Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Lost Duke of Wyndham by Julia Quinn

Title: The Lost Duke of Wyndham
Author: Julia Quinn
Series: Two Dukes of Wyndham, Book 1
Genre: Regency Historical Romance
Publisher: Avon Books
ISBN: 97800060876104
Format: Mass Market Paperback, 371 pages
List Price: $7.99US
Characters: Jack Audley, Grace Eversleigh

In a nutshell: Jack Audley, highwayman, is kidnapped by the Dowager Duchess of Wyndham and her companion, Grace Eversleigh, when the old woman recognizes him as her grandson.

Characters: Grace is the long-suffering companion to an annoyingly proud, irritable old woman. She endeavors to be kind and understanding which sometimes translates into “doormat.” I wasn't very attached to her but I didn't hate her either. She seemed a little two-dimensional as compared to some of Ms Quinn's other heroines. There didn't seem to be much of a backstory with her other than a brief explanation as to the reason for her position with the dowager.

Jack was funny but, again, rather two-dimensional when compared to Ms Quinn's other heroes. He wasn't as funny, wasn't as tortured, wasn't as memorable. He was just ok.

Storyline: The whole point of this story is the discovery of a lost heir to the Duchy of Wyndham. Jack Audley's father was the older brother of the current duke's father, making him the rightful duke...if Jack's parents were legally wed. I thought the plot was interesting, a little different, and rather well-done, actually. Quite believable.

Meanwhile, the companion, Grace, falls in love with Jack. He, of course, falls in love right back. I have little opinion of the love story part of this book. That, in and of itself, is quite telling, I think. I was a little surprised at how few detailed love scenes were in this book. Not to say that Ms Quinn is normally overly graphic, but I seem to recall far more in her previous novels. (This is a point in this book's favor, by the way.)

Criticisms: This story lacked the depth of Ms Quinn's other novels. Honestly, had she just written one book, titled it The Two Dukes of Wyndham, and wrote from the POVs of each of the four—Jack and Grace from the 1st book and Thomas and Amelia from the 2nd book—she could have had a winning novel. It would have been faster paced than her previous novels, but it would have been far less repetitive. Just my opinion.

I read the two books together, skipping over parts that were just a repeat scene. I think this helped weed out a lot of the annoyance due to repetition.

Overall: 3.4 of 5 stars. I liked the story; it was fun...just not as fun as some of her others...

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