Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Book Review: The Courtesan Duchess (Wicked Deceptions, #1)

If you've followed my blog for a while, you may know that I've found a liking for Regency romance novels.  Yes, they're my guilty pleasure.  And while this is a mostly YA and Fantasy (and now comics) blog, I do like to throw in some other types of reviews to keep it entertaining and fresh.  The Courtesan Duchess was received as an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, to thank you Netgalley.  Before you read this book, just go into it knowing that it's pretty steamy and there aren't any fade to black moments, so read at your own risk.

This wasn't one of my favorites.  It follows Julia and Nick, who are married, though a bit unhappily.  Nick was forced into the marriage and hasn't even spent one night with her.  He's been traveling the continent, sleeping his way through every city he visits.  Julia, abused by his family and basically left in poverty even though she's a duchess, tracks him down and pretends to be a courtesan in order to win his affection and to become pregnant with his child- and an heir.  Everything goes according to plan... until Nick discovers that she tricked him and no longer knows what to believe.

To start with what I liked: it was a good story.  It was different, for one, than many of the other books I've read in this genre.  And while it was slow, it did cover about a year in their lives, so it was more of a character study than action based plot.  Julia was a winning character- one thing I love about these types of romance novels are the strong female characters.  Don't believe me?  They go against society, during a time when society is everything.  They break barriers and do what they want and don't let men keep them back.  Julia is one of those very same ladies, and she does a great job of getting what she wants and needs through her own ways because she can, and does, take care of herself.

What I didn't like: Nick.  I hated him with a passion.  He's an ass, and by the end I still wasn't quite forgiving of him.  He did have some moments, but in the scheme of things they weren't enough to make up for how he acted before.  Besides him, I loved all the other characters, particularly his friend Simon, and his brother's widow, Angela.

I also disliked part of the pacing.  It started off very fast, which was great, but in the middle slowed down to a snail's crawl.  I wouldn't have minded normally, but it just felt like it took me a long time to read because I couldn't bear to pick it up each night.  In the end, when the pace picked back up, it was well worth the wait.

Have you noticed the new format I'm using for reviews and posts in general?  I'm still playing around with how it looks, but I'd love to hear your thoughts or advice!

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