Review: What the Duke Desires (The Duke’s Men #1) by Sabrina Jeffries

December 14, 2013 Review 1

Review: What the Duke Desires (The Duke’s Men #1) by Sabrina Jeffries

Maximilian Cale, the Duke of Lyons, long ago buried his grief for his missing elder brother, Peter, who was presumed dead after being kidnapped. When a mysterious note arrives from Tristan Bonnaud asserting that the Duke's brother is alive, it leads Max straight to the winsome Lisette Bonnaud, illegitimate daughter of a viscount and Tristan's sister. Soon he and Lisette are traveling to Paris posing as husband and wife, in search of Tristan, who has disappeared. And the longer he spends with Lisette, the easier it is for Max to see that the line between dukedom and desire is easier to cross than he imagined...

Title: What the Duke Desires
Author: Sabrina Jeffries
Other books by this author that we've reviewed: When the Rogue Returns
Series: The Duke's Men
Other books in this series that we've reviewed: When the Rogue Returns
Published by Pocket
Source: Purchased for Self
Published: June 18 2013
Genres: Historical Romace
Pages: 416
See the title at Goodreads
Purchase your copy: Amazon
Visit the Author's Website

Stars: four-stars
Flames: two-half-flames

When Maximilian Cale, the Duke of Lyons, gets a cryptic note from Tristan Bonnaud he suspects he is being set up.  So he tracks down Tristan’s half brother’s home only to discover their sister, Lisette there instead. Lisette has always wanted to be one of her half brothers ‘men’.  Investigating crimes and hunting down perpetrators.  But as a woman she knows that her family isn’t likely to let her do that.  So she consoles herself with running the offices, keeping up with the paperwork and all the menial tasks.  When the Duke of Lyons appears, demanding to see her brother she sees this as her chance to be part of a case and talks the Duke into taking her with him on his search.

This is the first book in the Duke’s Men series set around private investigators.  This book introduces the investigators and explains how they came by the nickname, the Duke’s Men.  Most of the book is about Lisette and the Duke, Max, but we do get some time with her two brothers who I assume will also have books in the series.

The Duke of Lyons, Max to Lisette, is obsessed with the fact that his father went mad when he got older so he assumes that he will as well.  He isn’t the typical hero in that he’s not classically handsome, doesn’t spend all his time drinking and whoring his way through the city and doesn’t really care about what the haut ton thinks.  He is diligent in the managing of his properties and works hard to make sure they prosper.  I liked that he didn’t need to be redeemed all the time and in fact was very much a gentleman throughout the book (with the exception of their first meeting and when he got foxed but he was a very amusing drunk).

Lisette is the bastard daughter of a viscount so she is used to people judging her based on her birth rather than her own merit.  She is also beautiful with a very attractive figure so she is often turning down unwanted advances.  When she meets Max she is immediately offended since he assumes she is her brother’s mistress but soon after he apologizes and they become friends.  They compliment each other well and it was fun to watch them fall in love even though they both wanted to avoid it.

The bulk of this story is told over a relatively short time but with the abundance of travel we get to focus on the relationship between Lisette and Max.  They pretend to be married when they go to Paris looking for Tristan so they spend a lot of time in each other’s company.  I don’t always enjoy traveling books since we are following the characters from place to place it can seem jumbled and rushed but I liked how this one was done.  The traveling wasn’t the focus, it was all about Lisette and Max getting to know one another and themselves during their journey.  The actual plot wasn’t even all that important to me but was a nice background to the relationship.  There were a few plot twists that I didn’t see coming which is always nice.  We also get a bit of foreshadowing for later books which is always enjoyable.  I look forward to seeing where this series goes.

Lyrical Press

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