Thursday, March 22, 2012

The Guardian Duke by Jamie Carie

book cover of The Guardian Duke by Jamie CarieThe Guardian Duke by Jamie Carie. B&H Publishing Group, 2012. 311p. (9781433673221)

I don’t like reading books in a series when I have to wait for the next books to come out! But I suppose that shows that it’s a good story. Last week I won a copy of The Guardian Duke by Jamie Carie and it came in the mail today! And I read it this evening. Fun story!

But it’s a series! And book two doesn't come out until July! And book three not before September! I don't like waiting that long to find out what happens. Sigh.

Writing a description of the story and then a review is going to be hard to do while avoiding spoilers. The video trailer for the book is spot on: 

The back cover description seems accurate but it exaggerates some things and parts don’t seem to fit this book (but it might fit the series). So here’s that description:
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 the heart-driven Alexandria ignores this royal reassignment. Believing her parents are still alive, she travels to faraway lands to follow clues that may lead to their whereabouts.

Gabriel, pressured by the regent’s ulterior motives, pursues Alexandria 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.

“She travels to faraway lands” is certainly an exaggeration because in this book she only goes to Ireland which is hardly very far from her home in northern England. “The regent’s ulterior motives” seems so sinister – which isn’t how it’s portrayed in the story. He’s just very concerned since Lady Alex’s parents are/were seeking something of importance to the kingdom.

And the last sentence…hmmm, it’s clear God has plans for each of them, but they’re not exactly seeking earthly treasure. Or if it is slowly switching to that, most of the book she’s intent on finding her parents and he’s intent on finding her.

I really liked the Duke, while his sudden deafness is strange, the author does a great job portraying his fears and frustrations regarding his lack of hearing. But I like his character and his search for knowledge. We don’t see that side of him at the beginning because he his dealing with his health and adjusting to being deaf, but slowly we learn that he is a force to be reckoned with. Can’t wait to learn more about him.

Lady Alex while a fun character seemed unreal to me. Yes, she’s desperately looking for her parents. Yes, they are investigators and she wants to be like them. Yes, she’s grown up in the care of two old servants on an island where she knows everyone and is safe.

But that doesn’t mean that she shouldn’t know that a young lady never travels alone and most certainly does not go off by herself to strange cities and foreign countries. Especially in the early 1800s. It’s simply too shocking. But I do love how she charms just about everyone she meets. Only in a book could Lady Alex be so free and innocent in who she trusts and how quickly and completely she trusts them.

The supporting characters are excellent. Mistress Tinsdale is just the sort of friendly innkeeper you’d expect to meet in Killyleagh. And Montegue is the guardian angel Lady Alex needs. Literally. He’s so secretive and knows way more than he’s letting on.

Jamie Carie does a great job pulling the reader into Lady Alex’s search for her parents and the Duke’s search for Alex. It’s half “will she find clues to her parent’s whereabouts?” and half “will he find the clues we know are there to her whereabouts?” Makes for a fun mix. But what a cliffhanger at the end! The next book can’t come soon enough.

Here’s a neat video about Killyleagh: 

It’s a very clean read with a sweet touch of romance – primarily through letters. And I think I managed to avoid any spoilers. :-) I'd give this 4 stars.

Disclosure: I won this book in a giveaway on the author’s blog. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission.

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