Monday, November 7, 2011

What a Duke Wants by Lavinia Kent

Lavinia Kent started out very strong with her debut novel, A Talent For Sin -- she featured a very strong female character who took charge of her life and her sexuality.

Her next few books have been a bit more conventional but she was able to tie them all together with related characters (the Masters family).

This is the latest installment in their story -- and I felt that Kent's is still heading in a downward direction --

Believing she killed the man she was being forced to marry, Isabella Masters has been hiding from her family and has gone into service as a nanny.

During a trip to London, she and her ward are mis-directed and sent to the stables where she encounters the Duke of Strattington.

Mark isn't used to being a duke, yet -- and he longs to escape the constricting world that he has inherited.

He is intrigued by Isabella and her honesty (she's also very beautiful, btw) and decides to pretend to be plain Mark Smythe.

They are unfortunately discovered and Mark tries to do right by her ... by offering her the position of his mistress.

Isabella agrees reluctantly -- (ed: She has no choice! Her employer let her go without reference or money!) --

But Isabella is not content to live the role Mark has asked her to play so she leaves him.

The whole story is a bit cliche -- and the characters lacked spark.

It took me a while to finish the story but I'm glad I was able to read this through to the end -- Kent resolves everything nicely -- but questionably. I felt that Mark had no deep motivation to want Isabella back and his change of heart (asking her to be his wife) happened right at the time when he discovers Isabella was a Masters and fairly well-connected.

Kents storytelling and writing suffered a bit -- I wonder if it was because she was also writing/publishing her novellas at the same time?



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