Beauty and the Duke

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Overview

The face he shows the world is not the face she sees. . .

Once, ten years ago, they were young lovers, sharing sinful touches and desperate ecstasy. But he was bound by his promise to wed another. Since that fateful time, Christine Sommers has grown into a headstrong beauty, the kind of woman who thinks nothing of daring travels to the ends of the world. But for all her achievements, Christine has never found anyone who makes her heart race the...

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Beauty and the Duke

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Overview

The face he shows the world is not the face she sees. . .

Once, ten years ago, they were young lovers, sharing sinful touches and desperate ecstasy. But he was bound by his promise to wed another. Since that fateful time, Christine Sommers has grown into a headstrong beauty, the kind of woman who thinks nothing of daring travels to the ends of the world. But for all her achievements, Christine has never found anyone who makes her heart race the way Erik Boughton once did.

Since that fateful time, Erik Boughton, the Duke of Sedgwick, has become something of a beast, at least according to the gossips of the ton. They say that he's cursed, that any woman who shares his bed will meet an untimely end. But when he comes to Christine, desperate for her help to preserve his family and his title, she does not fear the devil duke. Enthralled by his ravenous desire, she would give him anything he wished, even her body . . . and her heart.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061472671
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 7/28/2009
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 4.20 (w) x 6.70 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Melody Thomas is a wordsmith, a creator of dreams, and a passionate believer in happy endings. A product of thirteen schools and twenty-two moves stretching across the United States and Europe, she is a self-proclaimed gypsy. Her fascination with historical romance began when, in her teens, she visited the Tower of London and learned that Henry the Eighth had beheaded two of his wives. This was great fodder for her teenage imagination and the start of a love affair with history, intrigue, and irresistible heroes.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 20 )
Rating Distribution

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(7)

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(7)

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(4)

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Sort by: Showing all of 20 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 13, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A fast-paced, terrific story that caught me up from start to finish and that I recommend to you.

    Backstory: In their late teens, Christine Sommers and Erik Boughton, the Duke of Sedgwick had an earthshaking summer fling, but he offered for her cousin, who died soon after the ceremony from scarlet fever. He had first offered for Christine, but her father never informed her, and for 10 years father and daughter pursued their love of anthropology together. In fact Christine has published a book about giant beasts under CA Sommers (also the initials of her father who was ridiculed for its preposterous ideas). Erik meanwhile married again, this time beautiful Elizabeth Maxwell who bore him a girl child and who has been missing these almost 7 years. Is she dead? Was she murdered? Did Erik do it? Erik has some distinctive streaks of silver in his hair, the sure mark of the Curse on the Sedwicks: he'll die at 34 if he doesn't have an heir. In the intervening years he has relentlessly enlarged his duchy, wrested his half-sister Rebecca from the clutches of her stepfather, and has gathered more enemies than friends.
    The book opens with Christine expecting to be given a plum expedition to Perth only to learn that her male colleague Joseph Darlington has won it. What's more, he's fallen in love with Christine's assistant Amelia, plans to marry her, and go off to Australia with her. Fighting for control over her feelings whom does she see alighting from a carriage but the Duke of Sedgwick! In a private moment a few days later he shows her some fossils his sister has excavated: an enormous tooth [not human] and a partial jawbone with teeth [definitely human] and wants her to go to Scotland with him - as his wife - to follow up on these finds. [in a bit of whimsy, Amelia had been given a 'magical' ring with Arthurian inscriptions that granted her wish to marry Joseph, and now Christine has slipped it on her finger and can't get it off]. The old currents between her and Erik are stronger than ever; Christine just can't resist him. So they prepare and sign a prenuptial contract outlining their roles in their marriage. And the story gallops along from there with continuing mutual passion, strange doings, carriages overturning, etc., all leading to solving the mystery of Elizabeth, exploring the dangerous caves to find the remnants of the beast, getting to know Erik's strange daughter, and mending some family breaches between Erik and his mother and half-sister, and the Maxwell clan. [the ring drops off when Christine is content with her life: she's given the glory of the find to Joseph (and can continue to excavate) and to Erik, her unconditional (and reciprocated) love.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 29, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Fans will enjoy the escapades of the female paleontologist and the duke as they fall in love over bones

    When they were young, Erik and Christine were once lovers, but that ended with both still attracted to each other. She went off to see the world of fossils while he did his ducal duty and married twice.

    In 1840 while London is swamped with tourists including a horde of unkempt children, fossils are found on Erik's Scottish estate. Erik asks Christine to lead an excavation of the dinosaur remains. Fearless Christine travels to Scotland looking forward to the dig and seeing her former lover who has buried two wives. When they meet, both know they still love one another, but at the dig site a female human bone is uncovered that places suspicion on the Duke; already rumored to have done away with two spouses.

    This is an excellent second chance at love Victorian romantic suspense with the most fun being logical Christine's archeological skills as she carefully leads the Scottish dig while also not carefully gives away her heart. The whodunit enhances the fine tale as the pair investigates an apparent homicide. Fans will enjoy the escapades of the female paleontologist and the duke as they fall in love over bones.

    Harriet Klausner

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2013

    A sweet story

    I enjoyed this story quite a bit. I like that the heroine was strong willed and smart, especially rare in that time period. The interesting ideas, characters, and how the journey unfolded, all came together very well. I don't know if it was on purpose, but it's kind of neat that the romantic characters are the same names as in Phantom of the Opera.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2012

    Must read

    A great story with mystery and mistaken identities involved. Thoroughly developed characters and sizzling lovemaking. I couldn't put it down.

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