Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Tour Stop - Review and Giveaway! The Forgiven Duke by Jamie Carie

On Tour with Bookshelf Confessions...

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


Tethered by her impulsive promise to marry Lord John Lemon - the path of least resistance - Alexandria Featherstone sets off toward Iceland in search of her parents with a leaden heart. A glimpse of her guardian, the Duke of St. Easton - the path less traveled by - on Dublin’s shore still haunts her.

Will he come after her? Will he drag her back to London, quelling her mission to rescue her treasure-seeking parents, or might he decide to throw caution to the wind and choose Foy Pour Devoir: “Faith for Duty,” the St. Easton motto. The Featherstone motto Valens et Volens: “Willing and Able,” beats in her heart and thrums through her veins. She will find her parents and find their love, no matter the cost.

The powerful yet wing-clipped Duke of St. Easton has never known the challenge that has become his life since hearing his ward’s name. Alexandria Featherstone will be the life or the death of him. Only time and God’s plan will reveal just how much this man can endure for the prize of love.

My Review:


This book is even better than The Guardian Duke.

There is all the adventure of traveling fearlessly through Iceland on horseback, being kidnapped and incarcerated by the Spanish Inquisition with all the political pomp and circumstance of the early 1800’s. I love the royal fight over the missing manuscript coated thickly with pretentious good manners. I love how Gabriel knows the game and plays along, biding his time for his own ends. And I love how Alex manages obliviously on her goodwill.

There are too many gorgeous outfits. There's the fur-lined robes and coats for traveling through the cold, dark winter of the far north. Alex’s wardrobe in London is so beautiful, so fun. The setting is all very intricate including the horrible ships and the seasickness that Gabriel survives by chewing on ginger root.

The author continues flitting through danger and adventure and love like a butterfly, barely dippin’ our delicate toes in grit. Serious subjects, even, are mentioned and endured, tears shed, and then life flits onward with so much hope and forgiveness that I shake my head and laugh.

Not that I didn’t cry. Last night caught me under my covers reading by low Nook light tears dampening my pillow and making my eyes all puffy this morning. The romantic tension between the characters… between Alex and John and then Alex and Gabriel (in something that could never be called a Love Triangle) is absolutely exquisite. It is butterfly-innocent and so well developed that I didn’t doubt the motives or actions of any of the players. I especially appreciated how Alex’s choices led to costly consequences. Just because she is innocent and well-meaning, doesn’t mean she has a get-out-of-jail free card. 

Alex grows into a woman. I am watching with great concern on the sidelines because she is so alone. Her innocence has endeared her to everyone around her, but it’s also a volcano brewing, ready to cause all kinds of irreparable damage.

Gabriel changes, too. He grows more accustomed to his “affliction” and is a better person for it, by a lot. Then he suffers more, too… first with his circumstances and then with his own soul. I could have throttled him for being so stubborn. Alex, however, appreciates the same characteristic in him.  He still reminds me of Mr. Rochester… like maybe years after the ending of Jane Eyre when the two figured out how to work together and took on challenges together, or something. Does Alex remind me of Jane?!  Yes… and no.   The two would agree on their morals, at least.

There is a lot of praying and Scripture in this book, more than in the first. I loved it. The prayers are so close to what I would say. The questions they ask God are so perfect, down to “Why?!”

I was pulled out of the book when Gabriel repeated a verse to himself in the King James – not that it wasn’t appropriate, but it was hard to pronounce all the “Th’s” even in my head. Lol.  There were some phrases that pulled me out, too, as in “the ton”. It's correct for the time period, but uncomfortable to read very often.

As for the pace, it started slowly for me, as the two were drawn apart impossibly far and then further, yet. The adventures just hopped from one to another in a happy, endless sort of way that made me feel sleepy. Lol. That was before the tension kicked in and I couldn’t put it down!

My Rating: 4 - Good book!!  I cannot wait to read the third in this trilogy coming out in the fall. I am completely absorbed in Gabriel & Alex's life!!

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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