Friday, January 09, 2009

Recent Read

Book 2 of 2009

Duke of Shadows by Meredith Duran

Why This One: I’ve had it for a while now and it was always on my TBR list. It finally made it to the top of the pile. And I know many have read and loved it.

Steam Level: While not nearly as hot as the last one, few are, it was still warm enough for me to enjoy

Amazon Blurb: From exotic sandstone palaces...

Sick of tragedy, done with rebellion, Emmaline Martin vows to settle quietly into British Indian society. But when the pillars of privilege topple, her fiancé's betrayal leaves Emma no choice. She must turn for help to the one man whom she should not trust, but cannot resist: Julian Sinclair, the dangerous and dazzling heir to the Duke of Auburn.

To the marble halls of London...

In London, they toast Sinclair with champagne. In India, they call him a traitor. Cynical and impatient with both worlds, Julian has never imagined that the place he might belong is in the embrace of a woman with a reluctant laugh and haunted eyes. But in a time of terrible darkness, he and Emma will discover that love itself can be perilous -- and that a single decision can alter one's life forever.

Destiny follows wherever you run.

A lifetime of grief later, in a cold London spring, Emma and Julian must finally confront the truth: no matter how hard one tries to deny it, some pasts cannot be disowned...and some passions never die.

My Thoughts: I don’t know why it took me so long to get around to reading this one!!! I love unusual settings in romance and I knew this would be one I would enjoy. Years ago I read M.M. Kaye and her wonderful India set books.

After surviving a horrific tragedy when the ship Emmaline Martin was sailing to India on sinks and she is the only survivor, she arrives in India and it’s apparent to her that she doesn’t fit in with the rest of English society. She doesn’t hold the same disdain for the people of India that so many of her fellow British residents do. Engaged since she was young to a Colonel in the army there, she is dismayed by his numerous peccadilloes. Then she meets Julian Sinclair and some excitement begins in her life. Julian is the heir to a dukedom, but still unaccepted in the exclusive society due to his Indian blood. But there is an attraction between Emmaline and Julian that can’t be denied. When mutiny erupts across the land, Julian takes her to safety and then must leave her to see to his Indian family.

And this is only the first part of the book. The second half takes place five years later back in England. Julian thought that Emmaline died in the mutiny and Emmaline thinks that Julian abandoned her. When Julian discovers her not only alive, the artist of a series of stunning and scandalous paintings of the rebellion, he also discovers that Emmaline is not the same hopeful yet innocent young woman he had fallen in love with.

Quite simply, I loved this book! I loved Emmaline and the sufferings she has endured. In the second half of the book, she is frozen inside, yet still full of passion and determined to hate Julian for his abandonment. When she discovers the truth; that he searched endlessly for her, she still holds him at arms length due to her actions while still in India. My heart broke for her in everything she went through.

I also enjoyed Julian though he was still a bit of a mystery. We didn’t learn much of him until later in the book.

The writing is powerful and it’s reminiscent of Shadow of the Moon by M.M. Kaye, a book I read and loved years ago.

I met Meredith Duran in SF, though I doubt she remembers me. Now I’m wishing that I’d read this book before I went so I could have gushed when I met her. But of course on the other hand, now it’s not long a wait for her next books!!

I know this is a book I’ll reread again!

Grade: 5 out of 5


Anonymous said...

YAY! I loved this book! It made my number one slot for Historical Romances I read in 2008! Glad you liked it at much as I did, Kristie :)

December said...

I loved how M. Duran crafted the book, the relatively simple plot that kept you hooked.

Amy C said...

I loved this books!

It has two of my most memorable scenes in it!

"Yes means no, no means yes"...It was perfect.

Dana said...

I’m glad you liked this so much! I bought it a few days ago and now it’s moving up in my tbr pile.

Stacy~ said...

I loved it too. I know some readers didn't, but it totally worked for me. And I thank Ann Aguirre for making me aware of it. Definitely a favorite of 2008.

Lea said...

Thanks for the review Kristie!

Sounds like a great book. Maybe I will check out the first one in the series.

All the best to you.

Bookwormom said...

Delurking to say this one sounds really good, maybe I need to dig it out of my TBR.

In the meantime, tag you're it- Bookshelf meme.

Bookwormom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Seneca said...

Oh, wow, that does sound good!

Phyl said...

Absolutely agree with you on this one. One of my top 10 for 2008. Which means I liked it better than ... oh, you know. (Sorry!)

Kristie (J) said...

Phyl: If it hadn't been for another certain author - this one would be my debut author. And *g* I'm thinking that that same author is the one wherein you speak of. Ah well - not every book is for every reader

Seneca: I was very impressed with this debut book. Some debut authors you can tell will be good in time - others get a home run first time up at bat. Ms. Duran stuck a homer!

Bookwormom: So many books in the TBR pile - so little time :) And I'll have mine up in the next day or two - it's a working weekend for me.

Lea: I was Very Impressed - and it's so refreshing to read a historical set in another location - at least some of it!!

Stacy: It really worked for me too! And I'm glad I listened to the buzz.

Dana: Hey You!!! This one was good! I'd had it in my TBR pile for ages too. I'm very glad I got to it.

Amy: That was a wonderful scene wasn't it? When she finally let him back in again. Julian was so guilt ridden, so in love with her - helpless with it - and so determined to try and get through to her.

December: She did a wonderful job didn't she? One just hurt for both of them in the second half - both so alone, both still suffering from the loss of each other in India, but Emmaline so stubborn - though I could understand why.
And welcome to the blog by the way!! I love seeing new visitors :-)

Barbara: It was so close to mine too. Sometimes it's almost impossible to call them isn't it? And thank YOU! It was your high regards for this one that finally pushed me into reading it

Alyssa said...

I loved this book too. I really need to write up my review.

Off to see when her next one is coming out . . .

ReneeW said...

I LOVED Shadow of the Moon. Read it years ago and it's one of my favorite romances. I haven't heard of Duran before. Looks like this one goes on my list.