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The Hazards of Hunting a Duke Paperback – April 12, 2014
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When the young ladies of the Fairchild family learn that their stepfather has absconded with their late mother's fortune, Ava, the eldest, hunts down the notoriously wealthy rakehell Jared Broderick, the Marquis of Middleton and heir to a dukedom. Much to her shock and delight, the marquis sweeps her into a whirlwind romance and proposes marriage. But after their passionate wedding night, Ava discovers Jared has ulterior motives of his own. Not only does he expect her to deliver an heir while he continues to enjoy a rogue's life, but Ava also suspects she is a pawn in her husband's quest for revenge. Marriages of convenience work for some, but for Ava a loveless bond won't do. So she devises a bold plan to confront her husband's demons so that he might be free to choose to give her his heart for the right reason: because she is the only woman he will ever truly desire.
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About the Author
- Publisher : Gallery Books; Reprint edition (April 12, 2014)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 384 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1476787662
- ISBN-13 : 978-1476787664
- Item Weight : 11.2 ounces
- Dimensions : 5 x 1.1 x 8 inches
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
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A lot of people felt that Ava was the one who didn't stand up to her stepfather, but I felt Jared wimped out over Edmond. He wasn't the hero "who can do no wrong" in my book. Jared wasn't one of my top five male leads--in fact, I felt he was the weak link in this story. He bickered and fretted over how his father made him feel, but he didn't really stand up for himself.
I am a Julia London fan and I was glad to see that this book wasn't the dud several people portrayed. I am anxious to see how Ava's sisters fare in their matrimonial pursuits. And who is Mr. Percy?
Top reviews from other countries
Ava and her sister Phoebe discover, after their mother's death, that their stepfather will not give them any money - they merely have their small dowries left. Therefore they need to get some money in order to continue to live acceptably and to provide employment for the various people that they have helped (Ava's lady's maid is a former prostitute, the butler is another lame duck, etc).
Of course Ava hits on the plan of marrying the Marquis of Middleton to solve their problems and, spookily, he hits on the plan of marrying Ava to shut his father up. So they marry. After a successful wedding night they become estranged, the reason being that Ava wants his love and thinks he's still seeing his mistress. Jared believes he can't love, it's not within him, so keeps away from his wife - apart from telling her he needs an heir.
It's often said that authors should "show, not tell" what's going on in their characters' lives. This is a very true adage in respect to this book - Julia London TELLS us all the time what people are feeling but we can't really sense/detect this from their behaviour. It's pretty tricky to understand why Jared likes Ava and puts up with her being pretty annoying. And why he just doesn't tell her outright he's not still keeping a mistress - the Big Misunderstanding doesn't work properly when it could so easily be discussed. There's a side plot about an illegitimate son and Ava's cousin travelling in Wales to visit her family (which is no doubt a set up for another book) but I found this book generally pretty dull, I often put it down with boredom and it didn't even have any interesting historical vignettes to keep me interested. As always, the American author included some Americanisms in grammar and speech - and the most notable of these, for me, is the choice of names; I don't think that either Jared or Ava were names commonly used in the Regency. Jared, being a biblical name, might just have turned up - Ava is a German name which I believe first started occurring at the end of the 19th century, so would not have been in this historical/geographical timeframe. What does this say about the author's research?
If you just want basic escapist reading with a dishy leading man and a beautiful heroine then you might like this book. If you want an interesting, in-depth and worthwhile Regency then read Georgette Heyer or Laura Kinsale's "Flowers From The Storm" and leave this book alone.