Friday, March 16, 2012

Unwrapping: Review + Triple Giveaway - Have you the Luck of the Irish?

Love the cover!
I've got a special treat for you today ... a review of BETWEEN THE DUKE AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA by Sophia Nash and a triple giveway since it's time to be Irish even if you're not! Read my review of this humorous historical romance and then answer a simple question to enter for a chance to win one of, not only one, not two, but three print copies of the book. Yay! I'm also making this Giveaway open to everyone, US and International.

Blurb for BETWEEN THE DUKE AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA, Book I of The Royal Entourage series: Six Regency heroes — One royal hangover!

The morning after the most scandalous bachelor party of the century, the dukes of the royal entourage must face all of London’s fury . . . when not one of them can remember a thing.

Roxanne Vanderhaven always believed herself the perfect wife. But when her husband, the Earl of Paxton, leaves her clinging to the edge of a cliff, she’s forced to face the truth: she married a murderous blackguard. Her eventual rescuer, Alexander Barclay, Duke of Kress, is one of England’s most disreputable peers—a member of the notorious royal entourage, no less–and certainly the last man she can count on. Indeed, the Prince Regent himself exiled Barclay to Cornwall, and now, by decree, the dashing duke must seek a royal bride to regain favor and help quell the public’s fury against the excesses of the crown.

Roxanne desperately wants a new life—after she’s uncovered the cause of her husband’s despicable actions—and she finds herself drawn, most surprisingly, to her unlikely champion. The Duke of Kress may not be quite the scoundrel he appears…but if she gives him her heart, will Roxanne be making the same mistake twice?

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As an Avon Addict, I am privy to read books sent to me by Avon Romance and love it. Avon was generous enough to send me several copies of Sophia Nash's newest release, BETWEEN THE DUKE AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA.  Their intention - for me to spread the word and share the copies so with the Luck of the Irish upon us, you, my faithful readers will benefit from the luck and will have three chances to win a print copy of this lovely book.

I opened this book and started reading the prologue.  Within minutes, I found myself laughing heartily. Never has a prologue grabbed hold of me in such a manner which pulled me into the frame of mind that I was really going to enjoy this story.  In the first chapter, I found myself grasped in a state of angst because poor Roxanne was left hanging on the side of a cliff overlooking the ocean and dangerous rocks below. What a switch, but I was still with Ms. Nash. Our hero Alex saves the day and Roxanne. Why was she hanging there? Well, her beloved husband left her there hoping she would fall to her death. Nice guy, huh?

In the following chapters is where I began to waver. The premise of the story is ideal - Roxanne needs to discover the reason for her husband wanting her dead and Alex, along with his Duke friends, needs to redeem himself with the Prince Regent and find an appropriate wife. Roxanne isn't exactly the woman he should be falling for but then again, you can't really help who you fall in love with now, can you?

I like that Roxanne is a grown woman, in fact, a couple of years older than Alex and I find myself cheering her on. My problems with this novel have nothing to do with the premise or the characters - it has more to do with the manner in which the story is told and how the characters are presented. There were just too many characters to keep track of and it was difficult to get to know them as we should. I think Ms. Nash could've waited to introduce us to all of the Dukes who will eventually get their own stories as is quickly assumed.

Another problem I had was the details. There were times when the details overshadowed the story. I wasn't really all that concerned with how Roxanne would dress for a party intended to introduce the maids of the county to all of the Dukes yet when she showed up at her own funeral dressed as a man complete with a fake moustache, I had to wonder where she got the outfit and most notably the fake moustache on short notice. I wanted to get some answers to questions that never seemed to answered such as to whom had Alex lost his fortune and how did he come to be a duke in the first place? The answers were hinted at but never quite given. There were many more but I don't want to spoil.

Roxanne seemed overly preoccupied with her age yet was obviously young in mind and spirit which Alex had a complete appreciation for in more ways than one. Aside from their budding romance, the story spent a lot of time convincing us to read the rest of the series as it came along for answers some of which even the characters seemed preoccupied with such as the missing Duke of Norwich, who is the hero of Ms. Nash's next book in the series. Sometimes, the activities behind the scenes was more interesting than the romance which should have been the center of our attention.

BETWEEN THE DUKE AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA by Sophia Nash is humorous and the dialogue at times was downright witty but overall, I felt it was bogged down by incongruent details and too many characters. I adored the Duchess of March and actually took quite a liking to Alex's great aunt, Mémé, even if she was supposed to be rather overbearing.

With all that I found wrong with this book, I liked it. I will probably read more of the series, if for no other reason than to find out what happens to all of the Dukes. Reading BETWEEN THE DUKE AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA is guaranteed to make you laugh, make you wring your hands at times and possibly want to wring a few characters' necks but it's a fun read in the end.

I'm presenting three (3) lucky commenters a chance to prove me wrong. If you're interested in a chance to win a print copy of BETWEEN THE DUKE AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA by Sophia Nash, simply answer the following question and please, leave me a valid email address so I can contact you if you happen to have the Luck of the Irish on your side and your name is drawn.

The question, you ask?

Roxanne found herself hanging on the side of a cliff while her husband supposedly went for help. If this was you, would you:
      A. Forgive him and continue on as a dutiful loving wife,
      B. Take a knife to his, ahem, family jewels,
      C. Call the magistrate and have him arrested,
      D. Or let him think he got away with and let a friend take him out?

If you're interested in finding out what does happen to this despicable husband, then you'll want to read BETWEEN THE DUKE AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA by Sophia Nash.

Good Luck and Happy Reading!

GIVEAWAY RULES: You MUST answer the above question (if you have a better solution, we'd love to hear it), you MUST leave a valid email address and you've got till 11:59pm on Sunday, March 18, 2012 to enter for a chance to win one (1) of three (3) copies of BETWEEN THE DUKE AND THE DEEP BLUE SEA by Sophia Nash. Giveaway is open to EVERYONE!



Beebs said...

Hi Amy,

Good luck with your contest, sending some Irish luck and love your way. x

I've always been a straightforward kind of girl so B all the way. I'd want him to know it was me getting revenge.

yvonnedvn at yahoo dot ie

The_Book_Queen said...

Great review--I love the cover on this one, and even though it wasn't our favorite book, I still look forward to reading it! :)

Oh, can I pick B, C, and then D? I'd have my way with him first ("accidently", of course, as I'm calling the police on him next--don't want to be the one hauled off, you know!), the hand him over to the police, arrange for him to get out (after many, many years) and then convince a friend of his to take care of him for good.

A bit too over the top? Okay then, just B. :)

Thanks for the giveaway!

TBQ's Book Palace


Anonymous said...

I would love to choose taking the family jewels, but more realistically and less messy, I am going to say let the boys take care of it because I am the baby girl in a family of men after all.


sandy said...

oh definitely "B". and that'd be after i'd called the magistrate on him!

Amy Valentini said...

Y'all are soooo funny! B seems to be the most popular solution. I love it. "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned" takes on a whole new meaning. LOL!

Beebs, thanx for the Irish luck and love. I'm so nervous about what kind of feedback I'll get but it will be a learning experience, I'm sure.

Beebs is referring to my entering my historical WIP in one of the VA RWA writing contests. *butterflies in my tummy* Y'all will be the first I tell how I do! xoxo

Amy Valentini said...

LOL! Sandy, I like the way you think, girl!

No email address? No entry in the contest?

Dalila G. said...

I heard about this book and I would like to read it just to see what happens to the nasty, awful, disgusting, slease-bag of a hubby.

I like the fact that people are talking about the witty dialogue, this is always a plus for me.
I like a book better when there is some bantering and snapping lines to keep you reading.

As far as me picking what I would do, here is my order ~
D ~ mainly because I need to know why he just left me & to have him roughed up a bit by my 'friends'. Hehehe.....
Then I would ~
B ~ to let him know you DO NOT mess with me!
And lastly ~
C ~ let the law handle him, that's if he survives what I'll do to him. LOL!!


Thank you for another wonderful review & giveaway Amy!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!
May the luck of the Irish always shine on you!


Amy Valentini said...

Hi Dalila,
I have to say that I laughed till I cried at parts of this book. It has it's flaws but it's definitely worth a read. And yes, he's definitely a slease-bag of a husband. : )

Eli Yanti said...

i think i will pick :

B. Take a knife to his, ahem, family jewels & C. Call the magistrate and have him arrested