Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Review - The Guardian Duke

The Guardian Duke: A Forgotten Castles NovelThe Guardian Duke
by Jamie Carie
Paperback, 320 pages
Published February 1st 2012 by B&H Publishing Group


The Guardian Duke is award-winning novelist Jamie Carie’s most exciting story yet, a uniquely arranged Regency-era romantic adventure where hero and heroine know each other through written letters but have yet to meet.

Gabriel, the Duke of St. Easton, is ordered by the King to take guardianship over Lady Alexandria Featherstone whose parents are presumed dead after failing to return from a high profile treasure hunt. But Alexandria ignores this royal reassignment, believing her parents are still alive and duly following clues that may lead to their whereabouts. 

Gabriel, pressured by what are actually the King’s ulterior motives, pursues her across windswept England and the rolling green hills of Ireland but is always one step behind.When they do meet, the search for earthly treasure will pale in comparison to what God has planned for both of them

My Review:

I started The Forgiven Duke the same moment I finished The Guardian Duke. There is not so much as a cliffhanger ending as a story left unfinished. In the interview I posted yesterday, Jamie Carie said
I was able to really dive into their growth and development and create a sweeping plot that covered so much more ground than a stand alone story.
This is so evident in this story. Alex is revealed slowly and deliciously through her love for her parents, her care for her island, her old castle and the people that live there.  (Oh yea, she lives in an old castle!!!)

Gabriel is revealed in so many layers... through frustrations and conflicts. The idea that he and Alex will get together also grows gradually. There's no insta-love OR love triangles. And I thought we had to have one or the other, at least!!  Oh, no... this story has two unique characters with natural attractions that just keep compounding despite (or because of) the oddest circumstances.

I love the setting in the early 1800's Great Britain. I can feel the wind off the ocean, hear the accents during the trek across Ireland. Too fun. The clothes are described just enough to visualize Jane Austen style fashions. Too cute.  I love the setting and I love, LOVE the characters.

Hey... even the supporting cast is full of flavor. I picture Meade in his alligator costume, spindly and leaping to Gabriel's assistance before he even asks.  He's eager to please, but loaded with his own opinion, which is not always the same as "his Grace's".  Admiral Montague is too utterly noble. He has his own past aches and although he is helping Alex, she is helping him, too. Baylor is the perfect Irish giant especially with his wife, "my harpy". Lol. Oh, and John Lemon... I had to laugh when he was referred to as a "fop" by Gabriel, of course, in a very jealous moment. He's the perfect, handsome gentleman. all gracious and kindness. But I can see that FOPness, too... it's there!!  But Gabriel really shouldn't be talkin'... he lingers to "assist" a widowed beauty, the lovely Claire Montgomery. Oh, if only Alex knew!!

The flip-side of this book... is it is not a "fast" read. It has a lulling pace that unfolds it's secrets at it's own pace. There's a little action, I suppose, but the moments are brief. Minor incidents. There is also a bucket-load of cuteness. Lol. It's true!!  I don't mean the parts where everyone tries their darndest to do the right thing - no, that's refreshing - but the parts where things keep working out well.  Like... it's so handy that someone rescues Alex at just the right moment, or that they happen upon the group of people who remember an important clue on Alex's search. Over and over. I caught myself wishing that more things went wrong. Lol.  The tension and the close calls between Alex and Gabriel start increasing by the end, though... so I have no idea what I'll do when I finish the next book. Probably camp out on the author's back porch 'til she coughs up A Duke's Promise!!

My Rating: 3.5 - This book is definitely worth reading. The scenes linger long after the covers are closed.

Cover Commentary:  Gotta love the cover!!  I think it's so great how well the model matches Alex!! I found this quote & YouTube video on Jamie's site:
 It really impacted me. I cried every time I watched it for two days! I think it was because this model so perfectly fits my heroine, Alexandria Featherstone, that it was as if this character I had dreamed up had come to life.

How cool is that?!

About the author:

Jamie Carie writes novels about fierce, passionate women; their dreams; their fears; their triumphs. Her deepest desire is to see her readers find that same passion as they follow their destiny and discover deeper intimacy with Jesus.

She lives in Indianapolis with her husband and three sons.

The Guardian Duke – February 2012 See the making of the cover and trailer  here!
The Forgiven Duke – Book 2 in The Forgotten Castles series - July 2012

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There's a giveaway for a signed paperback copy (US/Can) of The Guardian Duke and The Forgiven Duke on my Interview Post!!