Undone by the Duke

Undone by the Duke

by Michelle Willingham
4.3 10


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Undone by the Duke 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
Laura_Polito_McEleney More than 1 year ago
When a book starts out with the hero staring down the barrel of a gun you just know it's going to be good! That is precisely how we meet out hero, Jonathan Nottoway, Duke of Worthingstone. After being shot and taken to the home of our heroine, Victoria Andrews, where they are all alone except for two servants *gasp* sparks start to fly. Heroine Victoria is not your average run of the mill English miss, oh no, she is quite different. I've been reading romance novels for well over 20 years and I can, in all honesty, say that Michelle Willingham came up with a quite refreshing twist when creating her heroine. Victoria hasn't set foot outside her house in 5 years, yes you read that right, 5 years. Not only that , she also designs racy lingerie for the well to do ladies of London! As you can probably guess Jonathan, being the hero, tries to help Victoria get over her fear of the outside world. It was great fun following these two through their well written and fast paced story.It's a book I didn't want to end. There are so many characters I want to know more about and am looking forward to reading their stories. Victoria's sisters, parents and a few others all making this series a must read. Sometimes it's hard to write a review without wanting to write about all the great parts and this is one of those times. Even though the characters aren't as fleshed out here as they are in Michelle Willingham's other novels, the story line is solid and very enjoyable. You get enough of the character to either like or dislike them, not only the main characters but the secondary too.So from the touching dedication to the lovely acknowledgments, yes I read those too, it's a first class read. One you can't help but want more of......
Sam1219 More than 1 year ago
After a traumatic experience, Victoria Andrews retreats to the safety of her home. But her fears turn her sanctuary into a prison when she finds herself unable to take a single step outside in five years. Her only solace is in the design and sewing she does in secret to help her family with their financial problems, but if anyone ever discovered that Victoria is the force behind the scandalous lingerie taking London by storm, she and her sisters would be ruined. Seeking suitable (and preferably wealthy) husbands, but unable to afford all that goes along with a complete London season, Victoria's mother and sisters go to London to visit the aunt for Christmas to attend her events and meet her candidates. Because of her fear of leaving the house, Victoria is left behind with only a few loyal servants even though the Scottish countryside around her home is in a time of violent unrest due to land clearances. Victoria takes in some wounded in the upheaval, including a stranger with a gunshot wound. By his clothing and mannerisms, she can tell that he is clearly wealthy, but seeking to avoid a scandal involving the violent deaths of his parents and enjoying the attentions of someone interested in his person and not his money or title, the man keeps his identity a secret, revealing only that his first name is Jonathan. As Jonathan heals physically, Victoria begins to heal emotionally. But will the secrets they hide destroy the progress they make, or will it bond them together more strongly? This novel tackles a few interesting topics, including agoraphobia, sexual liberation, Scottish land clearances, and abusive relationships. Victoria's fears and the scars left on Jonathan's emotional well-being due to witnessing his parents' abusive relationship are a palpable force throughout the book. Without giving away any spoilers, I will only say that while the ending felt conclusive with a HEA for Victoria and Jonathan, there were plenty of unresolved issues that would provide promising plot lines for future books in the series, featuring Victoria's sisters and some of the minor characters. The narrator's voice had little inflection, and the voice used for male characters in particular seemed somewhat garbled, as though talking with a full mouth or through pursed lips. Rather than enhancing the experience, I found the narrator to be a little distracting. However, overall, I enjoyed the book and plan to continue with the next book in the series.
AustenStudent More than 1 year ago
The first book in the Secrets in Silk series by new-to-me author, Michelle Willingham. Victoria Andrews is perhaps the first beta heroine I’ve ever read in historical romance. A fearful, agoraphobic baron’s daughter, she designs and sews intimate undergarments for ladies, to pass the time and also because it brings her joy and peace. Also, it makes money for her mother and four sisters while their father is away at war in Spain. I like this juxtaposition of a demure and elegant lady creating lacy, soft, and provocative corsets and chemises in racy colors. She sells them to Madame Benedict’s in London under a line called Aphrodite’s Unmentionables. Though many historical romance heroines today are strong and powerful, Willingham writes of Victoria’s quiet strength in overcoming her fears. ”’In my experience, the quietest women tend to be the most adventurous. There’s a wildness that they let no one see.’” (p95) When her family leaves for the London Christmas holidays and also to find husbands for the sisters, Victoria stays behind alone. Her mother had arranged for an aunt to stay with her but Victoria wishes to be alone despite the tensions between the nearby Earl of Strathford and the crofters he has evicted from his lands. Yet, despite all this, Victoria longs for a home and family, but she realizes she will never have this if she never leaves the house. Jonathan is inspecting land he won in a gambling debt from Strathland when he is mistaken for the earl and is shot. Victoria tends and cares for him and they form a friendship with a sizzling undercurrent of sexual tension. He is also drawn to her beauty, her strength and resourcefulness, and her kindness. She stands up to the doctor treating him and doesn’t flinch from his wound. He finds he wants to protect her, especially after he learns about her fear of the outdoors. Jonathan is running from a long-ago family scandal and has made his family’s fortune back through hard work and investments. But he keeps his noble title a secret from Victoria. And so she learns to love the man, not the duke, something that endears her to him even more. “This woman knew only the man, not the duke. And the more he came to know her, the more he understood how rare she was.” (p161) When they have no choice but to marry, this is when the story kind of lagged for me. When they return to London, I didn’t understand Jonathan’s withdrawal from her as he seemed so strong earlier in the book. Victoria is charmed by the fact that Jonathan is the first man to pay attention to her, to care for her despite her weaknesses. This is why I didn’t understand his distance from her toward the middle and end of the story. I like Jonathan despite this incongruity. His thoughtfulness, especially with the Christmas gifts, made me smile. And the mistletoe scene is hot. There is great sensuality in the love scenes and they are tastefully and beautifully written. I really like Victoria’s mother, Beatrice. Willingham portrays a woman in her forties whose marriage has lost its spark but who focuses her energy on her daughters, much like Mrs. Bennet in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. The rest of the books are the happy endings for Victoria’s sisters in this sexy and sweet Regency series, set in both Scotland and England. Willingham writes lovely characters and the story’s pace, despite the lag in the middle, kept me interested enough to finish the story to its satisfying conclusion.
MyBookAddictionandMore More than 1 year ago
UNDONE BY THE DUKE by Michelle Willingham is a Secrets of Silk novel, a Quartet #1 set in 1810 Scotland. Fast paced and passion filled with a bit of danger and romance. Two tortured souls,one filled with guilt, the other the fear of going outside. Jonathan Nottowary,the Duke of Worthingstone,who was wounded and left to die stumbles into the path or home of Victoria Andrews,a reclusive seamtress with a secret. Victoria is not only afraid of going outside but has a scandalous secret. Together they face danger,passionate embraces,and a plot to destroy Jonathan's newly purchased home in Scotland,even if it means murder. With engaging characters who are realistic,and passionate and an intriguing plot you will not be disappointed with "Undone By The Duke". This is not just another sensual historical romance but a story that is compelling and shows the challenges others face. Ms. Willingham has done it again. What a wonderful storyteller. A must read for anyone who is passionate about Scotland,romance,and danger. Received for an honest review from the publisher and Net Galley. RATING: 4 HEAT RATING: HOT REVIEWED BY: AprilR, My Book Addiction and More/My Book Addiction Reviews
KahlanMercy More than 1 year ago
Book 1 in the Secrets in Silk Quartet. This is the story of Victoria and Jonathan. When Jonathan is wounded, the reclusive Victoria nurses him back to health. He, then, helps her overcome her fear of leaving the house she has occupied for the past five years. This story is a hot, historical romance with a bit of intrigue thrown into the mix. If you're looking for two characters who overcome their shortcomings and develop into a beautiful couple, this is the book for you! I received a free copy of this book from the author, in exchange for an honest review.
Mindy14 More than 1 year ago
Another great book! She's my favorite author and im sure these sisters wont disappoint! She's a great story teller and I cannot wait for the next book in this series!! I loved how Jonathan and Victoria become friends first. Both are hiding from their fears. Great Job Again Michelle, Keep them Coming!!! 
Scottishlass2 More than 1 year ago
This was a refreshing and different romance...where both the hero and heroine had something they were hiding. I fell in love with this story with each chapter as Victoria and Jonathan attempted to heal their wounds and find love. Also, I adored her mother, Beatrice. I truly hope that we'll be able to find out more with Victoria's parents in the other sister's books. And I can hardly wait!
BonnieGBG More than 1 year ago
Undone by the Duke is my favorite of Michelle Willingham’s books! Her heroine Victoria has not been out of her home in five years after a bad scare while moving to Scotland. She is secretly supporting her family with sewing scandalous lingerie. Hero Jonathon has secrets of his own including a family scandal. I love the way they interact and help each other through their problems. This is the first of a quartet of books and I cannot wait to read the next one to find out what happens with Victoria’s sisters and her parents.
MelissaPorter32 More than 1 year ago
I loved how Jonathan and Victoria started out slow. They got to know one each at a nice pace. They become friends first. Both are hiding from their fears. Some fears are easy to get over and others do take time. They helped each other over come their fears. Jonathan slowly stole Victoria's heart. Day by day he broke down her resistance. He had the arrogance down. ;-) Victoria was tormented. She wanted things to change but was scared of that change. Jonathan wanted to "save" Victoria, for he was unalbe to do that in his past for someone close to him. I had to admit this book was not what I had originally expected. But it was a great change in pace and reading material. Over all I really enjoyed reading Undone By the Duke. And now I would love to read other stories about the sisters. I will be keeping my eye out for them. POSSIBLE SPOILERS: Some lines I loved in the book: " In my experience, the quietest women tend to be the most adventurous. There's a wildness that they let no one see. " I have to agree with this one. :-) "Beyond the glass lay her deepest fears and the future she wanted." "It has been my experience that the women who do not desire notice are the ones most worthy of it."
celticmaggie More than 1 year ago
Well, Michelle has another book that deserves to be a hit. She has the knack to present characters with faults, who are real and not perfect. Once upon a time I would have laughed at someone who said they were scared stiff. Then I had an instance where it happened to me. I know this can be a real problem. I conquered mine so I knew Jonathan could really help Victoria. I couldn't put this book down. Please, add this one to your collection.