Customer Reviews for

The Duchess Diaries

Average Rating 3.5
( 7 )
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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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  • 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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