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Posted February 2, 2013
I had a little trouble getting into the story at first, but I'm glad that I kept reading because the storyline really hooked me after a bit. I love a flawed hero and Beau was endearing. I really appreciate the research behind the story and the thoughtful approach to difficult subjects. It gave the characters a depth that kept me thinking about them when I wasn't reading. I'm really happy with this book and look forward to exploring other stories by this author.
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Posted October 2, 2013
Reviewed by IvyD for Miss Ivy's Book Nook
For the past nine years Lord Beaumont Havendish’s family has believed him to be dead. Drugged by a Vodou boker Beau has spent six years as a slave on a sugar cane plantation in Saint-Domingue. After the slave rebellion that freed him he’s spent the past three years attempting, with his friend Mazi, to get home. When he finally arrives it’s to find the woman he believes responsible for his enslavement, the woman he’s hated for nine years, living at his family’s home. Yvette, the woman he married the night before his “death”.
AWAKENING HIS DUCHESS begins in 1785 with Beau, our hero being buried alive in Port-au-Prince, Saint-Domingue and proceeds quickly to the slave rebellion six years later in 1791.
Beau is not the thoughtless, privileged boy who left the family estate nine years ago. His lungs have been affected by the cane and his right side has suffered since his initial drugging and burial. Beau is a man who has been honed in the fires of hell, burning away the boy and leaving a strong, compassionate man with a keen sense of justice and equality. Having lived both sides of the equation gives him a unique perspective.
The boker took pleasure in telling Beau daily just how Yvette had betrayed him. Finally returning home to England only to find her at his family estate with a son Beau is stunned. There’s no denying Etienne is his son, he’s a mini Beau. He does doubt Yvette and her motives. He trusted her once and it cost him heavily, he won’t make that mistake again.
Yvette was young, temperamental and impetuous. Beau was a beautiful, dashing Englishman. She wanted to experience love and passion before her forced marriage to Henri. When Beau presents himself at her home the morning after their marriage and wedding night then suddenly collapses and dies right before her eyes all her girlish dreams die with him.
Yvette believes him dead, as does his man Danvers. Yvette marries Henri as planned and Danvers returns to England to inform Beau’s family of his death. With only memories of their one night, what if’s, and Etienne to sustain her Yvette endures her marriage to Henri.
After the massacre Yvette discovers who Beau actually was. For Etienne’s sake she makes the journey to England. Uncertain about the legality of her marriage to Beau she simply wants shelter and food while she tries to secure the funds Henri placed in France.
Etienne is welcomed with open arms by Beau’s family. They believe all their sons have died leaving Etienne the sole heir. This wasn’t what Yvette had envisioned nor did she ever dream that Beau was alive. When he returns believing her responsible for his enslavement and hating her Yvette is devastated. How will she ever prove to him that she’s always loved him and would never betray him? Yvette refuses to be a “duty” to Beau.
AWAKENING HIS DUCHESS is a dark read no doubt. However, all the darkness emanates from and is caused by one person. It’s absolutely chilling the depths and lengths this character has gone to and how long they’ve plotted to attain they’re twisted goals. Sadistic barely scratches the surface.
That being said the trials Yvette and Beau went through were the making of them. They came out the other side as characters you could care and root for. Not certain I would have liked them as much if they’d stayed as they were initially.
Beau and Yvette have a lot to overcome. Beau has to let go of the hate, doubt and fear while Yvette has to break down the barriers she’s erected to keep her heart safe. They both need to let go in order to learn to trust and love again. As they take the first timid steps the past reaches out from the grave to take everything away again.
Beau and Yvette’s story is dark, harrowing, suspenseful and ultimately very rewarding.
Generally I can do without epilogues but I really appreciated the big red bow this one tied on the package.
For those who enjoy their history a little darker, a little edgier, AWAKENING HIS DUCHESS is sure to please.
Posted September 20, 2013
This book deserves way more than 5 stars!! An amazing adventure of love, death, deception, trust, romance, revenge, class structure, and new beginnings.
When the third son of a Duke, Lord Beaumont Havendish, falls in love with a beautiful French girl during his world travels, he takes her innocence with promises of marriage and happily ever after. Yvette has been promised by her father to another suitor, but her love for the young charismatic Beau sways her. However, happily ever after goes terribly wrong when Beau collapses during breakfast the next morning.
As he's conscious, but unable to move, he can't call out for help when they begin lowering his coffin into the ground. Was Yvette unwilling to be claimed officially as his wife since Beau hadn't told her he came from great wealth? As he's kidnapped and sold into slavery on the sugar cane plantation farms he fears he will never make it back to the comfortable life he took for granted that was stolen from him from the one time he dared to fall in love.
Years later, when the slaves revolt, the plantation owners are their targets and Yvette must run for her life and protect young Etienne from their machetes. Devastated and penniless, she runs across the ocean to seek refuge from the only people left she has any connection to - the Duke's family. When Beau returns to England to find the woman who betrayed him living in his home, and when Yvette realizes the young man she fell in love with is not dead after all, their worlds flip upside down.
What happened on that fateful morning nearly a decade ago? What secrets do they hide? Can they get past years of pain and suffering to reclaim each other as husband and wife, or has Beau's resurrection just interfered with his poisoner's grand plans? As danger lurks around the corner, everything is not as it seems. Can love conquer all or is just an illusion?
A beautifully written romantic suspense. The reader cannot help but feel attached to the characters and the plot is so engaging it is nearly impossible to put this book down!
Side Characters: 5/5
Posted September 19, 2013
What an amazing read! It has everything you want in a historical novel. The characters are believable. There's romance, mystery, and suspense. The storyline is unique and intriguing. Even the Author's Note I found entertaining. I look forward to more by this author.
Posted September 13, 2013
I'm having a hard time finding the words to start this review....I guess I can start with phenomenal, great story (okay that's 2 words!), exciting, riveting and couldn't put it down...I could go on and on but I will spare you because I think you can tell already I enjoyed it LOL The characters come alive, jumping right off the page, making you feel as if you are right there with them. During some of the more exciting moments, which there were plenty of, I actually left nail marks embedded in the pages because it felt so real. That is something that I really enjoy in a book and this book had plenty of it. The friction between the main characters, Beau and Yvette, kept me turning pages long after I should have been asleep, but once I started reading I couldn't put it down. The story had such a good flow to it that I didn't even realize that it had only taken me only 2 hours to read. I didn't want it to end, although I truly enjoyed the epilogue which takes place 40 years later. It's nice to read about how their lives progressed. I'm a sucker for a great epilogue :D.... I'm wondering if their children have their own books? I think I would like to read Etienne's story. Katy Madison's writing has captured my interest and I look forward to reading more from her in the future.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 20, 2013
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While traveling in the West Indies, Beau, Lord Beaumont, falls in love and marries Yvette, the daughter of a local plantation owner. The day after their marriage Beau is poisoned, buried and then sold into slavery. His young wife is forced into marriage with Henri by her father. After the slave uprising and the slaughter of her family,Yvette goes to England with Beau's son to seek shelter with his family. The revolution allows Beau to escape his prison and return home. Can the couple work through their issues and traumas to find happiness? Outside forces make them work together to save their son and their love. This story is fast paced and filled with surprising twists . I couldn't put the book down. I love Katy Madison's writing and look forward to reading more of her stories.