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Genre fiction lover:  Romance, Sci Fi, Fantasy, Mystery, Urban Fantasy

What I Did For a Duke (Pennyroyal Green, #5)

What I Did For a Duke (Pennyroyal Green, #5) - Julie Anne Long
"Would you like to see my...sketches?" She asked it with eyes downcast, peering flirtatiously up at him through her lashes.

Her sketches?

Was he being propositioned in a crowded salon? Did she intend to lure him up to her chamber? Did he mind?

"Show me your sketches, Lady Blankenship," he said softly with a smile reserved for innuendo.

She instantly reached down behind the settee behind her and produced, to his astonishment, a sketchbook and handed it to him.

"Go on," she urged on a whisper. "Tell me what you think."

She'd clasped her hands in front of her, then brought them nervously up to her mouth. Her big eyes liquid with nervous anticipation.

What on earth would he find in it?...He hoped he'd find nudes and was at the same time rather worried he would. He opened her sketchbook furtively. He turned the first page up by one corner, took a peek. And then he turned it all the way over.

He stared for a good long time at the first drawing.

She nearly bounced on her toes awaiting his verdict.

"Lady Blankenship?"

"Yes?" She said breathlessly.

"This is a kitten. In a basket."

She nodded eagerly.

"This is a sketch of a kitten in a basket."

A fluffy, big-eye kitten was sitting neatly in a round basket, paws draped over the edge.

"Do you like it?" Millicent was practically nibbling on her knuckles with nerves.

"It is a kitten in a basket," He pointed out slowly. As if this were answer enough.

"Look at the next one." She urged excitedly.

He gingerly turned the page. He stared.

"It's...kittens playing with a yarn ball." Something like hysteria tinged his voice.

He slowly turned the pages, one by one. One by one. Kittens playing with a string. Kittens lapping milk. Kittens sniffing flowers....

He sighed, handed the sketchbook back to her, and to her astonishment promptly abandoned her and wended his way through the crowd.

This scene (abridged a bit here) occurs early in the book and while reading it my mind was awash in glee. I loved everything about this scene and it was when I knew this book was a winner.

Alexander Moncrieffe, Duke of Falconbridge comes across Ian Eversea cuckolding him with his fiance. Falconbridge is a legend in the ton. he is rumored to have poisoned his first wife, he fights duels, he always succeeds at whatever he does and he always gets his revenge.

Much to Ian's dismay Falconbridge lets him leave, refusing to meet him for pistols at dawn. He merely promises that Ian's punishment -- when it eventually happens -- will fit the crime.

Ian is even more horrified to see Falconbridge turn up a his family's houseparty and begin paying attention to his youngest sister Genevieve.

For his part, Falconbridge has decided to "compromise, seduce and abandon" Genevieve except he hadn't really counted on Genevieve herself.

I won't summarize more except to say that the book starts out on a somewhat serious note. I thought for sure Falconbridge would be one of those dour, tormented heroes and this book would be all angsty and such. But man, was I wrong. Falconbridge is a bit dour and a touch tormented -- but he was also wickedly funny and a hero to sigh over. His interactions with Genevieve were punctuated with great witty repartee. And his continued tormenting of a poor Ian was an excellent bonus.

And what I like to think of JAL's signature -- her beautifully written and intensely romantic scenes between the H/h -- is in full effect in this book.

I am enjoying the continuing saga of the Redmonds and the Everseas. They remind me a bit of Julia Quinn's Bridgertons.

Great, fun and funny book. Highly recommended!