Saturday, November 8, 2008

Review - The Lost Duke of Wyndham

Title: The Lost Duke of Wyndham
Author: Julia Quinn
Publishing Date: 2008
Genre: Historical
Rating: B
Sensuality: Warm

Grace Eversleigh’s parents died of fever five years ago leaving her orphaned at seventeen. The dowager Duchess of Wyndham took pity on Grace and employed her as her companion. The two of them are coming home from a party when their carriage is pulled over by highwaymen. The highwayman in question is very suave and debonair. The Duchess thinks she recognizes him as a relation to the house of Wyndham as he is the spitting image of her dead son John.

Ms. Quinn certainly writes an entertaining historical. Jack Audley is quite the character, with his witty charm and sharp intelligence. He steals the show in this book, leaving Grace to fade somewhat into the background. While the book begins from Grace’s point of view in third person, the majority of the rest of the book is told from Jack’s perspective. Also, with the plot centering on the question of Jack’s lineage, the focus tended to remain on Jack, forcing the story to be more hero-centric. I didn’t really mind this, since Jack was a vibrant character. The only problem I did have with it was when Jack would wax poetic about the love he felt for Grace. The prose came across slightly flowery and didn’t match Jack’s masculine persona. It would have been more appropriate coming from Grace.

The plot was great. The question of Jack’s identity and how everything was going to be resolved satisfactorily added quite a bit of tension to the book. I kept wondering to myself, “How in the heck is Quinn going to fix this mess?” Not to worry she does deliver on that aspect. I did think that after a big secret is revealed the ending was too abrupt. I wanted a little more closure on how things were going to work out for the individuals involved.

One thing that may have influenced how I read the book was the fact that I know there is another book, Mr. Cavendish I Presume that tells the same story from Thomas’s point of view. (Thomas was the legitimate Duke that Jack was usurping.) I noticed, as I was reading The Lost Duke of Wyndham, that there were scenes that sort of left holes in the book and I imagine they will be a part of Mr. Cavendish I Presume.

Here is what others had to say:

Breezing Through
The Book Smugglers
Racy Romance Reviews
Dear Author
Reading is Sexy
Smart Bitches, Trashy Books
What Kate's Reading


Lori said...

I actually loved this one. I think it's the best thing she's written in years.

Ana said...

and I , Lori!

yay, Jill. You read it! : D

Jill D. said...

Ana, Now I just have to find the time to read Mr. Cavendish, I Presume. I have to admit that I am curious to see how the book plays out from his and Amelia's point of view.

Lori, I loved her Brigerton series, but I never did read the last two. I guess it's because the buzz on those books was a little critical. Although, I do believe she won a RITA last year. Or was it the year before?

Marg said...

I loved this one as well. I appreciated the fact that it was a very straight forward story about Jack and Grace - no extra suspense subplot etc.

I am looking forward to reading Mr Cavendish. I have it, I just haven't read it yet, and I am not sure when I am going to get to it.

Jessica said...


I like your point about Jack's sappiness when he thinks of Grace. I hadn't thought about that, but there is a slight tension there.

I didn't like this one all that much, and I do not plan to read the other half (Cavendish) but Quinn is still an autobuy for me.

nath said...

Can't wait to see what you think of Mr. Cavendish I presume :) I really enjoyed this one and thought it was quite original. Like you, I think the ending was a bit abrupt though.

Jill D. said...

Well, I do plan on reading Mr. Cavendish I Presume. I don't know when, but definitely in the near future. I'm just a little bit curious about Thomas's point of view.

Although, all the reviews have been less in favor of Mr.
Cavendish as compared to Lost Duke. I am going to try and keep an open mind though.

Bev(QB) said...

You know, I won a set of these two books over at Book Smugglers. I haven't read them yet, but I'm tempted to read the 2nd book first because, of the few people that said they read them out of order, most said they actually liked the hero in book 2 better.

Jill D. said...

Hey Bev, I won that same contest! Now, in Lost Duke Thomas came across as kind of a jerk. The reader doesn't really understand him. So, I am curious to read Mr. Cavendish to get his back story. Either way, I'll be interested to hear what you think. I wonder why Mr. Cavendish wasn't published first.

Kate said...

Most of the reviews I've found, the reviewer tends to like Wyndham more if that's what s/he read first, and vice versa if s/he'd read Cavendish first. Frankly I liked Wyndham better as a book, but liked Amelia and Thomas better than Jack and Grace even though Cavendish didn't live up to Wyndham with me. (I read Wyndham first.) Of course I also read Cavendish in the same weekend that I read Kleypas' Seduce Me At Sunrise, so we're kind of talking apples and orangutans in terms of light romances and deep passions. At some point I'm going to review them :)

Jill D. said...

but liked Amelia and Thomas better than Jack and Grace

See I am curious how I will like Mr. Cavendish, because I really liked Jack's personality. Thomas came across as too stiff for me. Of course since it was Jack's book we understand his motivation, not Thomas's. I think that this idea of two books telling the same story, but from a different point of view is a really cool idea.

I am reading Seduce me at Sunrise right now. *fanning myself* It's some hot stuff!

Kate said...

Yes, there were definitely some overlaps that were slightly annoying to me, telling the same story twice, but regardless of how well Grace and Jack were written (and I really didn't love Jack but thought Grace was done excellently), I really thought Thomas had a lot more emotional depth to him in the second book. It was also very fun and interesting watching Amelia grow into herself, whereas Grace remained constant throughout Wyndham. I reviewed Wyndham on mine, by the way (forgot to mention earlier: I'm eager to see what you'll think of Cavendish when you get to it!

Yes, Seduce Me at Sunrise...whew. That one's a knockout.

Ok, and now I really have no further excuse to avoid going to the gym :)

Jill D. said...

Hey Kate, Well I have to admit you have me very curious about Thomas and Amelia's story. Hopefully, I will get to it soon :)

Seneca said...

*happy sigh* :)
I adored this book (you can tell from the Breezing Through review, lol)

I didn't like the second one at all, though.
What a waste of my time that was.