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The Lost Duke of Wyndham

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The Lost Duke of Wyndham

ratings:
4/5 (89 ratings)
Length:
362 pages
5 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Mar 17, 2009
ISBN:
9780061737275
Format:
Book

Description

Jack Audley has been a highwayman.

A soldier. And he has always been a rogue. What he is not, and never wanted to be, is a peer of the realm, responsible for an ancient heritage and the livelihood of hundreds. But when he is recognized as the long-lost son of the House of Wyndham, his carefree life is over. And if his birth proves to be legitimate, then he will find himself with the one title he never wanted: Duke of Wyndham.

Grace Eversleigh has spent the last five years toiling as the companion to the dowager Duchess of Wyndham. It is a thankless job, with very little break from the routine . . . until Jack Audley lands in her life, all rakish smiles and debonair charm. He is not a man who takes no for an answer, and when she is in his arms, she's not a woman who wants to say no. But if he is the true duke, then he is the one man she can never have . . .

Publisher:
Released:
Mar 17, 2009
ISBN:
9780061737275
Format:
Book

About the author

A Seattle7Writers project for literacy, this novel was written by Kathleen Alcalá, Matthew Amster-Burton, Kit Bakke, Erica Bauermeister, Sean Beaudoin, Dave Boling, Deb Caletti, Carol Cassella, William Dietrich, Robert Dugoni, Kevin Emerson, Karen Finneyfrock, Clyde Ford, Jamie Ford, Elizabeth George, Mary Guterson, Maria Dahvana Headley, Teri Hein, Stephanie Kallos, Erik Larson, David Lasky, Stacey Levine, Frances McCue, Jarret Middleton, Peter Mountford, Kevin O'Brien, Julia Quinn, Nancy Rawles, Suzanne Selfors, Jennie Shortridge, Ed Skoog, Garth Stein, Greg Stump, Indu Sundaresan, Craig Welch and Susan Wiggs. Foreword by Nancy Pearl. Introduction by Garth Stein.


Reviews

What people think about The Lost Duke of Wyndham

3.8
89 ratings / 28 Reviews
What did you think?
Rating: 0 out of 5 stars

Reader reviews

  • (4/5)
    I quite enjoyed this book. Jack was a good lead.. and I enjoyed the chemistry between Grace and him. I haven't read Julia Quinn in a while and when reading I noticed how much I missed her writing. Looking forward to Thomas' story.
  • (4/5)
    Found this entertaining. The last result of being waylaid by a highwayman is that it would put the inheritance of the lordship of Wyndham under question. Jack Audley is the highwayman and his plans for a carefree life are about to be upset. Grace Eversleigh has been the companion of the dowager Duchess of Wyndham, a thankless job but it keeps her from being homeless, Jack Audley is attracting her and distracting her and this will all change the future of the estate.I enjoyed the read, fun stuff. Companion book to Mr Cavendish, I presume which I read previously.
  • (5/5)
    Excellently written as always. Humour and romance.
  • (4/5)
    A feel good, happily ever after with likeable characters (for the most part.) Some "adult" language and sex scenes...best for the mature female reader. Works as a stand-alone but entices reader to continue with series without a cliffhanger.
  • (5/5)
    A wonderful story. Just the right amount of angst but not too much prevaricating. It is wonderful when the heroes follow their hearts without too much self-sabotage. And I did laugh out loud quite frequently, for the Dowager is simply wonderfully monstrous. A tear or two were also shed ... but then all good tales must have their share of grief over which to triumph.
  • (3/5)
    Julia Quinn is easily becoming my favorite historical romance novelists! I have read many of her books, all of them are engaging and smart. As well as sweet, tender, and the men tend to be charming with many faults to make them quite human. The women, too, are perfect with their faults and strengths. Grace is a lonely soul, a soul who has forgotten laughter (for the most part) due to working with, who could be, the spawn of satan. Grace is smart, witty, and has a patience of a saint. When Jack spirits into her life bringing his wry sense of humor and his charming smile, Grace watches her carefully ordered world fall apart and into something that becomes love shining amidst the chaos of possibility of Jack's possible birthright! The dowager may be a crotchety old crone and a stickler for all that is 'proper' but overset by these events she becomes the vetoes the devil to deal with. Her grandson Thomas, I can only feel great sympathy for, his place in the world being questioned must be hard to take and I can only wish him the greatest of luck. As for Amelia, I wish her the best. Happy endings are always good, the uncertainty of how that ending will come about is what keeps you reading!
  • (3/5)
    I usually love Julia Quinn's books but this one for some reason dragged to no end!! I felt I wanted to skip and see the end, but I didn't. I read it but I didn't LOVE it!
  • (3/5)
    i read this book at the same time i read Mr.Cavendish since the stories take place at the same exact time. although the story of Amelia and Thomas in Mr. Cavendish would have been better if it was the first one in the set since it is not revealed until many chapters in about the fact Thomas's title is no more and Amelia may have to marry Jack. it was a typical Quinn novel, lots of witty banter and teasing. and of course the misunderstanding between the 2 love interests that creates a conflict easily solved once they actually TALK about it. geesh. it was different in that it had an evil grandmother who was the matriarch of the family. she was just mean.
  • (3/5)
    This, while an enjoyable book, I do not think is quite up to the quality of the Bridgertons. It seemed to me as if it continued on for some time with no real direction, and in actuality, not very much happened in the book. It kept making you feel that something big was about to happen, but in the end, very little did that could not have been resolved in twenty pages instead of more than 300. I just didn't feel the tension. Jack became duke, he overcame Grace's worries by basically just saying "I don't care, I'm just going to marry her anyway..." The end just felt rather cheap. The chemistry between the two main characters was not terribly strong - I just didn't feel it . That said, I did LIKE both of the main characters - although I felt that Jack became almost a caricature of himself by the end. On the other hand, I did very much like Thomas, the current duke, and I look forward to reading more about him in the second novel of this series. Not a bad book, and certainly worth reading, but not up to Quinn's normal quality.
  • (3/5)
    Jack is a pleasing rogue. Grace is sweetly good-natured. The romance is fluffy and light. Mildly steamy- but worth reading. The peripheral characters are surprisingly uninteresting and lack dimension. Thomas and Amelia show no signs of any attachment- but are the obvious set up for the second novel. The dowager is so continuously nasty it gets as old as she is. Eh.
  • (5/5)
    Many of my GR friends disliked this book, so I was surprised that I absolutely loved it. Jack was swoon-worthy, and even his rival Thomas was appealing. The dialogue sparkled, with lots of humor. Yes, the plot was a bit silly, and the old dowager duchess was too horrible to be believed -- but in the end I enjoyed the hell out of it.
  • (4/5)
    this was an excelent book. I read it while flying to California and backm it was the perfect read for the occasion!
  • (4/5)
    The Lost Duke of Wyndham
    4 Stars

    A sweet romance with no real conflict, which makes this a light and fun read.

    Jack is charming and witty, and while my preference is usually for the dark, brooding and tortured hero, he is an endearing character. Grace is a likable heroine, but her personality is quite bland and she lacks backbone. Yes, she is a lady's companion but she is not completely without resources and could have been a little less prim and proper and a bit more firm in standing up to the obnoxious Dowager Duchess.

    The lost heir plot is well developed and entertaining, and Quinn's writing is, as always, smooth and absorbing. The secondary characters, Thomas in particular, have definite potential and I look forward to reading his and Amelia's story.
  • (4/5)
    This book took me forever to get through - what a slog! Surprisingly tedious without much humor at all. Unusual for a Julia Quinn romance. Jack, the hero wasn't bad, but he had so much baggage to deal with! Per Quinn's usual heroes, Jack spends his entire time ruing the fact he is going to inherit a dukedom (or is he, that is the question) and he doesn't want the responsibilities that go with it. A high class problem. You see, he never learned how to read because he is dyslexic, but this is his "shameful" secret. Because of this, he cannot bear the thought of leaving his carefree life for the dukedom. Then on top of that, he has all sorts of other guilt issues because his cousin died when they were fighting against Napoleon and he hasn't returned to his home in Ireland since, because he can't bear to face his aunt who raised him. Don't get me started on Penelope - duller than dish water. Not a single memorable thing about her, except that she likes to sleep late and is not a "morning person." What did Jack see in her? The dowager duchess is horrible! Nothing admirable or likable about her in the least, and we had to deal with her so much! What a disappointing romance, and the cover is horrible. I remember when this came out, just the cover itself prevented me from reading it for a long time, such a vapid strange look on her face, and the dreaded overused male model, Nathan Kamp. Uggh. I only bought it months ago because it was almost free on kindle at the time.
  • (4/5)
    The Dowager Duchess of Wyndham and her companion, Grace Eversleigh, are held up by a highwayman, Jack Audley, who kisses Grace and is recognised by the Dowager. It soon becomes clear that Jack is the Dowager's grandson and that he's fallen in love with Grace, and she with him. But there's a complication, if Jack is legitimate, he's the rightful Duke and not his cousin, Thomas, the current Duke and if Jack is the Duke he can't marry Grace. There are some delightfully funny moments as everything gets resolved, although it would've been nice if Quinn had included some kind of explanation for the Dowager's nastiness.
  • (4/5)
    After the death of her beloved parents Grace had been taken in by the indomitable dowager, Duchess of Wyndham and had resigned herself to life as a companion. Then one dark and windless (ha) night their carriage is accosted by a highway man who apparently has a lineage no one, least of all he, ever expected. This book has to boast one of the most enjoyable, likable heroes I have ever read. I always thought I was most partial to the dark, angsty type, but Jack totally changed my mind. In fact, this book really turned most of my pre-conceived notions about my preferences on their head. This story of a chance encounter between the sour dowager and her long lost grandson was really a very light, sweet romance, completely at odds with everything I've been reading lately. Very enjoyable! All of the characters were well done and there was a lot of humor sprinkled throughout. I couldn't even hate the Duchess because the author managed to paint her with just a dash of humanity and made her a sympathetic character. I also loved what she did with Jack, giving him just enough angst and a surprising disability to balance against his mostly carefree seeming exterior. Just a fantastic job of characterization all around. The romance between Grace and Jack was wonderful and despite the “love at first site” theme I usually dislike, it just seemed very believable as it progressed. I'm pretty sure this was my first Julia Quinn book, but it most certainly won't be my last. The only complaint that I have is that I've been trying to read what's in my TBR pile and send it along to others, but I think I'm going to have to make room in my permanent collection for this one.
  • (4/5)
    Charming and sweet. I love Julia Quinn's romance novels - the heroines are smart, funny and independent, and the men are clever, gorgeous and always fall completely head over heels for the women. This one doesn't disappoint! An unknown possible son of a duke falls for a ladies' companion, who couldn't possibly marry a duke (if he really is one...)... Also, *VERY* sexy!
  • (4/5)
    When highwayman Jack Audley stops a coach to rob the occupants, he has little idea of how his life and that of everyone connected to the people in the carriage is going to change because he is robbing the Dowager Duchess of Wyndham and her companion, the impoverished gentlewoman, Grace Eversleigh. He is fascinated by Grace after the robbery and unreasonably bothered by the fact that the Dowager thinks he is the child of her much beloved middle son. He vows to leave the area without pursuing any of the things that are troubling him but he hasn't reckoned on the strength of will to be found in his presumptive grandmother, who has him kidnapped and brought to her. There he finds the intriguing and long-suffering Grace as well as the current Duke of Wyndham, who will lose his title if Jack's birth is proved to be legitimate. As the mystery of whether or not he is the actual Duke unfolds, Jack and Grace fall in love. A smaller subplot between Thomas, the current Duke of Wyndham, who stands to lose everything if Jack is proven legitimate, and Amelia, the woman he's been bethrothed to since childhood is left unresolved and is the focus of the second Wyndham book.I generally like Julia Quinn's regency set romances and this was no exception. They are light and fun and good escapism. The obstacles her heros and heroines have to overcome to be together don't cross the line into the realm of the impossible and like Jack and Grace, in this book, they have good chemistry together. I do wish that the ubiquitous "immediate attraction" thing would fall by the wayside because I am skeptical of a touch from a stranger being burned into your consciousness but that's a fairly minor quibble here and one that, in any case, seems to be standard for the genre regardless of my personal preferences. Overall, exactly the read I wanted and was expecting here.
  • (5/5)
    Julia Quinn has done it again! This book was amazing, and more than enough made up for the disappointment of Minx. I loved the characters and I loved the plot which once again was original. Thank you, Julia! Grace Eversliegh has spent years playing companion to a bitter ungrateful woman. And her life has become the same old routine till she met Jack. Jack Audley is a highwayman who is completely content with his lot in life. So when his grandmother approaches him with a dukedom, Jack wants nothing to do with it. But if his blood lines do in fact point back to her, he will not be able to reject his rightful title. And the more he gets to know Grace, the more appealing his fate seems to become.
  • (4/5)
    The Lost Duke of Wyndham is a period romance. It's also incredibly solidly written, with hugely engaging characters, a believable-enough setting, humour, and some of my favourite plot points and characters. We have the dashing highwayman-turned-improbable-duke with various unsavoury and painful secrets; the highly intelligent, somewhat impoverished heroine in a rather untenable situation; and the attending tensions that go along with the strict social mores of the time period.The plot moves along at a good clip, the characters are fascinating, and they don't stay the same. One of the wonderful things about this romance is that one never wonders whether or not Grace and Jack can get along. They do, and the question is more whether or not they're going to be able to make it work in society. The only small problem I had with the book is that some of the tensions surrounding the social taboos and so forth seemed contrived -- but that was because I knew there was going to be a happy ending, and that the social taboos would either vanish or be broken without any serious repercussions. So that's not so much a problem with the writing as with the whole genre. That said, the dowager is one seriously nasty piece of work, and there is no question that she can make life hell for all concerned; and therein lies the major problem for Grace and Jack, not society at large.The dowager embodies everything that was/is wrong with class societies with strict rules. She is completely awful. And she makes a brilliant "villain" for the book because she's not completely unsympathetic. She's a product of her time, breeding and station in life, and she is also a very lonely old woman who has lost everyone dear to her. In some ways, her loneliness is her own fault, but in other ways she has been dealt some fairly cruel blows by life too. She doesn't complain of them, either. Not the big ones. And that makes me just a little more sympathetic to her.The characters in the book, as I mentioned above, are not static, nor are they inconsistent, both of which can be problems with romance novels. Each character behaves in a completely internally consistent way; any surprises are only surprises to us, not to the characters themselves. And the surprises were set up believably without being broadcast.Of course, I knew there would be a happy ending. It's a foregone conclusion even before I buy the book. The pleasure is more in seeing how the ending is brought off. Quinn doesn't fail here, either. The ending is suitably happy without being stupid, and I enjoyed it thoroughly.
  • (3/5)
    I actually quite liked this, but still only skimmed, somehow it couldn't hold me closely enough. Jack Audley is a great character though, and I liked him. I found the ending too neat and twee and liked the incumbent duke quite a bit too. The dowager duchess was suitably awful and Grace was nice enough. Easy read, not really memorable. I used to love Julia Quinn's work but this one will blur away.
  • (4/5)
    I don't read a lot of romance novels anymore, but happened to pick up a Julia Quinn novel before I stopped reading them and now she's the only author I still read. And perhaps it's because I don't read a lot romance anymore but her latest isn't as compelling as some of her earlier novels. That's not to say that I won't be reading it again and again. I love the way that Quinn writes her characters, making them more real than a great many other authors manage to make their characters. Quinn draws readers in and addresses issues, social and personal, that are well known and easily identified today but were judged differently centuries ago. Jack and Grace fall for one another a bit too easily, but still face difficulties typical to Quinn's romances. The way they handle those issues and the way that Jack slowly comes to terms with his past make the novel a page turner.
  • (4/5)
    When highwayman Jack Audley robs the coach of the Duchess of Wyndham and her companion, Grace Eversleigh, he doesn't realize that his life will be changed forever. The Duchess recognizes him as her grandson, John, true heir of the dukedom. When the duchess kidnaps him and takes him to her estate, Belgrave, Jack is overwhelmed with the changes in his circumstances and begins to fall in love with Grace. Grace and Jack both realize that they cannot marry if he really is the Duke and it is with fear in their hearts that they leave with the Duchess for Ireland to find the documentation that will prove his true identity.Quinn tells her tale with humor and intrigue. Jack and Grace are strong, well-developed characters that truly belong ogether. She manages to instill sympathy for even the most difficult characters in the novel and leaves the reader wanting to read more in the second book of the series.
  • (4/5)
    There's a problem with great secondary characters. Sometimes, they take over. I enjoyed Grace and Jack's story to be sure, but I kept hoping there'd be more about Thomas and Amelia. Which is good, because coming out in two months rather than next summer. The Lost Duke opens with Grace Eversleigh traveling with her employee, the Dowager Duchess of Wyndham. I've read the companion with an annoying noble employer before, but I have to say the Dowager was on a whole other level of pain in the ass. The fact that Grace not only puts up with it, but lets it slide over her most of the time is both a testament to her character and shows that she clearly doesn't feel like she has much choice in the world. She has to put up with the Dowager because there's no other place for her. Grace and the Dowager are accosted by a highwayman who is, naturally, charming and probably handsome (it's dark, there's a mask). Something about this man makes the Dowager sit up and look closer -- his bottom features are almost an exact match for her long dead son. And so begins the story. Jack Audrey (born Cavendish) is indeed the son of the Dowager's middle son. His father perished at sea, and his mother died shortly after his birth. The reader is let in on this very early in the book so the suspense of that moment is done with. Will he take his place as the Duke or will he allow the current duke, Thomas, to continue as he has so ably?I liked this book. I'm not surprised by that fact, of course. JQ's one of my favorite authors and I don't believe I've come across anything by her that I don't love to pieces. (I even thoroughly enjoyed the last Bridgerton book, though some of my friends felt the series had run its course a few books earlier. Crazy people.) The characterizations were great, though yes, sometimes Jack was just a bit too charming. If only the men in my life had that problem, right? I think that this book could have easily been an A grade, except I think Amelia and Thomas stole the story in a lot of places. Where I should have focused on Grace and Jack, I was more interested in what could come out of Thomas's mouth or how Amelia might react. That's the problem with some characters. You bring them onto the stage but then they kind of direct the action from there. Another excellent addition to my bookshelf, of course, and I've already marked my calendar for September 30 and the next book, Mr. Cavendish, I Presume.
  • (3/5)
    This, while an enjoyable book, I do not think is quite up to the quality of the Bridgertons. It seemed to me as if it continued on for some time with no real direction, and in actuality, not very much happened in the book. It kept making you feel that something big was about to happen, but in the end, very little did that could not have been resolved in twenty pages instead of more than 300. I just didn't feel the tension. Jack became duke, he overcame Grace's worries by basically just saying "I don't care, I'm just going to marry her anyway..." The end just felt rather cheap. The chemistry between the two main characters was not terribly strong - I just didn't feel it . That said, I did LIKE both of the main characters - although I felt that Jack became almost a caricature of himself by the end. On the other hand, I did very much like Thomas, the current duke, and I look forward to reading more about him in the second novel of this series. Not a bad book, and certainly worth reading, but not up to Quinn's normal quality.
  • (4/5)
    Enjoyable author, as always
  • (3/5)
    Although a fan of Julia Quinn, her latest book THE LOST DUKE OF WYNDHAM didn't inspire. There is much attention on the confusion about the identity of Jack, but his hesitation about becoming a duke is not quite convincing (it seems his main issue is that he's insecure about his inability to read and ability to lead). The love story seems almost secondary to this confused identity-theme and the chemistry between Jack and Grace is weak. Grace might be a good person, but she is also somewhat dull and the more interesting characters are thus the supporting roles of Amelia and Thomas, who will be the leading lady and lord in Julia Quinn's next romance MR. CAVENDISH, I PRESUME.
  • (5/5)
    It feels like I'm missing something because I am. I can't wait for book 2 to come out to read Thomas's side of the story. Excellent!