If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all. - Oscar Wilde
We shouldn't teach great books; we should teach a love of reading. - B. F. Skinner
No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting. - Mary Wortley Montagu

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Review: A Duke but No Gentleman by Alexandra Hawkins / @StMartinsPress @lordsofvice

Title: A Duke but No Gentleman
Series: Masters of Seduction, Book 1
Author: Alexandra Hawkins
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Release Date: June 30, 2015
Genre: Historical, Romance
ARC Received From: NetGalley
Reviewed For: St. Martin's Press

The Duke of Blackbern and the Marquess Norgrave have always had the wildest of friendships. Best friends growing up, they bask in the pleasures the rich, opulent world that London has to offer, consuming drink and women at their leisure.

But Norgrave has always been a step behind. Blackbern can best him at anything—playing cards, riding horses, and bedding women. So when the stunningly beautiful but innocent Lady Imogen Sunter strays across their path, both men agree a friendly competition for the lady's affections cannot hurt.

But when Blackbern's feelings turn into something deeper and Lady Imogen's desire become clear, Norgrave will do anything to win the wager. Only one man can lay claim to Lady Imogen's heart… and one shocking act will change them all irrevocably…

(Reviewer's note: This story includes two rape scenes. I write that and cringe because they are written out for the reader. I'm asking that you consider this before reading this story. This is not an easy topic for anyone to read about but it is also a trigger for some. Read with caution or please skip this book.)

I'll keep this brief as writing this review is really difficult for me. Let me make it very clear that I'm not a huge fan of reading about rape in a novel. Any novel, for that matter. To read about it is extremely hard. Most times rape is glossed over without the reader having to relive that horrifying moment in the main character's life.

That was not the case here.

I wish I'd been warned beforehand. This is the first time I wish I'd read other reviews before picking up this book. I really do.

I cannot rate this book on my scale, which goes no lower than three hearts, because my heart hurts as much as my stomach. It isn't for everyone so proceed with caution if you choose to read this.

Alexandra Hawkins is an unrepentant Anglophile who discovered romance novels as a teenager and knew that one day she would be writing her own. The USA Today bestselling author has written seventeen historical romances, including A Duke But No Gentleman, the first book in her new Masters of Seduction series.  Alexandra has combined her love of English history, mythology, and romance to create sensual character-driven stories that, she hopes, will touch readers' hearts.

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