Author: Julie Anne Long
Original Title: What I Did For A Duke
Release Year: 2011
Literary Genre: Romance
Setting: England, regency
Series: 5° of the Pennyroyal Green
It's a romance that I liked a lot because of its simplicity. The story events take place in a short period: during the stay at Everseas' estate, with balls, hunting, strolls and so on. It is linear, without dramatic or unlikely turn of events; the romantic story development between the two main characters is really exciting: I like the relationship in which is him the one who firstly realises to be in love or who hasn't any problems in admitted it, in other words I prefer when the men are the one to chase and the women to be chased, and that's probably because in these kind of romance often happens quite the opposite.
Alexander Moncrieffe, Duke of Falconbridge is an almost-forty-years-old dashing widow, engaged with the young and stunning Lady Abigail. But when he catches her in flagrante, in unmistakable behaviours with the charming and beautiful rake Ian Eversea, and after an icy, but also quite ironic, debate between the duke and the two lovers followed by not particularly masked threats, the engagement is broken.Alexander Moncrieffe, a man around whom circulate a lot of gossip, especially a shocking one about his wife's death, doesn't stand the outrages; but this time he decides to settle the all thing not calling out Ian but paying him with the same coin: he will seduce Ian's little sister and then he'll severely abandon her. What better occasion to act than the party hosted by the Everseas?
The Eversea's family is used to scandals, the only one still unhurt is the youngest: the kind, sharp, wit and sensible Genevieve. She's in love with the charming Harry, with whom she shares a deep passion for Art.
Unfortunately one day he tells her that he intends to marry her best friend Millicent and Genevieve who hasn't got a clue about his purpose is painfully shocked by the new. The young Eversea doesn't take well the all thing and it is in this moment of discouragement that the duke of Falconbridge bursts into her life.
Alex, shortly after his arrival reconsiders his revenge: he's fascinated by the girl's indifference to himself, by her impertinence and her sharpness and despite his lack of interest for Art, he is enchanted by her passion in admiring and speaking about portraits, especially the italians one. But what really strike them both is the ability to deeply understand each others, their masks crumble down when they are together.
I really liked this jealousy game between Alex, Genevieve and Harry; I strongly appreciated the characters, they are funny and fully characterised; the age gap between Genevieve and Alex didn't bother me: in the story context I believe it's completely normal (but I wouldn't have found it strange or disturbing in our time too). I truly enjoyed the young Eversea's passion for italian Art of the Renaissance (that's probably because I share it...), the way she admires the paintings is certainly captivating.
I strongly appreciated this romance and the author's style, I'm definitely going to read the others Pennyroyal Green books!
Pennyroyal Green series: 1. The perils of pleasure (Colin Eversea & Madeleine)
2. Like no other lover (Miles Redmond & Cynthia)
3. Since the surrender (Chase Eversea & Rosalind)
4. I kissed an earl (Violet Redmond & Asher)
5. What I did for a duke (Genevieve Eversea & Alexander)
6. How the marquess was won (Julian & Phoebe - Lisbeth Redmond's companion)
7. A notorious countess confesses (Evie & Adam Sylvaine - Everseas' cousin)
8. It happened one midnight (Jonathan Redmond & Thomasina)
9. Between the Devil and Ian Eversea (Ian Eversea & ?)10. ( ... )