Monday, June 5, 2017

The Dukes of Vauxhall

Susan's Review

Anthologies are not my favorite type of book to read and review. In my experience, I have found that authors often contribute previously published novellas and repackage them as a new book. I have been burned a few times by the anthology marketing scheme and was hesitant to read The Dukes of Vauxhall. I took a chance on the anthology because Shana Galen is one of my favorite authors and I was intrigued that the novellas were set in London’s mysterious Vauxhall Gardens.

Shana Galen’s Taken by the Duke was my favorite story in the book. I loved the characters, the fast-paced storyline and the surprises throughout the novel. Ms. Galen’s descriptive writing draws the reader into the story, the dialogue between the characters of Henry and Kate is superb and the conclusion is fabulous!

Fighting for His Lady by Christi Caldwell is a second chance romance. Christi Caldwell creates strong female leads in her novels and I admired Patience Storm devotion to her family. I enjoyed the action described in the fight scenes but I could not connect with the hero’s previous actions. In my opinion, this novella did not have enough cross over with the other three stories.

I was surprised how much I enjoyed Theresa Romain’s The Prodigal Duke. Loved the quirky characters, their backstory and the humorous banter between Leo and Poppy and the heartfelt conversations between Leo and his uncle. Based on this novella, I would read another book by the author.

The Buccaneer Duke surprised me! Vanessa Kelly is a wonderful storyteller—the characters are unique, fabulously written and their journey was full of surprises. Loved the instant attraction between Roman and Antonia, the secondary characters of Richard, Griffin and Anthony Barnet, Antonia’s father. The book seamlessly connected with the other novellas in the anthology and the ending was fabulous!

The authors of The Dukes of Vauxhall anthology created individual stories for this book. I enjoyed reading the novellas because The Vauxhall Garden setting unifies each of the stories allowing me to feel that I was reading a single interwoven novel. 

Reviewed by Susan

Lisa's Review

The Dukes of Vauxhall

This book is an anthology starring the
stories of four authors. This is my review of the first novella 
in the anthology more to follow later. 

Taken by the Duke

Henry has recently become Viscount Bexley. Much against
his wishes. Now, he is in charge of a double celebration.
His highnesses birthday and the victory at waterloo. Henry is
not enjoying this heavy task. In the middle of the endless list
of security issues for the celebration, Henry winds up being
kidnapped. By the Duke of Vauxhall, who is violent with a
terrifying reputation. Henry witnesses the Duke punishing
someone. He finds out that the Duke wants something.
Henry also finds out that the Duke is female. Not just any
female. But Kate. They knew each other as children.
Kate has a long memory. And her life is harsh. She does
not want any soft moments with Henry. She only wants
her demands met.

While Henry is somewhat afraid of her. He did watch her
dole out severe, violent punishment, after all. He has fond
memories of her. He does not want her to continue with this
kind of life. Henry wants to reach deep into her heart. He wants
to pull those feelings and memories up to the surface for her to see.
Kate fights it. This is the only life she knows as an adult. She is
sure the life he is suggesting is a fantasy and cannot really happen.
But Henry is determined. He knows that he must let her think
the choice is all hers. That he must not direct her.

Is Kate brave enough? Can she allow herself to trust someone,
even Henry?? The feelings alone are scary for her, how can
she follow them? How long will Henry keep trying to reach
the Kate that he wants for the rest of his life? They both have
to try. It can only happen if both Kate and Henry are willing.
They have to want it.

Review by Lisa Hutson 

Received a copy of The Dukes of Vauxhall
in return for an honest review.

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