Customer Reviews for

Disciplining the Duchess

Average Rating 4
( 26 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 6 review with 3 star rating   See All Ratings
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  • Posted October 27, 2013

    Wonderful start with so much promise, but stalled and crash land

    Wonderful start with so much promise, but stalled and crash landed 
    This book came highly recommended and I was eager to read it because: 1) historical romance and 2) erotic romance with BDSM – sounds good to me! Annabel Joseph is a wonderful writer, but there were some disturbing plot choices that prevented me from rating this book any higher than a 3.

    Heroine: Harmony, is a bluestocking, more interested in history books than the trivialities of society and the season. Because this is her fifth season, she has resigned herself to being ‘on the shelf’. I loved reading about her nerdy enjoyment, but I was doubtful at how naïve she was to her own time.  She seemed unrealistically ignorant of the dangers to unchaperoned ladies and goes off by herself several times with little protection.

    Hero: Courtland, a thirty-year old duke who was recently thrown over by his long-time fiancé, because of his ‘unnatural habits’. Which I assume is his spankings, but we never get any confirmation to this reputation, except from a newspaper clipping making fun of his marriage. How did his reputation get started? I was also unclear as to why he liked spanking his partners. Harmony suggests it has something to do with his father punishing him as a child, which made me think Court needed some therapy. 

    Our romantic crucible is a country party, where hero and heroine must marry for the sake of their reputations. I loved how Court rushed in to save Harmony from her mild social blunders and admires her odd social mannerisms and her inquisitive mind. *Le sigh* What a wonderful hero! The wedding and following love scene were satisfying because Court finally feels he can also be himself and not hide his need for mild BDSM. Obviously, two people who can be themselves because they are with the person they love. BUT, wait a minute….

    It (I mean the book) all comes crashing down when Harmony’s social blunders require punishment. This is no longer a historical erotic with mild BDSM elements, this is a book on domestic abuse.  Court justifies his actions by saying that this was his husband’s right, which turns him from a hero to a villain. How can a hero hurt the woman he loves (he says so many, many times) and then try to change her into something she isn’t? Harmony is certainly not enjoying these discipline sessions and neither was I. 

    I felt like the author was trying to find some conflict and chose the abuse as a way to test the marriage and bring this relationship to the brink of failure. Yes, the book stalled after the marriage was consummated, but there were other ways to increase the conflict/tension. I think domestic abuse is a very delicate topic for a romance authors and should be handled very delicately. I have never read a romance where the hero was the abuser; usually it is a past lover. If the author was looking for additional conflict, there were many other possibilities: Gwen (Court’s ex-fiance), Harmony’s dance instructor, Harmony’s history professor, her mother-in-law (Lisa Kleypas certainly takes the prize from “It Happened One Autumn”).

    Overall, the first half of the book was splendid! Annabel Joseph is a very talented writer (she drips with talent) and I will certainly look at some of her other books. There was just some plot decisions that I did not agree with that ruined the ending for me and prevents me from giving her book a higher rating. 

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 18, 2013

    Good read

    Entertaining book.

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    Posted June 6, 2013

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    Posted April 18, 2014

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    Posted January 10, 2014

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    Posted May 12, 2013

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