Customer Reviews for

The Duchess Diaries

Average Rating 3.5
( 7 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2013


    I was not super impressed. I think the style of writing was what got me. There was a strange flow with the dialogue. I almost felt embarrased at the language style and goofy cliche' phrases that were used. The ending was a little off as well, (spoiler) the guy is dead and they are apologizing and hugging etc. I mean, he's just dead there on the floor. It was just a little strange to me. I would maybe check this out from the library rather then pay for it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 8, 2006


    It has been years since I last read an historical romance, but after reading The Duchess Diaries, I remember why I loved historicals so much. Barbara Dawson Smith¿s flawless historical details and perfect word choice give a rich sense of setting for true-to-life characters. The hero is Grant Chandler. He is an illegitimate son and gambler turned high-stakes jewel thief. Ten years ago, Sophie Ramsey spurned him to marry a Duke ¿ his best friend. Now, the Duke has been murdered, and he named Grant as guardian to his young son. Grant has reason to believe that Sophie may be the murderer, and he plans to expose her ¿ as soon as he is done seducing her. The heroine is Sophie, the Eighth Duchess of Mulford, and she has a secret. No one else knows that her husband, who died six months ago, was not the father of her child. She spent one passionate night ten years ago with her true love, Grant, but he was a rake and didn¿t want a wife. Now, Grant is back, and he doesn¿t know that the young boy is really his son, and Sophie¿s biggest fear is that Grant will find out and take him from her. The conflict between the hero and heroine is what kept me turning pages until the end of the book. I love this kind of conflict when both characters are equally justified in their actions, but also equally wrong. Sophie was justified in thinking the worst of Grant, but he¿s changed now and she refuses to see it. Grant is justified in wanting revenge because she chose his best friend over him, but he¿s seducing her again for the wrong reasons. Sophie and Grant have ten years of bitterness and mistrust and lies to unravel, and they have ten years worth of passion to make up for, but they also have to find the Duke¿s killer. The title of the book - The Duchess Diaries ¿ refers to a set of journals written by an earlier Duchess of Mulford, and each chapter starts with a passage from her diary. Throughout the book Sophie is searching for the final journal. The diaries end up giving Sophie all of the answers she was looking for. Barbara¿s story is a great combination of mystery, romance, and steamy sensuality. If you¿re looking for an historical romance novel to read ¿ this is it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2005

    Okay read

    Although this isn't my first read by this author it is the only 3 star. I don't expect my hero to be a thief to enrich his coffers. Then to jusify the thefts because he is only stealing from those that are bad people. There are more plots to this story than a cemetery, it makes a confusing read toward the end.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2005

    Could Have Been More Interesting....

    This is the first book by author B.D.Smith that I read via a purchase with B & N. She seemed to get good reviewer feedback and so, I started with `The Dutchess Diaries¿. The characters were decent, the plot had twists and the story flowed well. I guess my reservations come from constant references to how wild and crazy and full of life both the heroine and hero had once been but, now that each went different life paths¿they seemed to get a bit dull over the years. Sophie was a flirtatious, wild and charismatic girl who liked to take chances when she came out in her season and was very popular but, once she married and had a child¿she became this tough, stoic and dull Dutchess. She was even a little mean sometimes to her help. In turn, Grant had always been this swash buckling, dangerous and adventurous man ¿ especially after Sophie left due to harshly last spoken words and she turned away to marry his best friend and have his child. Once Grant came back into her life¿he seemed to play it safe in most circumstances. He was entirely too forgiving about their parting, the child and the circumstances that kept them apart for years. Although their chemistry and interest were apparent from day one¿.and continued even after a 10 year absence¿it seemed they hooked up a bit quickly after being apart for so long. The story line was a little weak and obvious to me¿husband dies under questionable circumstances, spouse is a possible suspect, man from the past comes back as he is suddenly guardian of her son and worries she may be the one who killed her husband, they both are wary of one another yet¿manage to become lovers even though they are unsure of the other. Add to the mix ¿ who is her son¿s real father? Not real creative in some places but, the author made most of the story and worked it to a satisfactory conclusion The author did work in well the passages dealing with an earlier Dutchess and her diary entries and what it meant to the family line in modern times ¿ probably the most interesting part of the book but, a very secondary story lie. The intimacy scenes were good ¿I¿d give them a 7 out of 10. The dialogue wasn¿t bad and the interaction between all characters made sense. I would read other books by this author as I believe she is strong as a writer and perhaps other works by her are more interesting and memorable. I wish this one left a stronger mark for me. It had so much going on that it should have been a home run. wasn't. Probably because the story line held no real originality. I¿d say, good attempt¿next one hopefully better.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2005

    3.5 stars

    Ten years ago, Grant Chandler had an affair with Sophie Huntington, one of the fine young ladies of the ton having her first season. One chance remark shattered their relationship, sending her into the arms of his best friend and him away from home to seek his fortune. Now, Sophie is a widow with a young son whom Grant has been appointed the guardian of, and this brings him home. Moreover, he is certain that Sophie is a killer who poisoned his friend, her husband. He intends fully to have a brief, passionate reunion with her and then prove his case against her. Sophie has very different memories of their time together. On the strength of his declaration that he felt trapped into marriage, she wed his friend and gave birth to Grant's son, secretly raising the boy as her husband's, a situation that seemed to suit all concerned. Now, with Grant back in her life, both find that old feelings, both of love and hate, are alive yet. In a world filled with secrets, there are many truths that must be discovered and many trespasses to be forgiven. .................. **** Ms. Smith has penned a charming, easy to read novel. Neither Grant nor Sophie is an angel, and though he sometimes seems too unforgiving, he is not without reason. Fans of this author will find this a treasure. ****

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    A terrific Regency amateur sleuth romance

    Grant Chandler was stealing the Devil¿s Eye in Constantinople when his friend Robert Ramsey begged him to come home insisting someone close to him was killing him. Thus in 1816 after a decade away from England, Grant returns to his homeland to learn that Robert is dead and he is the guardian to his friend¿s young son Lucien. Grant believes Robert¿s wife Sophie poisoned him and plans to seduce her while finding the proof..................... However, to his chagrin Grant finds upon first seeing Sophie he still desires her. As he watches her care for her son, he begins to feel she could not have killed Robert especially when Lucien is poisoned. Grant and Sophie work together to find a killer who has no seeming motive for homicide. Once they ruled out Robert¿s gay lover, he soon learns other family secrets that shake and please him to his core. However, first identifying the killer remains the mission though the answer lies buried in a century old bloodline................... THE DUCHESS DIARIES is a terrific Regency amateur sleuth romance that readers will fully enjoy while wondering which relative is the killer (no one but Grant will believe that Sophie did the deed). Sophie is a fabulous protagonist grieving the loss of her husband who ironically was more and less than a spouse to her (read the book) while keeping her nine year old safe and hiding truths from the man she loves: Grant. He is a jewel thief who logically assumes Sophie killed Robert based on loose circumstantial evidence. Finding the killer while falling in love make for a fine time for historical readers.......... Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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