Yup, we’ve got that one

And more than one million more. Become a member today and read free for two weeks.

Read free for two weeks

Imogen, Lady Maitland, has decided to dance on the wild side. After all, she's in the delicious position of being able to take a lover. A discreet male who knows just when to leave in the morning.

But Lady Maitland is still under the watchful eye of her former guardian, the wildly untamed Rafe, the Duke of Holbrook. He believes she is still in need of a "watchdog." She laughs at the idea that someone so insufferably lazy and devoted to drink can demand that she behave with propriety.

It's Rafe's long-lost brother, a man who looks precisely like the duke but with none of his degenerate edge, who interests Imogen. To Imogen, he's the shadow duke … the man who really should hold the title. But when Imogen agrees to accompany Gabe to a masquerade … whose masked eyes watch her with that intense look of desire? Who exactly is she dancing with? The duke or the shadow duke? Rafe … or Gabe?

Topics: England, Steamy, Widows, Mistaken Identity, Brothers, Sisters, Nobility, and Disguises

Published: HarperCollins on Oct 13, 2009
ISBN: 9780061800337
List price: $7.99
Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
Availability for The Taming of the Duke
With a 30 day free trial you can read online for free
  1. This book can be read on up to 6 mobile devices.
Clear rating

the Essex sisters are a hoot to follow and the romance is steamyread more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
The first 2 books in this series had some resonance. I even went and reread Catallus. This has some good jokes but both the leads are a tad icky. And I hate this cover. The hero is supposed to be an overweight alcoholic. With a six-pack!read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
In this edition of the Essex Sisters series, the focus turns to their guardian Rafe and his former ward Imogen. Following Maitland's untimely death Imogen is looking for a lover, and Rafe's newly discovered illegitimate half-brother, Gabe, looks just the man. In the meantime Rafe is trying to give up drinking alcohol in a determined effort to prove that he's not an alcoholic. Quite a dark instalment in the series, but an enjoyable read nonetheless.read more
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Read all reviews

Reviews

the Essex sisters are a hoot to follow and the romance is steamy
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
The first 2 books in this series had some resonance. I even went and reread Catallus. This has some good jokes but both the leads are a tad icky. And I hate this cover. The hero is supposed to be an overweight alcoholic. With a six-pack!
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
In this edition of the Essex Sisters series, the focus turns to their guardian Rafe and his former ward Imogen. Following Maitland's untimely death Imogen is looking for a lover, and Rafe's newly discovered illegitimate half-brother, Gabe, looks just the man. In the meantime Rafe is trying to give up drinking alcohol in a determined effort to prove that he's not an alcoholic. Quite a dark instalment in the series, but an enjoyable read nonetheless.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
I was really looking forward to The Taming of the Duke because Imogen and Rafe are some of my favorite characters of the series. They had such personality, with their flaws and their foibles that could be equally endearing and frustrating. Unfortunately, when they're brought together for their romance in this third installment of the Essex Sisters series, things didn't work out so well for me. Rafe discovers and embraces his long lost, illegitimate half-brother Gabe, who brings with him his own illegitimate daughter and a request to help out his baby's mama, an actress, by putting on a play in which she, Loretta Hawes, will star and thus be launched into her brilliant acting career. Sounds a bit convoluted/contrived? Well, it is. Even worse is the game of disguise that Rafe plays with Imogen, who thinks she's embarking on an affair with Gabe (when it's really Rafe in a mustache.) Rafe's transformation from pickled duke (he's an alcoholic, or the 19th century equivalent of one) to virile hero seemed too swift and easy for me. (I know this is supposed to be light and fun, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be believable too.) I liked the idea of a hero who is less than physically spectacular. Many references are made to Rafe's dissolute, debauched ways in the previous books and, wonder of wonders, his body actually reflects his lifestyle! There are plenty of heroines out there who are plump but I had yet to come across a hero with a bit of a gut. But for reasons that are a little foggy to me, Rafe, preparatory to becoming the star in his own romance, suddenly decides to stop drinking. His gut disappears, and he rediscovers his sexual prowess by becoming Imogen's "demon lover." It seemed a bit of a cop out to me. I'm not saying that I wish he'd stayed drunk - far from it. I just wish that, along with giving up the drink, he could have stayed the lovable, slovenly Rafe I'd gotten to know in the other books, rather than become the cardboard cut out who plays the love of his life for a fool.Imogen herself wasn't so bad. It’s a delight to find her breaking the mold in successfully pursuing an affair without any intention of marriage. She's no longer crazy in love or crazy with grief in this book, but neither does she have the same fire and humor of the previous books. Though some of her antics here really are great as she lets loose and works towards getting over Draven and just being herself.The romance comprises Rafe's plan of trapping Imogen into marriage by making her so delirious with lust that she won't be able to say no to him once she finds out he's Rafe and not Gabe. Did all the character and integrity drain out of Rafe along with the alcohol? His terror that he's not good enough for her didn't help me view his deception any more kindly. Imogen and Rafe just didn't seem to click, mostly because this disguise plot got in the way. Their relationship was very unbalanced and sketchily drawn, especially when ***spoiler alert*** Imogen reveals she knew it was Rafe all along, and doesn't demur in the slightest. I can’t believe she let him get away with it that easily. ***end spoiler*** Just as the silly charade is dispensed with, the story is over and the happily ever after is upon us. I felt cheated, to say the least. There's the usual host of secondary characters and a side romance with Gabe and Gillian Pythian-Adams, which never caught my interest. So overall, I was disappointed in The Taming of the Duke. After all the build up for Imogen, a wonderful creation by Eloisa James, this story fell dismally flat and definitely wasn't as good as the first two books in this series.P.S. not a fan of the creepy cover at all!!!
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
"The Taming of the Duke" is the third installation in the Essex sisters series. It concerns Imogen, the third sister, who so far in the series has eloped, been widowed, and caused a great deal of trouble. This story begins when Rafe's illegitimate brother, Gabriel, shows up to ask Rafe for a favor. Apparently a brief love affair between Gabriel and an actress resulted in a child being born, and the ruination of the actress's career. Gabe wants Rafe to hold a play for him where she can have the lead as a way of setting things straight between them. Imogen conceives a fancy for Gabe, and propositions him. Backed into a corner, Gabe agrees to go, but then goes to Rafe behind her back and tells him that he'd better cover for him, because he's not going to do it - he doesn't feel that way about Imogen and he doesn't want to have an affair with her. So Rafe, who has hid feelings for Imogen for some time, engages in an elaborate masquerade with Imogen who believes that he's Gabe.This is a sweet book. Rafe's struggles with his alcoholism, Imogen's insecurities about her desirability (due to her first marriage), and Rafe's complete lack of confidence in himself combine to make an adorable love story. On the downside, The masquerade is a little bit unbelievable (they aren't twins, after all, just brothers). But the biggest issue for me in this book is the secondary love story which is, for the most part, in the way. I really don't care about Gabe or Gillian Pythian-Adams. I really don't care what happens to them. I want to know what happens with Rafe and Imogen, and whenever I'd reach one of the chapters with the long and drawn-out secondary love story, I read it as fast as possible to get back to Rafe and Imogen. The second read through, I skipped them completely. It seems in a lot of her books that Eloisa James finds it necessary to make sure that everyone has a happy ending - not just the main characters. This can become tedious - and does very much so in this book.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Nice to read a book about someone getting over boozing without endless American TV-style pompous moralising, for it to be a part of the plot but not all of it.

James has engaging secondary characters and I'm sad there won't be more of Miss Pythian-James or Gabriel Spencer. Loretta Hawes deserves her own book, too.

The reveal in this story is quite odd. James foreshadowed it nicely, in a drowsy sunny scene but then had the heroine's POV lie like a rug. It's quite hard to reconcile.
Is this review helpful? Yes | NoThank you for your feedback.
Load more
scribd