Monday, November 14, 2011

When a Duke Says I Do-Jane Goodger

When a Duke Says I Do

Jane Goodger

Zebra, Dec 1 2011, $6.99

ISBN: 9781420111514

In 1862 French painter Laurent Desmarais and his mute assistant Alexander arrive at the Nottinghamshire home of Miss Elizabeth “Elsie” Stanhope. Her affluent father commissioned the famous Frenchman to complete a ballroom mural in time for his daughter’s twenty-second birthday gala. At her ball, her dad will announce her engagement to a duke’s heir.

Elsie discovers the secrets that Desmarais has rheumatism and Alexander is the artist. Alexander, whose father dumped him in an asylum, and Elsie are attracted to one another. As they fall in love, he knows she belongs to the future duke and not an assistant while she knows overcoming their class distinction will prove almost impossible.

Although readers will need to ignore plausibility, Victorian romance readers will enjoy Jane Goodger’s fascinating historical as the issues of abuse on the mental health of victims is insightfully developed. Elsie is a courageous individual who must deal with her beloved being a hermit while he suffers from a crippling past. This is an engaging tale as there is rarely a lead protagonist in romances like Alexander is.

Harriet Klausner

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