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How steamy is it? Sizzling

Publisher's Summary

New York Times best-selling author Karen Ranney returns with the first novel in a new series about dashing, charismatic dukes - and the women who tame them.

Though raised as a gentleman's daughter, Lorna Gordon is obliged to take a position as an upstairs maid at Blackhall Castle when her father dies. Alex Russell, the Duke of Kinross, is the most tempting man she's ever seen - and completely unattainable until, at a fancy dress ball, Lorna disguises herself as Marie Antoinette and pursues an illicit tryst, with scandalous consequences.

Months after his mysterious seductress disappears, Alex encounters her again. Far from the schemer the distrustful duke assumed her to be, Lorna is fiercely independent and resourceful. She's the one woman capable of piercing his defenses. But when danger threatens Lorna, Alex must prove himself not just the lover of her fantasies but the man who will fight to protect her.

©2016 Karen Ranney LLC (P)2016 HarperCollins Publishers

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent!

Would you consider the audio edition of The Scottish Duke to be better than the print version?

I did not read the book, but with Tim Campbell's narration I would say the audio version would be better.

What did you like best about this story?

Everything, it held my attention from beginning to end.

What about Tim Campbell’s performance did you like?

Not only does he have a pleasing voice, but he has the ability to match just the right voice for each character bringing them to life in the minds-eye of the listener.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No extremes but came close to tears a couple of times.

Any additional comments?

The story is not a new one; that of a besotted admirer hiding their identity at a Masquerade Ball to have the forbidden object of their affection. The difference is how the very talented Karen Ranney penned this story making it seem original. The way she told the story made it uniquely hers. It has all the elements that make a great book. I will certainly look for more books from this author.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Loved the prose, strong characters & plot.

I am so behind in reading/listening one of my favorite authors. This is a first story in the Duke Trilogy series and I loved it a lot. I really enjoy when the characters, plot and pace align so well that I just hate to leave the world in which my heroes and heroines reside. That's exactly what happened as I neared the end of this story.

As luck would have it, and because I am way behind in my reviewing duties, I happened to have all three books in this series on my Kindle and I will read and review them in order. I also got the first two in audio, but the third one hasn't shown up in audio yet, and if it does, I'll be ready for it.

Karen Ranney is an author I respect greatly (although there are a couple of books she should not have written at all) and out of all the books I've read, 95% of them I loved to no end. The remaining 5% I'll tell you about some other time ;)

Besides the wonderful, well written and rounded main characters, I enjoyed the prose as well as the undeniable chemistry between the two.

***


"She loved a storm. She loved being out in it, regardless of the danger. She would sometimes tilt her head back to feel the rain baptizing her face. In those moments, she was as elemental as the first woman. Yet she'd never felt like she did right now."

*** *** ***

"Need could be regulated. Cravings could be mastered. Except this one.

He craved seeing Lorna like he sometimes wanted a few of cook's raisin scones or the peat smokiness of a good whiskey. No, more than that. She was a lungful of fresh air, a glass of sparkling water. She was sunshine and growing flowers, laughter and hope. She was all those things necessary to his life and important in it.

When had that happened?

The force of what he felt was petrifying.

He might as well surrender now. Fighting it any longer was futile."

*** *** ***

"She reminded him that he was a man first, then a man of science, duke, property holder, and all the other attendant roles of his position. She taught him that being a father was not passing on lessons as much as accepting and giving love.

The thought struck him with the force of a blow: she was going to make him feel."

***

The secondary characters were just as fun to read and even though the villain is predictable, I enjoyed when the comeuppance was doled out.

The narration of Tim Campbell was superb! He nailed every accent and character. I'll be looking for more books with his narration.

I'm looking forward to the next two stories in this series and hope all are as good as this one was.

Melanie for b2b

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Tough to Get Through...

If not for Tim Campbell's narration, I don't think I'd have made it through this story. The writing is good, in fact, very good. The story, however, was slow and filled with quite a few seemingly-unnecessary details.

The characters weren't all that well fleshed out, which made them unbelievable. For example, you come to understand how Mary feels and what she wants, but her motivations are pretty shallow. Or, we see the H/H interact, but not enough to make their HEA believable. We're told the Duke is everything, but he doesn't really come across that way.

Above all, the pace is rough. The story jerks around quite a lot. Months will go by between chapters, but it may take pages and pages for a few minutes to pass. It doesn't roll along at an even clip, which makes it tough to sit through.

The narration and the author's writing style were the best things about this book. I ADORE Tim Campbell, which is why I bought the book in the first place and he's the sole reason I kept listening. Any lesser narrator--or having been reading the story myself--I'd likely have quit before the end.

All that said, this was my first Karen Ranney book and will likely not be the last. Her writing style is strong enough that I'm sure to pick up another of her books in the near future and give her another shot.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Cate F.
  • Richmond, VA USA
  • 03-28-17

Enjoyable melodrama

I tend to prefer books with complex, less conventional characters and a more apparent historical context, however, I enjoyed The Scottish Duke. With a less talented narrator than Tim Campbell I might have found the book a bit annoying.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Fun

I enjoyed listening to Tim Campbell narrate this audio book. I enjoyed "The Scottish Duke". It was slightly predictable but still fun. This is my 2nd time listening to it.😊

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Beautiful Lovely Romance

What did you love best about The Scottish Duke?

The way Alex and Lorna and there baby son Robert grew in love with each other. There developing affections.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I loved them all, but the Dukes Mother was one I like a lot!!

Which character – as performed by Tim Campbell – was your favorite?

The Duke Alex

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

When the Baby Robert was born

Any additional comments?

I read the Scottish Duke in one setting it was so good. Its a light hearted story that is very well written with wonderful characters especially the H/H.

Alexander/Alex Russell 9th Duke of Kinross, is hosting a dress up ball for The Scottish Society for Scientific Achievements. Alex is working on a project to fingerprint people. Something we take for granted in todays society. Alex is a widower and his wife died in childbirth. Alex was not sure if the child was his or not because his wife was unfaithful and slept with many other men during her marriage to Alex.

Lorna is a gentlemen's daughter but has fallen on hard times after her fathers death. He was a professor and studied the art of healing herbs and was trying to publish a book about herbs that heal or could poison. Lorna takes a job as a maid at Blackhall Castle the residence of the Duke of Kinross. Alex is very handsome and Lorna is attracted to him. She finds some dress gown in the attic and decided for once in her life she wants to go to the ball and she did. Despite her friend Nan another maid in the household telling her she could get caught.

Alex sees Lorna and is drawn to her they talk and walk but then start to kiss. Alex doesn't know Lorna is a virgin and he doesn't know she is one of his maids.

Months later Lorna is living in a rundown rooming house in the near by village and she is quite Pregnant.

This story is a true relationship building story were love comes from what seems to be nothing. Alex and Lorna and Alex's mother are beautifully written. The story is very interesting and touch's on the prejudices against women who get pregnant before marriage and the struggles they had to survive if they survived at all.

The Scottish Duke was a Enjoyable story that will make you feel good but does have a little suspense and a few villains in the story to make it interesting. But this story will grip you form beginning to end. I Highly Recommend The Scottish Duke!!









  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

The Characters SHINED!

Read for Fun (Audible)
Overall Rating: 3.75
Character Rating: 4.00
Story Rating: 3.50

Audio Rating: 4.00

Quick Thoughts: I admit that in the beginning I had a hard time with the troupe but the characters won me over. I really loved Lorna and came to root for Alex. Alex's mom though is the BEST MOTHER-IN-LAW EVER! This ended up being a very pleasant listen :)

Audio Thoughts:

Narrated By Tim Campbell / Length: 9 hrs and 22 mins


I don't think that I have listened to Tim before but I very much enjoyed his performance. His accents and emotions were pretty spot on. His female voices were pretty good too. I will listen to him again in the future.

Part of my Read It, Rate It, File It, DONE! Reviews

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Brief and predictable

While excellently performed, the plot lacked even a hint of substance or intringue. The characters were flat and underdeveloped. I'd like to see more time given in future, towards shaping personalities.

Very disappointed, given the promise in the summary.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent.

Such a good story!

Narrator: As always, a joy to listen to.

Heat Factor: Ouch!

Creditworthy: Yes.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful