I Married the Duke (Katherine Ashe)

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Now here is something different. I was given this novel by a friend and I thought I would try it. Here is the back cover of the novel: Three very different sisters beguile society with their beauty and charm, but only one of them must fulfill a prophecy: marry a prince. Who is the mystery Prince Charming, and which sister will be his bride?
On the way to marry a prince in a castle, a lady should never:
1. Bribe an infuriatingly arrogant and undeniably irresistible ship captain,
2. Let him kiss her senseless on a beach,
3. Battle thieves at his side,
and
4. Exchange wedding vows with him, even under the direst circumstances.
But daring, determined Arabella Caulfield isn’t just any lady. And Luc Westfall is no typical ship captain. He’s the new Duke of Lycombe, and to defeat a plot that could destroy his family he must have an heir. Now he knows just the woman for the job . . . and he’s not above seduction to turn this would-be princess into a duchess.

I thought this novel was odd. Yes, I know that term is very non-descriptive but I will tell you why. First, it was not like the other romance novels that I enjoy. I am a huge fan of Julie Garwood and Julia Quinn. Now Katharine Ashe provided a different tone to the novel than any other novel I have read. In this novel the female heroine Bella did all the things I assumed a woman would do, going down dark alleys, getting kidnapped, trying to read her husbands mind without talking. Even with all those events I was still drawn to this story. I cannot figure out exactly why. I enjoyed the novel and cannot wait for the next in the series, for I am dying to know the secret. I cannot help but wonder why add in child abuse in a novel like this. I do not enjoy reading about child abuse and is really one of the reasons I read and enjoy romance novels, they are usually not so dark unless I read suspense romance. I felt that was unnecessary and was not needed to move the plot along.

As for the sex scenes. There was steam and there was emotion but I felt there was something missing in the romance department. The main characters were not connecting on an emotional and mental level that other characters tend to. There were quite a few love scenes and I enjoyed them.

Overall, I give this novel 3-4 stars. It was written well, it had a plot that moved along at a moderate pace but it was still missing something. To me it was missing that one ingredient that would make me read this novel again and again. If you enjoyed this novel or if you didn’t, I recommend you read Julie Garwood’s Guardian Angels. That was a great novel and really reminds me of this novel, except that Julie Garwood has all the events in this novel (minus one) in three of her novels. Happy Readings!

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