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All art is unstable. It's meaning is not necessarily that implied by the author, There is no authorative active voice. There are only multiple readings. David Bowie, 1995

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

A Cinderella story with a twist

Heir to the Duke (The Duke's Sons #1) by Jane Ashford

All her life Lady Violet Devere has been kept in line by her family. Indeed her grandmother, the Dowager Countess of Morely, is a tyrant controlling them all. Lady Violet in particular is a target. The Dowager designates what Violet should wear, what activities are the most ladylike for her to undertake and how she must behave. Coupled with the fact that Violet's maid Renshaw is the Dowager's creature, it is no wonder that Violet flings herself into rebel mode (in a most satisfactory way) after she is married.
The Duke of Langford, Nathaniel Gresham views his upcoming marriage to the Lady Violet as his expected duty. He is prepared for a comfortable time. He is taken by surprise when Violet decrees that they need to be adventurous and enjoy themselves.
Of course, the Dowager and the recalcitrant maid are dead set against this. To the point where both Nathaniel and I take umbrage.
Violet's relationship with her mother has always been a puzzle. When Violet goes to extraordinary lengths to separate her mother from the Dowager in order to talk with her, she learns a secret that has the power to render her current happiness to naught.  
An interesting story. I was at somewhat of a loss with Violet and her family. I wanted Nathaniel to take a stand earlier than he did. 
The tale of a down trodden young thing coming into her own after her marriage is not uncommon and can have some delicious moments. That didn't quite happen here. 
I must admit to enjoying the prequel to The Duke's Sons, The Bargain, more than I did Heir to the Duke. Nevertheless a pleasing read.

A NetGalley ARC


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