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Saturday, June 1, 2013

#Author Feature and Book #Review: The Duchess Hunt by Jennifer Haymore

This is a fun read -- bit of a Cinderella story with some mystery.
The Duchess Hunt (House of Trent)
by Jennifer Haymore

  • Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Forever (June 25, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1455523399
  • ISBN-13: 978-1455523399
Genre: Historical Romance
My Rating: 4.25 of 5.0

Book Description
Release date: June 25, 2013 | Series: House of Trent (Book 1)
Simon Hawkins, duke of Trent, is no stranger to scandal. Rumors and innuendo have darkened the House of Trent for decades, and it has fallen to Simon to restore his tattered family name. He lives by a strict code of honor, but when he is called home to investigate his mother's disappearance, the distinguished duke will tangle with temptation. For there waits the only woman he has ever loved-and the last woman he should desire . . .

Sarah Osborne has spent her life dreaming of Simon's touch. But dukes do not long for lady's maids-or so Sarah believes, until a stolen kiss sparks a passion that could be her ultimate undoing. As the couple begins a forbidden romance, a cunning enemy plots to destroy the duke and everything he loves. Now, caught in a blackmailer's web, Simon faces an agonizing choice: sacrifice his family's future or break Sarah's heart.

Sarah is the gardener’s daughter. As a precocious youngster she was rescued from an attacking blackberry bush by the ‘lord of the manor’, a young Simon. He took her into the house for medical care and his eccentric mother welcomed her to the family clan for schooling and play time. She grew up with the five boys and little baby Esme as playmates even though she ultimately became a housemaid dreaming impossible dreams about loving Simon.

Simon is serious and dedicated to restoring the family reputation after the scandals his promiscuous parents made of their lives. Nearing 30 he realizes that it is time for him to seek a proper wife. Problem is he has difficulty being attracted by any woman but Sarah even when he is in London and she is home on the family estate.

Simon is called home and gathers all of his siblings because their mother, with her man and maidservant, has disappeared. There is no sign of struggle and it is possible that she took off for an unannounced visit but it is unlikely that she would worry the family with no word at all. Simon begins a different ‘Duchess Hunt.’ He decides to investigate in London and takes along Esme with Sarah now elevated to the position of Lady Companion.

Sarah is strong and calm and helps to steady Esme who is uncomfortable in society settings. But residing in the same house presents a strong temptation for Simon and Sarah. At first Simon is reluctant to ‘dally’ with a servant even though he doesn’t think of her as such. But Sarah has weighed the costs and accepted that she wants a season with Simon before he moves on to marry someone else.

A local peer coerces Simon into a marriage proposal for his suitable young daughter. Simon feels  nothing.for the girl who has clearly been groomed to marry nobility.  Simon is too honorable to continue the liaison with Sarah and Sarah learns that having an affair without losing one’s heart is easier said than done.

I liked the underlying touch of mystery with the mother’s disappearance and the facts used to blackmail Simon. I particularly liked how Ms. Haymore found a way to face the blackmail and how the family pulls together. The Duchess is not yet found by the end of the story but there are solid leads to follow.

Simon and Sarah make a warm pair. The sexual interaction is pretty steamy although done with a premise of love and discovery. I enjoyed not only the primary characters in this story but also the secondary characters. I especially like the eldest, illegitimate brother, Sam, the out of control angry, second son, Luke, and the resilient, if timid, Esme. The other two brothers, Mark and Theo, have warm personalities too. I look forward to more stories to continue with the other siblings. I recommend this story to historical romance fans who especially like a touch of Cinderella happiness.

This is the second book for June 1 spotlight event. I received this book from Forever/Hachette for an honest review.
I am happy to be participating in a Blog tour for this title and What a Wicked Earl Wants by Vicky Dreiling.

Jennifer shares her TOP 5 Favorite Period Actors with us:
·                  #5 Hugh Jackman in Les Miserables
·                  #4 Paul Bettany (Chaucer in A Knight’s Tale and Dr. Stephen Maturin in Master & Commander)
·                  #3 Liam Neeson as Rob Roy
·                  #2 Clark Gable as Rhett Butler
·                  #1-Colin Firth as Mr. Darcy

Learn more about Jennifer at:
Twitter @jenniferhaymore


  1. Colin Firth is a good choice

  2. Nice list of actors! I would put Richard Armitage from North and South as number 2. I loved North and South.

  3. I love Jennifer's picks. Liam Neeson is such a larger then life Actor/Man. :) And Hugh Jackman is my pick too. :)
    Thanks for the review.
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

  4. Thanks for the review of this book. I love reading Historical Romances. I have added this to my list.

  5. Since I don't do good when it comes to actors and actress, I am going to say that I like Jennifer's Top 5 Favorite Period Actors.

  6. Love your top five list....except for Hugh Jackman, I agree with your picks. Don't get me wrong...I love HJ...but not as a singer and not in these so-called musicals.

  7. Hugh Jackman is wonderful in Les Miserables!

  8. Thanks for the great review! Jennifer has awesome picks :)

  9. Gotta agree with your #1 choice!

  10. Great Top 5 picks. Especially Liam Neeson and Colin Firth.

  11. I definitely agree with your #1 choice but all the actors on your list are awesome! Thanks for the review


Your comments are always appreciated!


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