A Devilish Duke on a Quest for Pleasure...
Frannie Darling was once a child of London's roughest streets, surrounded by petty thieves, pickpockets, and worse. But though she survived this harsh upbringing to become a woman of incomparable beauty, Frannie wants nothing to do with the men who lust for her, the rogues who frequent the gaming hall where she works. She can take care of herself and feels perfectly safe on her own-safe, that is, until he strides into her world, and once again it becomes a very dangerous place indeed.
To bed her but not wed her. That's what Sterling Mabry, the eighth Duke of Greystone, wants. But Frannie abhors arrogant aristocrats interested only in their own pleasure. So why then does the thought of an illicit tryst with the devilish duke leave her trembling with desire? Her willing body begs for release . . . and a wicked, wonderful surrender.
©2009, 2011 Jan Nowasky (P)2012 HarperCollinsPublishers
Overall I think this was a nice addition to this series. I have to say I didn't really love the romance for the first 2/3's because it felt forced and a bit rushed. Once I was at the last 3rd however, things felt more natural. Though it was lacking in action and didn't have as steady of a pace as the first 2 books, it was still really nice to hear Frannie's side of things. Also, Lorraine Heath laced bits and pieces of what was going on with Luke and Jack throughout the story which made it feel more like a continuation of book 1 & 2 and not just a separate story all together.
Susan Ericksen's performance was good, though as I have said through this entire series, she needs to have a bit more variation in her characters, Overall, the spunk and attitude she gives to each person is great, and she was consistent with everyone's voices throughout the series, which can sometimes vary with other performers.
If you decide to listen and kind of find yourself bored or not as interested as you were in books 1 & 2 - stick with it. The ending really makes it all worth. Its a sweet story and everything Frannie does is so loving. You also get a nice glimpse into everyone's future, which always feels good.
not the same old plot line
the complex nature of all the characters
another five star rating on all levels
Perfect love story
This book is from the middle of a series, but having not read the series I was easily able to keep up.
The story was a little dull. I found it to be a little predictable and slow in places. I do wonder that if I had read the other books first if I would have been more engaged with the characters. But the performance was great and it was an easy story to listen to.
Audible started me reading fiction again. What a treat to have professional actors narrating a book I may not have had the time to "read".
Found the story distasteful,unpleasant and depressing. I should have known by the cover it wasn't my kind of reading.
I love books and love to get lost in the fantasy. I'm always looking for a new good story to bury myself in. :)
This was a very good story. I liked Frannie and Sterling and liked seeing them get together.
***Alert, this might be considered spoilerish because I tell a secret os Sterling's***
Frannie was an orphan (at least she believes she is) that grew up with a group of child thieves (2 of which were Luke and Jack from books #1 & 2). Her childhood friends have gone on to better lives and so has she, now working as a bookkeeper for Jack’s Gentleman’s club. Her friends are very protective of Frannie but she sometimes feels smothered by their attempts to keep her safe. Her only passion is a home she’s opened for orphaned or homeless children.
Sterling is a Duke (the brother of Catherine, heroine from book #1) who was travelling around the world for years (before he got his title) and only recently returned. He is having issues with his sight getting worse as he ages and he fears that in a few years he'll be blind (that was the spoiler). Sterling left to travel while he still had good sight but that didn't sit well with his father which caused a rift between them. Unfortunately, they weren't able to work things out before his father died. Sterling knows it’s his responsibility to marry and sire an heir before he goes blind but he doesn’t look forward to it.
Frannie meets Sterling at Catherine’s wedding. There’s an attraction between Frannie and Sterling but Frannie’s friends are circling protectively and try to keep them apart. Regardless of this, Frannie and Sterling end up chancing upon each other in the library. Sterling flirts some, not realizing just how inexperienced Frannie is with the relationships between men and woman. He ends up propositioning her to become his lover and Frannie surprises herself by saying she'll consider it. Frannie is attracted to Sterling but doesn't want to be with someone who won't marry her so she eventually says no. Sterling accepts this for the time being but plans to pursue her further. In the meantime, Jack and Swindler go about trying to warn Sterling off...with their fists. Sterling doesn’t let that deter him and intends to see Frannie again regardless of the objections. He understands that Frannie’s friends don’t want her to get hurt and he doesn't intend to hurt her but he’s not thinking about how her heart could be broken. I think he thought that if he made it understood it was only supposed to be temporary that her heart wouldn't get involved but that’s before he really knew her.
Sterling and Frannie encounter each other a few different times and in the process he begins to learn more about her. He realizes just what a sweet and caring person she is and just how much love she has to give. As Sterling gets to know Frannie more, he learns more about her work with needy children and thinks even more of her because of it. He realizes he can't marry her and that she doesn't want to be a Duchess so he wants what he can get with her. He knows soon he'll have to marry some appropriate Lady to sire an heir on and he’s not looking forward to it. Sterling is sure whatever woman he marries won't be thrilled about his failing eyesight and he doesn’t look forward to what is sure to be an unhappy future. He knows he should start looking for his future wife but keeps putting it off. Sterling and Frannie grow to care for each other and eventually Frannie decides she wants Sterling regardless of their future and their physical relationship finally comes to fruition. It’s nice to see Frannie’s goodness rub off on to Sterling and it was nice seeing Frannie get some enjoyment in life. There are some difficulties and danger that have to be faced by Sterling and Frannie and it’s not easy for them. Thankfully they manage to come through alright and end the story with a HEA.
This was a very good story. I liked Frannie (she was a really good heroine) and Sterling and liked their story. I didn't have any particular complaints about the story. It was pretty good and was interesting enough to keep me reading until the end. I’m planning to read the next book in the series. I’d recommend this story. :)
I have a real crazy in love relationship with books!!!
This book was exciting, sweet, touching, steamy, and interesting. So yeah, I would definitely recommend it.
I like that the characters were flawed. Seriously no one was perfect and they all had some issues here or there that showed the fact that they were human. You know romance novels do not always show us the flaws.
I cannot recall ever listening to Susan Ericksen. Now I could be wrong, but if so it doesn't matter because she knocked this one out the park!
Probably when Sterling finally told Franny the truth. Or maybe when Franny told him the truth.
I was initially against this book because I did not like the title. Something about having that word in the title creeps me out. Yes, childish I know but hey we all need a shrink from time to time hahaha. Anyway I definitely recommend this book and I would recommend it even at regular price! So there you have it folks...it is a definite score!!!
Bookstore hobby-jobber, mom, gardener and former copywriter. Eclectic taste in books and audits.
The story had promise as we follow Franny Darling's life. However, the plot plodded with altogether too much angst and too little progression. I suffered through 2/3 of the book before deciding I was bored, frustrated and unable to continue to listen. A complete disappointment since I liked the first books in the series.
Normally, I love Susan Ericksen's narration but this one was poorly edited with character switches and conversations blurry. It also matched the the sloooow plot but could not be corrected by speeding up the recording.
Save your money and credits - and teeth gritting.
Say something about yourself!
Read from April 19 to 21, 2013
Read/Listened for Fun (Paperback/Kindle/Audio)
Overall Rating: 4.00
Story Rating: 3.75
Character Rating: 4.25
Audio Rating: 4.25 (not part of the overall rating)
First thought after finishing: Frannie Darling deserved love and I am so glad she finally found it!
Story Thoughts: I knew that Frannie’s story would be a tough read. Her back story is heartbreaking and her plight for the orphaned children is heart-string pulling. I adored her part of the story and was really happy when she found love. It took a bit for to get into the romance between Frannie and Sterling but that all clicked about half way through the story. This was another fantastic addition to this series.
Character Thoughts:Frannie was the “scoundrel” that I was most looking forward too! She is a fantastic leading lady and has a wonderful heart. Her back story is heartbreaking but she over came it all. Sterling took a bit too like. Seriously, his attitude and I did not quite mesh. Though as Frannie fell in love so did I! I love when characters make me love them even though I am opposed
Narrated By Susan Ericksen /Length: 8 hrs and 51 mins
I wasn’t sure if I would like switching over to one narrator but Susan did a fantastic job. She was FRANNIE! I don’t think anyone else would be as good at getting her emotion and cadence. It just worked!
Final Thoughts: I need to get the last in this series soon!
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