Thursday, July 29, 2010

"Daring a Duke" by Claudia Dain

I had read one of the earlier installments in the author's Courtesan series ("How to Dazzle a Duke (The Courtesan Series)") and thought it was OK. Had I read this book first, I don't think I'd have picked up another. It wasn't very romantic and generally disappointed me.

The first point about this book will be a plus for some readers and a complete turn-off for others: there are no sex scenes. The most the couple does is one make-out session. So if you hate sex scenes, you'll like that and if you want your romances steamy, it's another reason to avoid this one.

This book follows shortly after "How to Dazzle a Duke" and most of the action takes place at the wedding of the hero and heroine of that book. The time frame is one of the biggest flaws of the book for me. A one-day romance doesn't feel romantic to me. I want my hero and heroine to get to know each other and to feel love build over the course of the book. By the end of the book, I wasn't convinced the couple even liked each other much less were in love.

Not only did I not think the couple liked each other, I didn't really like them. The heroine Jane Elliott was immature and often thoughtless or rude. The hero didn't seem to have much personality at all and decided he had "fallen in love" just by looking at the heroine.

And finally, there was too much other distraction going on with minor characters flirting with and trying to set up seductions with other minor characters. They may turn into the main characters of future books but their scenes took up pages that should have been used to create a hero and heroine the reader would cheer for and a relationship between the hero and heroine that feels romantic.

There are many better romances out there, even if you want one without steamy sex scenes. Mary Balogh's most recent Huxtable romance ("A Secret Affair") is a much better romance and also not very steamy.

I got this book from the library.  Support your local library!

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