Review: My Dangerous Duke by Gaelen Foley

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:

The Inferno Club: In public, this scandalous society of London aristocrats is notorious for pursuing all manner of debauchery. But in private, they are warriors who would do anything to protect king and country . . .

They say that the very name of Warrington is cursed . . .

From a time as old as the cold stone of the duke’s ancestral castle, the Warrington men have been plagued by tragedy. But Rohan Kilburn, the Duke of Warrington has vowed to escape the predestined torment by forsaking love and devoting his life to the Inferno Club and its secret mission.

And then she is brought to him unbidden by cutthroats hoping to calm the duke’s infamous temper—a sacrificial virgin of sorts. But even overpowered, Kate Madsen will be no man’s sacrifice. And the duke’s price for claiming her may be what he has sworn never to give—the heart he has so long and fiercely guarded . . . to the beautiful hostage he was never meant to love.

My Musings:

Kate Marsden is a heroine who has been secreted away in the English countryside and has grown up secluded from the world around her but surrounded by her beloved books.  She lives a solitary and self sufficient life.  That is until she was kidnapped by dangerous men who believe her to be someone else…someone worthy of holding for ransom.

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.


Overall: 3.50 stars (The majority of the book where we are gifted with the story of Kate and Rohan I would give 4.0 stars, the last half consisting of the adventure I would give 2.5 stars...which leaves me with a book that receives 3.5 stars. Since more of the book focuses on the story that I liked, I think it deserves a better rating than just an average between the two)
Sensuality level: 2.5 (pretty much what you would expect from a modern day historical romance)

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ann alba July 28, 2010 at 1:18 AM  

I love Gaelen Foley Have all her books except this one BUT I WILL SOON:-}
Thanks for the review she is one of those must have writers.
Have a good one.

Booklover1335 July 28, 2010 at 7:09 AM  

Hey Ann!!

I hope you enjoy it. Would love to know what you think once you've had the chance to read it. Take care.

librarypat,  July 28, 2010 at 4:42 PM  

It sounds like a case of trying to write two books in one and both suffering for it. It should still be a good read, just not a great one.

Ivy July 29, 2010 at 9:34 PM  

See, now I'm iffy on this....thanks for the great review.

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