Monday, June 10, 2013

Unwrapping: Review of TAKEN BY THE DUKE, a Pleasure Wars novel by Jess Michaels

One of the things I love about historical romance is that you can take a situation that if used in a contemporary just wouldn’t fly, but in a time gone past, it works without question. In TAKEN BY THE DUKE by Jess Michaels, this is just what happens and it makes for a beautiful story.
***eARC provided by author in exchange for an honest and unscripted review.
An eye for an eye, a sin for a sin…

The Pleasure Wars, Book 1

Amid all the lies and scandals that fuel Society’s gossip mill, one truth has stood out: House Rothcastle and House Windbury have always hated each other.

Lady Ava Windbury prays the feud will someday end, to no avail. One dreadful night, her brother accidentally causes the death of Christian Rothcastle’s sister, a tragedy that leaves both men maimed.

Consumed by grief, Christian makes a grim decision. He will kidnap Lady Ava so that her family will feel the pain of loss as keenly as he feels the loss of his own sister. But once he has Ava in his clutches, desire takes unexpected hold. Even more surprising, she willingly surrenders to his every sexual whim—after haggling over the terms of giving up her virginity.

Too late, he realizes she is using her body for peace, not war. But just as their affair of revenges turns into an affair of the heart, the past rears its ugly head to take matters into its own hands…
***Product Warnings - This book contains scenes of erotic seduction, sexual revenge and the healing power of love.
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The House of Rothcastle and the House of Windbury have been caught up in a feud that has gone on for so long that no one is even sure what started it. Now things have gone from bad to worse.
Tragedy strikes when Matilda – sister to Christian, the Duke of Rothcastle and beloved betrothed to Liam, Earl of Winbury – is killed in a horrible carriage accident caused by Christian chasing after her and Liam as they elope. Now as both men try to heal their bodies, their hatred for each other grows ever greater.
Ava Winbury, sister of Liam, is worried that her brother may never recover from the accident that has left him physically depleted but more importantly, has left his heart cold and filled with hate. Once a loving brother, Liam cares not what happens to her as he hides away in his rooms. Left to attend social engagements on her own, spurned by most of the ton because of a feud that she has no part of and the whisperings about the accident that has left far too many suffering, Ava finds herself a wallflower with no hope of a good marriage match.
Christian’s body has yet to heal completely. He’s in great pain and needs the aid of a cane to walk, but his hatred of the man who stole his beloved Matilda from his life will pay and nothing, not even his body’s pain, will stop him from exacting his revenge. His revenge – to steal his enemy’s sister, ruin her, and make Liam Winbury feel the same pain of loss that he now lives with daily.
Stolen away in the night by the man who has always caught her attention even as his hatred for her family always kept him at a distance, Ava struggles to save herself and her brother from the wrath of a man who suffers more than just his healing wounds. Meanwhile, Christian finds himself facing an enemy who refuses to carry on a feud that she has no use for and who forces him into a truce that pulls him into something far more dangerous as this beautiful enemy begins to thaw his hard, cold heart.
TAKEN BY THE DUKE by Jess Michaels is more than I ever expected from an erotic historical romance. It’s powerful, fast-paced, and carries a poignancy that pulls you back to such greats as ROMEO AND JULIET, and MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, two of Shakespeare’s plays that dealt with feuds and the damaging blow that ruination brought on by hatred could inflict upon honor and family. As I said at the beginning of this review, one of the things I enjoy most about historical romance is how easy it is to take a small piece of information that in today’s world might be only slightly noticeable, but in a past era, that same item could devastate.
A powerful story, engaging and charismatic characters, an intensity of emotion brought on by hatred that is slowly dissolved by a loving touch, kind words, and a love affair that leaves you breathless, TAKEN BY THE DUKE by Jess Michaels is a historical romance that will keep you captivated from its tragic beginning to its happily-ever-after.
I highly recommend TAKEN BY THE DUKE, a Pleasures War novel by Jess Michaels to anyone who enjoys a story built on the slippery slope of society’s quickness to indict even the most innocent on the actions of others. Seriously, even if you fear that erotic romance is too steamy for you, TAKEN BY THE DUKE is one that will keep you coming back for more -  more romance, that is.
Happy Reading Everyone!
***Mark your calendars, Jess Michaels will be joining me on Wednesday, July 3, 2013 to celebrate the release of this fabulous erotic historical romance.
TAKEN BY THE DUKE, a Pleasure Wars novel by Jess Michaels, Samhain Publishing, release date – July 2, 2013 in ebook formats. 

                                                 ***Click on Cover for purchasing information.


Connie said...

Hi, Amy!

This novel sounds like a really good read. I’m adding it to my Wish List and will be back on July 3rd!

Amy Valentini said...

I hope you read it, Connie, I think you'll really like it. I'll certainly be following this series, and yes, looking forward to seeing you on July 3rd! : )