Wednesday, July 28
Title: My Dangerous Duke*
Author: Gaelen Foley
Series: Inferno Club series book #2
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Avon Romance
Format: mass market paperback
Date/Year: June 2010
*This book was provided to me by the author for review
Summary from the publisher:
Rohan Kilburn descends from a long line of fierce warriors who have sworn to protect against the evil Prometheans whose goal is power and world domination. He is an assassin and has spent his entire adult life ruthlessly killing his enemies and fulfilling what he believes is his destiny. And while he loves women he feels that his soul is too black to be worthy of love…throw in a family curse that dooms any woman he might come to love and Rohan has resigned himself never to love or be loved. He’s a brooding, brutal beast of a man. Yet at his core he is honorable with a heart of gold.
Unlike My Wicked Marquess, which I felt focused too much on the setup of the series to the detriment of the love story, My Dangerous Duke spends a large portion of the story on the hero and the heroine and their unlikely pairing. In fact the moments when this story was at its best was when it focused on Kate and Rohan’s discovery of each other. From the very first page I was captivated by who these two characters were, what their motivations were, and their personal histories. And it kept getting better…that is until the conclusion. Unfortunately, towards the end of the book I felt that the story was carried away by an Indiana Jones/National Treasure type of adventure that seemed too fantastical to be believable. It’s not that is was poorly written, it just seemed too over the top to suspend belief even for a fiction novel.
There’s quite a bit of the book that I don’t want to divulge in the review because it would reveal important parts of the plot that should be left to the enjoyment of the reader to discover, but I can say that instead of the adventure we were given at the end I wished that there would have been more of the meaningful moments between Rohan and Kate because that is where the brilliance of this story was for me. I also wanted more of the story to focus on the superstitions surrounding the castle and the Warrington curse, especially since Kate is an avid reader of the Gothic novels that were so popular in this time period. This was briefly touched upon, but I would have liked it to have been explored further. I wished that the battle between good and evil in this story would have been more personal, especially considering Kate’s ancestry and Rohan’s role in the Inferno Club (for Rohan to fight an actual person to protect his love instead of a legend).
The first half of the book reminded me of what I loved about Gaelen Foley’s earlier novels (which I absolutely love), the last part of the book unfortunately distracted from that. Regrettably, since the adventure is at the end of the book it is what leaves you with a lasting impression.