Monday, August 6

The Hazards Of Hunting A Duke by Julia London

When the young ladies of the Fairchild family learn that their stepfather has absconded with their late mother's fortune, Ava, the eldest, hunts down the notorious wealthy rakehell Jared Broderick, the Marquis of Middleton and heir to a dukedom. Much to her shock and delight, the marquis sweeps her into a whirlwind romance and proposes marriage. But after their passionate wedding night, Ava discovers Jared has an ulterior motives of his own. Not only does he expect her to deliver as heir while he continues to enjoy a rogue's life, but Ava also suspects she is a pawn in her husband's quest for revenge. Marriages of convenience work for some, but for Ava a loveless bond won't do. So she devises a bold plan to confront her husband's demons so that he might be free to choose to give her his heart for the right reason: because she is the only woman he will ever truly desire.

This book started okay with. I practically went through the first pages because I really thought that the characters were quite impressive. I actually thought that Jared Broderick was quite a hero. And that Ava Fairchild was one spunky heroine. I loved reading the parts when the word marriage hadn't come up in conversation yet because they seemed like two people really into each other.

But then Jared started having second thoughts about his hasty proposal. And then I had doubts about Ava's hasty acceptance. In fairness to Jared, he did make it clear that it was going to be a marriage of convenience--his father wanted to see him married to secure an heir for the dukedom; and Jared wanted his wife to be, at least, of his own choosing. But the novelty of it all soon faded because he wasn't ready for anything resembling to marriage.

The heroine knew it was going to be a marriage of convenience but she had high hopes that everything would change for the better after the wedding. There was nothing wrong with that except that she managed to turn into a shrew for all of it. And that didn't make a pretty picture when she knew that her acceptance of the wedding proposal was born out of need after what her stepfather did with their late mother's money.

Nevertheless, they were attracted to and respected each other. And the book did have its moments e.g. when Jared apologized in bed after Ava suffered the company of his former mistress. That was one of my favorite scenes. But then there were massive lows as well, e.g. when he repeatedly told her that it was just a convenient marriage, that they married for specific reasons, and that love was never part of the bargain. Rub that in, why don't you?

I guess it was an okay read but I quite didn't get into the writing style. I may not be reading a Julia London any time soon but I'm not saying never either.

Final verdict: 6.5/10. Good read.


Marg said...

I really prefer Julia London's contemporary books than her historicals! I haven't started this one....maybe because the print was ssooo small in my copy!

Kookie said...

I just might give her contemps a try...let's see. Thanks for the suggestion. :o)

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