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The Hazards of Hunting a Duke Mass Market Paperback – Jun 1 2006

4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Star; 1 edition (June 1 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416516158
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416516156
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.5 x 17.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #551,776 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Booklist

After their mother's untimely death, Ava Fairchild, her sister Phoebe, and their cousin Greer discover their family's fortune is now under the control of their penny-pinching stepfather, Lord Downey. To avoid Downey's plan to marry them off to the first suitors who show up, Ava decides to find her own husband. Fortunately, Ava has already met the perfect candidate: Jared Broderick, the Marquis of Middleton. Tired of being pressed by his father to abandon his rakish ways and marry a respectable woman, Jared realizes that marrying Ava offers the perfect solution to his problems. What Jared gets, however, is a wife who isn't about to accept a mere marriage of convenience but rather a woman who will settle for nothing less than a marriage based on love. The first in a new series by the exceptionally entertaining London, this romance is another of her delectable combinations of superbly crafted characters, graceful writing, and sinfully sexy romance. John Charles
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved


"London's characters...will steal your heart."

-- Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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Always like Julie's Historical Romances
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0xa6e0acb4) out of 5 stars 29 reviews
34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa6e0aef4) out of 5 stars Haven't I read this somewhere before?? Sept. 18 2006
By Bookworm - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
First, I would like to address M. Garland who didn't care for this book and wasn't sure she would read any more. Don't let this one book influence your opinion of a really wonderful author. I've read all of Julia London's books (save for the Highlander series because I'm just not into that sort of thing)and this is my least favorite. She wrote Devil's Love and Wicked Angel and then the Rogues series and they were all really, really good. Even her contemporaries are worth a read.

This book grinded me for several reasons and I'm not just picking on London here, but every author who does it. Two people marry for convenience and then one day, the woman decides she wants more out of her marriage and she starts to pout and whine because he can't give her more for one ridiculous reason or another. They become estranged and then poof, one day he wakes up, gets hit with a brick and realizes that yes, he does love her. Then everything is fixed and good thing, because she's usually pregnant.

Another thing that I'm tired of seeing is the total lack of communication between husband and wife. If my husband saw me come out of the woods with another man (a little role reversal, but the same idea)whom he suspected I was having an affair with and I really wasn't, I would say a little more than, "I'm sorry." It only made Jared look more guilty and gave his wife yet another reason to sulk. Why didn't he explain to her what really happened??? Why is there always such a frustrating lack of communication between the hero and heroine? Why can't they just be honest and forthright with each other so that we're not left skimming through the several pages of 'she couldn't live like this' and 'he couldn't live like this' before they FINALLY decide to really talk to each other?

Ava set out to find herself a husband with a prestigious title and a few bucks in his pocket. Jared set out to find himself a wife who would not repulse him in bed. I would say he would have a bigger axe to grind with the gold digger than her with him but it didn't play out that way. We were to believe that she was the wronged one and, as usual, it's the guy who's brought to his knees.

It's not a boring read but I did tire of all the sulking going on. And just because I wasn't as impressed with this book as I've been with some of London's others doesn't mean I won't read her forthcoming books. I always look forward to another of her works in print.
19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa6a67fa8) out of 5 stars Give this book a try! It's good! May 26 2006
By Dallas Reader - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I liked this book. I have read literally hundreds of regencies. And I think you must agree that many regency heroines do pretty stupid things.I liked Ava. She was not stupid. She's everything a regency heroine should be: intelligent, lovely, loyal, and kind. There was a lighthearted tone to this book that I enjoyed. The banter and flirting between Ava and Jared were very well done. The situtation with the household staff she recruited was comical. She was typical of girls of her class who were encouraged to marry "up." When she agreed to marry Jared, she was virtually destitute. She loved her sister and cousin (they in turn loved her which reflects Ava's worthiness) and she wanted to provide for them. How better than to marry the heir of a duke? Now, the hero. Typical regency hero: handsome, rich, and a hottie. But he was not cruel as many of them are; he was indeed conflicted. He had real issues with his father and the early loss of his mother. He didn't believe he even knew what love was. Wow. Now I'm flashing back to that notorious interview of Prince Charles and Princess Diana where he said (the cad!) "whatever 'in love' means." Sorry to digress. This is not an intense Lisa Kleypas-type historical regency. There's a little angst but the good hearts of both the hero and heroine win out in the end. After reading the first reviews posted, I thought "What?" I actually reread the book to determine if I was that much off-base. I'm happy to say I'm not. As a veteran reader of hundreds of historicals and regencies, I think this is an enjoyable read. I'm giving it 5 stars because I think the extremely low rankings of other reviews are very unfair. There was misuse of the word exacerbated (should have been exasperated)and Miss Pennebacker was misnamed as Miss Downey at the end of the book (sloppy editing no doubt). The denouement seemed rushed but I really liked the interplay (verbal and physical) between Ava and Jared. I look forward to the other 2 books in The Desperate Debutantes trilogy.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa65fb8ac) out of 5 stars Lightweight Regency Nov. 22 2006
By Helen Hancox - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I found this book lightweight - not in its physical properties (it was a satisfyingly chunky book at nearly 400 pages) but in terms of its content. The basic story is that Jared, the Marquis of Middleton, is a rake who has numerous affairs but has no wife and legal heir. His father, the Duke of Redford, wants him to settle down and get a legitimate heir but Jared is unwilling.

Ava and her sister Phoebe discover, after their mother's death, that their stepfather will not give them any money - they merely have their small dowries left. Therefore they need to get some money in order to continue to live acceptably and to provide employment for the various people that they have helped (Ava's lady's maid is a former prostitute, the butler is another lame duck, etc).

Of course Ava hits on the plan of marrying the Marquis of Middleton to solve their problems and, spookily, he hits on the plan of marrying Ava to shut his father up. So they marry. After a successful wedding night they become estranged, the reason being that Ava wants his love and thinks he's still seeing his mistress. Jared believes he can't love, it's not within him, so keeps away from his wife - apart from telling her he needs an heir.

It's often said that authors should "show, not tell" what's going on in their characters' lives. This is a very true adage in respect to this book - Julia London TELLS us all the time what people are feeling but we can't really sense/detect this from their behaviour. It's pretty tricky to understand why Jared likes Ava and puts up with her being pretty annoying. And why he just doesn't tell her outright he's not still keeping a mistress - the Big Misunderstanding doesn't work properly when it could so easily be discussed. There's a side plot about an illegitimate son and Ava's cousin travelling in Wales to visit her family (which is no doubt a set up for another book) but I found this book generally pretty dull, I often put it down with boredom and it didn't even have any interesting historical vignettes to keep me interested. As always, the American author included some Americanisms in grammar and speech - and the most notable of these, for me, is the choice of names; I don't think that either Jared or Ava were names commonly used in the Regency. Jared, being a biblical name, might just have turned up - Ava is a German name which I believe first started occurring at the end of the 19th century, so would not have been in this historical/geographical timeframe. What does this say about the author's research?

If you just want basic escapist reading with a dishy leading man and a beautiful heroine then you might like this book. If you want an interesting, in-depth and worthwhile Regency then read Georgette Heyer or Laura Kinsale's "Flowers From The Storm" and leave this book alone.
12 of 16 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa6ce8204) out of 5 stars heroine is not a very likeable May 23 2006
By Annie - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Geeze it is terrible!!!!! The Fairchild clan learns that their stepfather ran away with their late mother's money. Ava, the eldest of this clan, locates Jared Broderick, the Marquis of Middleton and heir to a dukedom and he marries her. She should feel lucky!! Especially in light of who she could have ended up married too. The endless mind games she played with Jared were not a sign of a smart go to gal who knows what she wants, which is I think was Ms. London was going for. Instead, she comes across as manipulative, which makes any romance with her and the actually very nice Jared unrealistic. A very poor romance. In fact, I would say a very frustrating one. Half way through any romance book, you have to be rooting for H/H to get together, declare their love and live happily ever after. In this one, you hope Jared can get a divorce!!!!
13 of 18 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa6cf7a28) out of 5 stars Outstanding! April 17 2006
By Detra Fitch - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Our story begins in March, 1819. Lady Ava Fairchild is heartbroken when Aunt Cassandra dies. Then her stepfather, Lord Downey, absconds with the fortune and disappears for a year. Ava, her younger sister, Phoebe, and her cousin, Greer, are left in the cold hands of Downey's sister. No money is left for their care. Their time in Society seems to be over. But Ava soon has enough of it and decides to hunt down the rake Jared Broderick. Jared is the Marquis of Middleton and heir to a dukedom. He would be the ticket to their freedom.

Jared is sick of hearing his father, the current Duke of Redford, harp on about settling down and begetting an heir. To shut him up, Jared chooses Ava. Of course, his father is not happy since he had another lady in mind. After all, Ava has no money at all to bring. Yet Jared does not care. Their marriage would be one of convenience. She would give him an heir and stay out of his life otherwise. In return, he would care for her, her sister, and her cousin.

However, Ava soon decides that she does not want a marriage of convenience, she wants passion. So now Ava is out to win her husband's heart, with a bit of help from her unusual maid (former lady of the night).

***** Author, Julia London, takes a realistic situation of the time and turns it into a wonderful romance that will bring a blush to your cheeks and warmth to your heart. Since Ava's maid is a former lady of the night, the bedroom scenes are very steamy. Ava is a very strong heroine that will do anything to help the ones she loves. Her strength and determination is a wonder to behold. The whole plot sounds so simple, yet I found myself unable to put the book down for even the shortest of time. I never got bored or wanted to strangle one of the main characters. No sappy people, well written, and downright enthralling. Highly recommended! *****

Reviewed by Detra Fitch of Huntress Reviews.

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