, 1811.

Read in Feb, 2011.

My rating: 3.5 out of 5

                                                          [spoiler alert]

Have to say I'm liking it. No matter that I've read so many negative reviews here, no matter that I've only read abt 12 chps. I know people can find Claire very irritating at times and childish. I agree that she sometimes is but when I step into her shoes, I can easily see why she is doing all these things, however 'stupid'. When I'm there, I hear a cry for help, a plea to be heard and man, don't like the oppressive feeling of it one bit! When men can be such arrogant arses and decide they know better and start arranging lives, what can a Regency era woman do? I know it's a novel and I also think the situation is very common. What I like so far is Claire didn't give in so easily, she is quite subtle in her rebellions that leave Edward to think 'what the heck' lolz. I like that. ;)

I know that people think that only meeting the Duke twice, she thinks she's in love but what they don't understand is that, all her life Claire has grown up with an image of this very powerful man who'd someday be her husband. This is something perfectly understandable. You grow up, a teen, then you see this man with a girl's eye (and he is gorgeous, tall with great personality) and it's so easy for a 16yrs old to daydream about a man like Edward, consequently thinking she's in love with him. Maybe she was in love, who knows? Until one night, what she heard him saying to one of his possible mistresses ... Ouch! That seriously gotta hurt. And, now after 5 yrs when he's come to claim her, she won't give into a loveless marriage, ironically to a man she still has feelings for and knows he can actually hurt her more by never returning that feeling. So, do I blame her? No, I don't. I have to give her more time, to see what she does next.

Edward is fine, trust me. A very nice guy and by 'nice' I don't mean bland lolz. I already said what he's like and he's a true gentleman. He actually gave up his mistress (thx heaven no description!) when he just decided to marry Claire. I applaud that. I know how he thinks, that this is his duty, to marry and carry on the line with a woman worthy enough to be his duchess. He finds Claire very worthy but sadly, to him Claire is still a child (until very recently, of course now that he's mixing with her more, starting to know better and actually likes her). His first meeting with her was as a child, she a newborn, he only 11. So can't blame him either. Like any man, he was not happy with the arrangement at first but born and bred to be a duke, he tends to think as one, too. I only hope he hasn't the thick head like his brothers (namely one Jack, argh!) and appreciates Claire more.

Nothing to say about Claire's family, specially her high-handed, pinch-penny father, Earl of something or the other. I like the interactions between the Byron family, as I did with the Bridgertons or the Knights. I do hope the book gets better.

Even I think you're being TSTL Claire, the club incident and the one with that Islington. The other incidents I found quite amusing but can't really agree with these two. I'm not angry or anything but you shouldn't do things that might put your life in danger, (hello?!) even if it is to get Edward's attention. And, Edward is soooo unshakable, how can he maintain his calm I have no idea. He just observes and says nothing ... No, correction- kisses and caresses her senseless. Oh man, if only I had a man like him! :p Yet, there were conversations between them I really liked, lines by Claire and Edward, some scenes ie: the one in the inn parlour which was followed by the 1st love scene. I like the way Claire talks, she has a clear view of what she wants and determined to get it (which is very good), but sometimes, she just doesn't execute those plans very well. I really like her determination, but also glad that she'd decided to stay and see what happens...

I had high hopes for this one, not saying that it bored me but somewhere after they got married, the story fell flat. And the ending was just not up to it. How could Laura do it again, knowing she's pregnant ran after Edward at night and got herself shot? Seriously! And Edward said nothing to her ... Then again, he never did. Well, I couldn't give it a 4 stars, it's 3.5 now. I wasn't unhappy, as I said before I admired Claire's determination at first, but she turned serious TSTL after. No more! Looking forward to Adam and Mallory's story. Poor girl! Wanna see how things go between them ...


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