On a completely separate note and I just had to mention it….. Jun 23, Joanna Loves Reading rated it liked it Shelves: This will not be my last. While not a spy novel, it feels like one. It starts with intrigue and that carries through the most of the book. She deftly handles the reveal of clues, keeps you guessing to the end with well-paced twists and turns. The main problem I had was that once the intrigue is resolved, and the story focuses on the love story nearly entirely, there is another twist. This twist felt wrong and was a 3. This twist felt wrong and was annoying. As a result, the conclusion to the love story did not feel well developed.
Since the whole reason we read this genre is the love story, this is a round down situation. This was not a complete let-down. It kept me engaged and interested. I just wish the ending had been handled differently. I look forward to reading more by this author. Aug 19, Jo rated it it was amazing Shelves: You should be free. But I am done surviving that life.
I am no longer something to be owned. My destiny is mine to choose, mine to control. You are Ivory Moore. You are the woman who redressed a corpse to save my sister. The woman who kissed me to save me from myself. You are the only one who understands why I can never be put in a prison that was built for me by fate and circumstance. View all 4 comments. I've given this a B for both narration and content at AudioGals. Ms Bowen is an excellent storyteller with a deftly humorous touch, and she has the knack for creating memorable and engaging characters, things she puts to good effect in her lat I've given this a B for both narration and content at AudioGals.
Ms Bowen is an excellent storyteller with a deftly humorous touch, and she has the knack for creating memorable and engaging characters, things she puts to good effect in her latest novel. You can read the rest of this review at AudioGals. Ivory Moore and her husband, Maximus Harcourt, Duke of Alderidge, were important secondary characters in that book and Duke of My Heart is the story of how they met and fell in love.
Ivory Moore has a secret past that only a few trusted associates are privy to. Ivory prides herself on being very good at her job, provided she is in full charge of whatever needs to be done. However, a certain Duke of Alderidge seems determined to make her latest job difficult, with his heavy-handed manner.
The duke swung around to face her again, those ice-grey eyes impaling her as if she were somehow responsible for this debacle. Maximus Max Harcourt is a captain first and a duke second. Going to sea at the age of thirteen, he built a life for himself, one he is unwilling to give up. Since inheriting the title on the death his brothers a decade ago, he has spent most of his time captaining his fleet of trade ships, leaving his estate in the competent hands of his stewards, secretaries and solicitors. Max is used to commanding his men and being obeyed without question but the cool, calm and collected Ivory is not one to be daunted by this overbearing man.
They are bound to clash and clash they do in a scene full of spirited dialogue. Do you see a crew of sailors anxiously awaiting your direction? Naturally, any reader of historical romance will know that behind these heated exchanges is an equally heated attraction between the hero and heroine. Desire was a distraction, and distractions were perilous. No man with a pulse and eyes in his head would overlook her. Max appreciates that Ivory is intelligent, clever, practical, logical, resourceful and fearless.
Ivory is aware that Max can be hard-headed, arrogant, stubborn and controlling, but she has also seen his gentleness, kindness and deep love and concern for his sister. She senses that he is a man she could trust with her secrets. They are so consumed with thoughts of each other that Ivory becomes distracted from the job she is supposed to be doing and misses an important clue, and Max feels guilty for pursuing his own selfish pleasures, when he should be doing everything he can to make sure his sister is safe. I love how Ms. Bowen builds the sexual tension between these two with heated kisses, longing and unfulfilled desire creating a delicious feeling of anticipation.
She had entrusted him with a gift. A piece of her past. A piece of who she was. That single gift was the most valuable thing any woman had ever given him. Later in the story when they finally make love, it just feels right. The love scene is beautifully done — tender, romantic and sensual, but also revealing the raw desire they feel for each other. I admire Ivory for the sacrifice she is willing to make for Max and his family, but I could also sense how vulnerable and alone she feels… It was this that she hated.
This bleak feeling of exposed vulnerability that reduced her to a thirteen-year-old girl who had learned hard lessons about how one survived when one started with nothing. And the brother that Beatrice deserves. And I belong with you. Bowen is considering writing his story. I was also intrigued by the roguish smuggler, Captain Black, who I feel is also deserving of his own book. The mystery element provided some intriguing twists and turns and I never felt my interest waning.
A captivating story, multi-layered characters and a passionate love story make this a book one I can definitely recommend. Season for Scandal series click on the link for more details: This review was first posted on my Rakes and Rascals Blog: Mar 02, Tracy T. I enjoyed every minute of this book! I didn't want it to end. One of the best historical romance books I have listened to in a long time.
The heroine Ivory has to be one of my favorites! She was smart, witty, and just wonderful! Loved Max the Duke of Alderidge, fantastic hero. This is one of the best story lines and plots written for a historical romance. The dialogue throughout the book was fantastic and there was lot Absolutely amazing story! The dialogue throughout the book was fantastic and there was lots of it! I love lots of dialogue. If you like Historical Romance books you will love this one!
I will absolutely look for more books by Kelly Bowen! As of the narration, I am a fan of Ashford McNab and she did great. She is not real big on the emotion part of her narrations but she has a great reading voice and the men sound like men. Just get this book! It does not disappoint at all!
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Thank you Kelly Bowen for writing such a wonderful book. View all 3 comments. Oct 08, Keri rated it it was amazing Shelves: Kelly Bowen continues to bring a fresh voice to historical romances and this Regency romance is no exception. Chegarre and Associates is whom the TON calls upon when they have some issue that they can't deal with in a normal fashion. You know someone dies in your bed that isn't you husband, give them a call and let them handle all of your hide-the-body or disguise-the-truth needs.
That is exactly what Maximus Harcourt comes home to. Ivory Moore helping Max's sister and aunt hide the body in his Kelly Bowen continues to bring a fresh voice to historical romances and this Regency romance is no exception. Ivory Moore helping Max's sister and aunt hide the body in his sisters bed. Kelly Bowen's ladies are always smart, capable and ice cold under pressure and Ivory is certainly living up to that credo. Except when she gets close to Max, then she starts to heat up in unexpected ways. If you haven't read KB, then this is a perfect book to start with, as this is first book in a brand new series.
Jan 12, herdys rated it liked it. I really enjoyed this new series and all the wonderful characters that hopefully will get a book too, though there are too many of them lol. The romance was nice though I didn't care for Maximus at first. I never liked alpha heroes who think they know best. At least he did stop to actually think and realized he needed help from our Wonderful Miss Ivory. Bowen keeps writing such delightful, human and flawed heroines. I wish some of the heroes were as good, or as interesting.
The mystery 3,5 stars! The mystery plot was interesting and had me invested which didn't happen in her last series. So all in all, it was a nice book. It just wasn't amazing, so it isn't getting 4 stars. Feb 12, Natalie rated it really liked it Shelves: Ivory Bellafiore no longer exists, nor will she ever again. I liked the romance too, but this book was all about her and her life "I did a lot of things to survive in my life, things that I cannot apologize for because they have, in the end, brought me here. I liked the romance too, but this book was all about her and her life she built for herself and the world she worked in that made this book sparkle for me.
The above quote is what makes her so special to me. She is a survivor, she is independent, resourceful and will not apologize for who she is and what she has done. Moralizing things is so usual and boring. Give me a heroine who will not apologize for what they have done to survive a treacherous world. She makes scandals in the ton disappear for a price by covering up the indiscretions and coming up with an explanation. Because of this, she crosses paths with many interesting characters that I'm fairly certain will get their own books later in the series.
There's Elise DeVries , her right hand woman, adept with a rifle, with a gunshot wound in her right shoulder and co-owner of a Gentleman's Club with her brother Alex LaVoie , Gilda the red headed voluptuous gun toting owner of a tavern, The Lion's Paw, and King , the red-gold haired ostentatious owner of a private and exclusive auction house.
Not sure if Captain Black will be one of the future characters to get a story, we'll see. Anyway Ivory is hired by Lady Helen Harcourt, the spinster Aunt of Maximus Harcourt, the Duke of Alderidge because Beatrice, Max's sister has disappeared from her own ball and left a dead Earl in her bed naked and tied up. It sounds saucier and more scandalous than it is lol. Max comes back coincidentally after a voyage, he's a sea captain and is thrown into this madness without warning.
While trying to find Beatrice, Max and Ivory obviously become attracted to each other. What I liked about this book was that they always prioritized finding Beatrice first. I like that they were attracted to each other and handled it in a very mature manner although I'm not opposed to swooning high drama emotions, god knows I love those type of books lol, but in this case, no. I liked that the mystery was solved with enough of a chunk of the book to explore the internal issues between Ivory and Max. Ivory and Max are two very similar, very independent people who have built walls around themselves by relying only on themselves.
And that was the crux of it all. What she had built here in Covent Square represented her freedom. She'd become her own woman, relying on herself, providing for herself at the mercy of no man There could be no future for her and Max. They were too much of the same. Too unfettered by the constraints of a world that would see them tied by tradition and expectation.
For Ivory, she grew up poor, and was sold by her parents to a man who nurtured her talent for opera singing and turned her into a legend on the stage and it is implied that she also played courtesan to survive. Then she met the Duke of Knightley, who was much older than she was, and he took her under his wing, married her and gave her a new skill set to survive. It's implied she helped and learned from him in collecting secrets and information to become that good at her job now. But after the Duke died 5 years ago, she got thrown out of the ton by his family since she was considered beneath the ton.
So it's of supreme irony that she's the one cleaning up all their messes. Ivory is amazing amazing amazing and the book doesn't just tell you this, it shows you how good she is at negotiating with all the tricky people who live in the London underworld that she has to deal with, and how quick thinking she is. Max's story is simpler and easier, because he's a dude. Basically he was the 'spare' after his twin older brothers, was shipped off to boarding school at six and went to sea at 13 to become a seaman since he wasn't needed by his family.
But then his brothers and parents died and he became a duke. But because he was never part of that world he couldn't just become part of that world. So that's why the story draws the similarities between Ivory and Max.
Introducing Heart of a Duke Spin-Off Series | Christi Caldwell
Max was a pretty great hero. I will consider putting him as one of my favorites when I do re-reads. I loved that Ivory and Max had a really mature relationship where he saw her as an equal pretty early on and backed down and let her do her job. The last part of the book I loved because it's about them coming together and working out how they could be together and stop allowing their fears and independence drive each other away. When Max had forced her hand, had acted like every man who simply wanted to own her or possess her on his own terms, Ivory had chosen Ivory.
Maximus Harcourt was no longer a client, any more than he was an amusement or a distraction. There was no point in pretending anymore, and with that admission a weight seemed to slide away from her. For better or for worse, this man had become something more. However, while her heroines do often share many similar traits, Bowen makes sure that they are each unique and special in their own right.
When Max had forced her hand, had acted like every man who simply wanted to own her, to possess her on his own terms, Ivory had chosen Ivory. One who is in complete awe of her and loves her for her ability to get shit done, of course! That was Max to a tee. Adorably huffy and a little too bossy at times, he was A DUKE afterall, Max smartly came to the conclusion that Ivory was his equal, and even his better, in all things.
Who was used to taking action to achieve his ends. And she was asking him to place that control in her hands. She did not underestimate the significance of that. Also appearing was King, the audacious auctioneer of pilfered art and goods, who I imagine would be more anti-hero than hero if indeed he gets his own book view spoiler [as attempting to sell women like you would a stolen painting was a less than becoming trait hide spoiler ]. Jan 26, Trish R. I just love having to stop long enough to laugh out loud again and again. BUT mostly I love, love, love sexual tension in a book, and this one has a lot.
Anyway, this is my first book by Ms.
If you like the show you would like this book, and the way Ivory and Elise solve problems for the TON. I have to admit I was getting more and more interested in what happened to Beatrice. AND after I did find out, I realized she was just a normal, non-thinking teenager, as dumb as a box of rocks. I wish the author would have handled that a little bit different. It almost ruined the book for me. There was, as I said before, sexual tension throughout this book and some great sex scenes.
So, for all of you who like explicit sex but absolutely NO swearing, this book is for you. As to the narrator: She just reads it like normal. For example, Eric G. He did all the things he never used to do. Things I wish A. Dec 22, Jen Davis rated it really liked it. This is my first read by Kelly Bowen, and I enjoyed this book so much, I am already thinking about checking out her backlist. This is the first in her Season For Scandal series, so there is no better time for you to give her a try too.
This story has a fabulous, independent and capable heroine and a hero willing to put aside his need for propriety and control to protect the people he loves. All that, plus an engaging story with good pacing that had me reading the entire book in one sitting. Maxim This is my first read by Kelly Bowen, and I enjoyed this book so much, I am already thinking about checking out her backlist.
Maximus had been almost entirely absent from London long before he became a duke. He lives his life at sea, used to commanding his crew. That makes it all the more difficult when he returns home to find a situation he has no idea how to handle. His 18 year-old sister has gone missing —leaving a dead, naked earl tied to her bed. Thankfully, his aunt had the foresight to call the company known as quiet fixers in matters of scandal.
Ivory is its agent. She is so darn smart.
The Way to a Duke's Heart
Ivory can look at a situation, assess it and see the ripple effects of all possible scenarios. Bowen does such a great job fleshing out her characters. Ivory has a great backstory and I felt like I really knew her. I loved watching Max fall for her, even as they both knew they had to focus on the case… even as they both realized they could never have a future. I really cared about both of them and I believed in their connection. The scenes where they finally give it to their attraction were pretty great too.
The mystery itself was well done. It kept me completely glued to the page as Ivory unraveled the truth and seeing the lengths she will go to, in order to come through for Max. I was also totally satisfied with the resolution. Sep 09, Ursula rated it it was amazing Shelves: This is a book of my heart, if you will pardon the bad pun. It is interesting from the very first page, with a naked, dead body in a debutante's bed and two women working in tandem to clear up the mess, prevent a scandal and save the deb's reputation.
And this book is so strong in its portrayal of the main woman, Ivory Moore. There are so many things I loved about this story: The heroine runs her own business and is extremely successful. The heroine was married for a short time to an older man who This is a book of my heart, if you will pardon the bad pun. The heroine was married for a short time to an older man who loved and respected her, through whom she gained her freedom and regained her self-respect and dignity.
The heroine is intelligent, resourceful and articulate. The heroine is determined to never again to be dependent on a man. She is not bitter or angry, just fiercely independent. The hero is a caring brother and successful businessman who captains one of the trading ships he owns. The hero learns to respect Ivory's decisions and admire her abilities. The hero realises that he cannot expect her to drop everything to just be with him- yes, really! The sex scenes are terrific, a coming together of equals who deeply respect and admire each other. I don't want to spoil the book for anyone, but it is such a lovely story and the way the hero is prepared to compromise shows how deeply he finally understands Ivory and what she needed to make her happy.
The final pages are wonderful- so sweet.
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I was listening to this while reading a ghastly bodice-ripper I had not realised it was one initially- should have checked publication date!! This was a mature relationship between people who understood each other's needs and knew that someone was going to have to compromise. There was no assumption that it would be the woman. Oct 26, OLT rated it really liked it. This story starts out with quite the attention-grabbing scene.
Cue the Fixer Fixeress? Add in hero Maximus Harcourt, Duke of Alderidge, who spends his time as Captain Harcourt on the open sea, but just happens to be back in This story starts out with quite the attention-grabbing scene. Add in hero Maximus Harcourt, Duke of Alderidge, who spends his time as Captain Harcourt on the open sea, but just happens to be back in town and finds Ivory, Aunt Helen and the dead body in his sister's room. Max is used to being in control, giving orders and having them followed, so his and Ivory's personalities clash from the beginning.
Although Max realizes Ivory has much more experience in damage control of scandals in the ton, it's hard for him to take a backseat. Meanwhile, there's the problem of "Where in the world is Bea? This turns into a great little mystery. Perhaps I just thought it was great because my most recent HR reads have been boring derivative drivel, but I found myself enjoying Max and Ivory's adventures quite a bit.
For the first half of the book, I found the mystery to be far superior to the romance. The attraction between H and h is almost immediate and they have lusting thoughts at what seemed to me rather inappropriate moments. After all, if your sister has disappeared and you're worried about her welfare, would you spend most of your time thinking about how you'd like to boink the damage-control expert?
But by the half to three-quarters point, this turned into a very good and touching romance. Both H and h were complex, interesting characters. The H is a reluctant duke. Having been third in line to inherit and not a very valued member of his family , he set out to sea at a very young age. As for the h, oh, just read the story. She has quite the interesting background and made for an admirable female lead. Both women are take-charge, competent, full of initiative, both are problem solvers, both know how to work within London's underworld. Both are survivors of a not-so-kind past.
Heroines who are so much more interesting than the ones who sit around wondering "Does he love me? Why doesn't he say he loves me? Jan 27, Literati Literature Lovers rated it really liked it. Ivory is a problem fixer for the aristocrats of London. She is cleaver, beautiful and a master manipulator, in her job she has to be, as she solves very messy hiccups in the gleaming lives of the ton.
She works for Cheggare and Associates, and is introduced in the first scene examining a nude dead Earl tied to the bed of a missing young debutant. The young debutant happens to be the sister of a duke. The story that ensues is one of mystery, thievery, kidnapping, and romance. Ivory and Max clash as they try to find and save the young debutant as they are both cut from the same stubborn cloth. The book is a fun, adventuresome and sexy read. Both Ivory and Max are deliciously crafted characters, and both are at home in the seedier places in London.
Both characters have very sad pasts, that should have made them more tragic characters than they appeared to be in this book. I could understand Ivory's past and the reasons for it; more than I could reconcile the past Bowan painted for Max. Bowan in the text I read left the deaths leading up to Max becoming a duke a mystery.
I kept wondering how both parents and his older brothers all died. Bowen did introduce some very good secondary characters and I can see this being made into a book series; especially with the skullduggery and danger, combined with romance. As usual Kelly Bowen does not disappoint. I absolutely enjoyed this book, she weaves her stories in such a way that it drags you in and you have to stop everything you're doing just to finish any of her work. The heroine was such an alpha , used to taking control of situations around her, a total no nonsense lady. Our hero Max was just all the right shades of perfection.
It's not often that I find a book where I can like both the main characters as well as the secondary character like I did in t As usual Kelly Bowen does not disappoint. It's not often that I find a book where I can like both the main characters as well as the secondary character like I did in this book. The writing was brilliant, the sexual tension, the mystery, the multidimensional characters, everything was just so tastefully done. Jan 14, Andree rated it really liked it Shelves: Mostly, because the couple just works.
Ivory's just outside of polite society but in a way that means she understands it really well , and she fixes the problems of those within it which is just fun. Alderidge, I'm not gonna lie, is a dashing sea captain who is compared to a pirate more than once though to be fair, it's more a physical comparison than anything else. But he somehow manages to do that without annoying me. I just really ended up liking them as a pair.
Alderidg Super into this. Alderidge's sister's gotten herself into a ruinous scandal, and his aunt calls Ivory in to help. That's where the novel opens. And Alderidge, while annoying because he is a captain and used to being in charge, and he should be leading the charge to save his own sister, actually uses logic and sense, and recognizes that he needs Ivory's abilities to do that. Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a product review. There was a problem filtering reviews right now.
Please try again later. Really loved this one. Emotions of both the leads have been played really well. There is no rushing and no overdosage over here. Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon. Have to agree with those who panned this one because I was shocked at how poorly written and repetitious the whole story turned out to be from a celebrated author. More stunning is the fact that this was her 10th novel, not her first or even third but the 10th. A comma before every AND followed by a fragment, making it extremely difficult to read and stay in the story. We got why he was cold-hearted and in pain the first time.
We got that she was desperate to flee the first time. A majority of this work was 'reminder' to the reader so could have been a much better story in Novella form minus the repetition. Not sure if I'll be reading anymore work from this Best-Selling author. This is one of the worst books I have read in a very, very long time. Unfortunately, I had to give it one star which it does not deserve. This book can be summarized as follows: He is consumed with guilt because he "murdered" his wife and child who died in childbirth.
She is anxiety-ridden after her father gambled away his fortune and left the family in a precarious financial condition. This is repeated over and over ad nauseum, and in a high melodramatic style for pages. If this is your cup of tea, you may like this book. I am deleting this book, and will not be reading this author again. I have to say this is by far my favorite book of Christi Caldwell's so far. I was so sad when it ended. I wanted more time eith Jasper and Katherine. I love love this book and the chemistry between these two was amazing they drew you into their story.
It took me days before I wanted to read another book. This wonderful book is a must read and collection for your library. This author creates lively characters and is a competent story teller. This book needed an attentive editor to correct contradictions in the narrative and to smooth tangled and ungrammatical sentences. A better editor could eliminate wince inducing descriptions like "hot heat".