Friday, August 15, 2008
Title: The Duke of Shadows
Author: Meredith Duran
Publishing Date: April 2008
Emma Martin has been engaged to Colonel Marcus Lindley since she was a child. She sets sail with her parents on a ship to India, where Marcus is currently stationed. A terrible tragedy occurs when the ship goes down in a storm and she is the only survivor. Not only does Emma have to deal with the loss of her parents, but she realizes that Marcus is a terrible person and is only marrying her for her inheritance. Add that to a revolt between the British and Indian armies and Emma will have the fight of her life. Along the way she meets Julian Sinclair, the Duke of Auburn. He helps her to run away from Marcus.
The Duke of Shadows is Meredith Duran’s first novel. My overall impression of this book is that it is a great story, with a few imperfections. I thought the pacing and writing style could be a little inconsistent at times. For the most part it flowed nicely, but occasionally the writing stumbled a bit. The plot and story itself I really enjoyed. The setting is unusual, taking place in British Colonial India. Another thing I really enjoyed was the open honesty between Julian and Emma in the first half of the book. It is a nice change of pace to see the protagonists’ honesty with one another instead of lies and deception or even denial of feelings that is so often the case in the romance novels I read.
What I struggled over while reading The Duke of Shadows, was my dislike of Emma. I had a hard time relating to her. I think she bordered too closely to the line of selfishness and self-pity for me to truly like her. But Julian was a much more likeable hero and I thought he was a great character. I found him much easier to relate to than Emma. It was refreshing to have a hero who was honest about his feelings and never in denial about them. He was so patient with Emma, when another person would probably be pulling their hair out. Ms. Duran cleverly introduces the Earl of Lockwood as a very intriguing secondary character. She reveals a few brief hints about the Earl of Lockwood including the mysterious estrangement of his wife, who he supposedly was madly in love with. It seems the perfect set up for her next novel. Okay, I’ll bite. I will be curious to read Ms. Duran’s next effort.
Here is what others had to say:
Thoughts of an Aspiring Writer
The Book Smugglers
The good, The Bad, The Unread