Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Special Guest Review: Lisa Lin's Review of THE DUKE OF DARK DESIRES by Miranda Neville

Happy Christmas Eve, Everyone! Today, my darling Avon Addict Sister, Lisa Lin is back with a guest review. She’s kind enough to share her review of THE DUKE OF DARK DESIRES, book four in the Wild Quartet series by Miranda Neville, which is releasing December 30, 2014 from Avon Romance. I hope you enjoy her review as much as I do.

***eARC provided to reviewer by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest and unscripted review


Wanted: Governess able to keep all hours . . .

Rebellious Julian Fortescue never expected to inherit a dukedom, nor to find himself guardian to three young half-sisters. Now in the market for a governess, he lays eyes on Jane Grey and knows immediately she is qualified—to become his mistress. Yet the alluring woman appears impervious to him. Somehow, Julian must find a way to make her succumb to temptation . . . without losing his heart and revealing the haunting mistakes of his past.

Desired: Duke skilled in the seductive art of conversation . . .

Lady Jeanne de Falleron didn't seek a position as a governess simply to fall into bed with the Duke of Denford. Under the alias of Jane Grey, she must learn which of the duke's relatives is responsible for the death of her family—and take her revenge. She certainly can't afford the distraction of her darkly irresistible employer, or the smoldering desire he ignites within her.

But as Jane discovers more clues about the villain she seeks, she's faced with a possibility more disturbing than her growing feelings for Julian: What will she do if the man she loves is also the man she's sworn to kill?

~*~              ~*~             ~*~             ~*~             ~*~

Lisa’s Review:

I first heard of Miranda Neville several years ago when I heard her reading from THE WILD MARQUIS at a Lady Jane’s Salon event in New York City. Since then I have had the opportunity to meet her and get to know her, both in person, and through The Ballroom Blog (RIP).  She is a lovely person, a talented author, and one of the funniest people I know, with a wonderful British accent to match. Having enjoyed her entire Wild Quartet series, I was very much looking forward to reading THE DUKE OF DARK DESIRES, the final installment of the series. As usual, Miranda did not disappoint but gave us an emotionally charged, sensual, and deeply satisfying book.

THE DUKE OF DARK DESIRES is the story of Julian Fortescue, who recently became the Duke of Denford through a series of unfortunate deaths and a lack of male heirs in his family tree, and Jeanne de Falleron, a woman who has sworn vengeance and revenge against the Forescue family. I have been looking forward to this book for quite some time, due to the intriguing glimpses we got into Julian in the previous books, especially in LADY WINDERMERE’S LOVER, where we start understanding that despite his carefree debonair fa├žade, Julian is a man struggling to make peace with mistakes from his past and the resulting demons.

I really enjoyed Julian’s character, and his journey to making peace with his past, finding redemption, and facing his future with Jeanne with a clear conscience and full heart. I liked Julian’s irreverent sardonic sense of humor, and the relationship that developed between him and his three half-sisters, Maria, Fenella, and Louisa.

I immediately liked Jeanne. She is a woman who faced a tremendous tragedy at a young age, losing her aristocratic family during the height of the Revolution. Determined to find the man who betrayed her family and exact vengeance, she lands a position at Fortescue House as a governess to the girls to get close to the family and learn his identity. My heart broke for Jeanne and what she went through, not just in losing her family but for the guilt and unanswered questions, she’s had to live with. Life has given her a beating, but Jeanne has shown herself to be a survivor. But the traumas she’s lived through and the hard choices she was forced to make in the name of survival made her a bit too hard and afraid to love and trust because she didn’t want to bear the pain of coming to care for someone, only to lose them again. I certainly understood Jeanne’s reluctance to open her heart, and really loved the way Miranda had Jeanne gradually lower her shields so that she no longer just had to go through the motions and survive and be driven by fear, desperation, vengeance, and guilt. She could now truly embrace life and LIVE.

Nothing intrigues Julian as much as a challenge, and Jeanne certainly presents that. From the first moment they met, he finds her an irresistible challenge because she refuses to be intimidated by him or his title, and makes no bones about the fact that she will find resisting his advances no big difficulty. Of course, this is a romance, so they eventually give in to the mutual attraction. The true story of what happened to Jeanne’s family, and Julian’s connection to the family, is finally explained. I liked that Miranda portrayed that aspect of the story realistically. Just because Jeanne and Julian have fallen in love doesn’t mean that everything from the past could be brushed away and everything would be magically okay. Both of them had to go through the process of dealing with and accepting the truth, but not letting it rule their lives. Finally, they can look forward to the future and not be tied to the past.

As a side note, as someone who isn’t terribly knowledgeable about art and art history, I really enjoyed learning about it throughout The Wild Quartet series due to Miranda’s meticulous research. I also loved the cameos from the previous couples in the series. Ultimately, I would definitely recommend THE DUKE OF DARK DESIRES by Miranda Neville. It is a story of forgiveness, redemption, and second chances with witty flirty banter, steamy love scenes, and two strong willed characters who learn to bare their souls in order to find the comfort, peace, and joy they seek.  I am looking forward to seeing what comes next from Miranda.

Thank you, Lisa, for a wonderful review and for sharing it with us. It sounds like Miranda’s book is a must read for historical romance lovers.

Happy Reading Everyone!
Merry Christmas to all with love from Unwrapping Romance.

THE DUKE OF DARK DESIRES, a Wild Quartet novel by Miranda Neville, Avon Romance, release date – December 30, 2014 in print and ebook formats at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobobooks.
***click on links above or cover below for purchasing information, remember even pennies per sale using my links help keep this blog alive. Thank You.



Dalila G. said...

Hi Lisa and Amy!
Thanks Lisa for sharing today, great review.
I have read some of Miranda's books and enjoyed them.
This book is one that I will have to wait on till I catch up with the rest of them in this series.
I am one of those odd readers that I have to read books in order if they're in a set. ^_^
I really like this cover, sort of sexy to me! *^_^*
I really have to get myself in reading mode big time so I can read about Julian.
Have a wonderful day ladies!

Amy Valentini said...

Thank you, Dalila, and yes, I totally agree this is Miranda's sexiest cover yet.
MERRY CHRISTMAS to you and yours. xoxo