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A Lady for a Duke

de Alexis Hall

Altres autors: Mira la secció altres autors.

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1095213,089 (4.39)3
A lush, sweeping queer historical romance from the bestselling author of Boyfriend Material--perfect for fans of Netflix's Bridgerton, Evie Dunmore, and Lisa Kleypas! When Viola Carroll was presumed dead at Waterloo she took the opportunity to live, at last, as herself. But freedom does not come without a price, and Viola paid for hers with the loss of her wealth, her title, and her closest companion, Justin de Vere, the Duke of Gracewood. Only when their families reconnect, years after the war, does Viola learn how deep that loss truly was. Shattered without her, Gracewood has retreated so far into grief that Viola barely recognises her old friend in the lonely, brooding man he has become. As Viola strives to bring Gracewood back to himself, fresh desires give new names to old feelings. Feelings that would have been impossible once and may be impossible still, but which Viola cannot deny. Even if they cost her everything, all over again.… (més)
Afegit fa poc perkarenb, AllyLibrary, samnreader, biblioteca privada, Heather39, marineko, ehlong, mankybam, kkchupp, pfuchsman
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» Mira també 3 mencions

Es mostren totes 5
3.5 stars rounded up. About 8 hours into the audiobook the main characters had struggled and grown and fallen out and then reunited and there were some very lovely declarations made, and I thought 'How wonderful. A beautiful story and a good book.'. And then, wondering how much time was left to arrange for their happily ever after and wrap up a couple smaller loose ends, I saw that I was actually *only halfway through the book!* If they had fully committed to each other even then, and afterward played out their life together and gone on an adventure or something in the second half, I may have still been quite pleased, (they did still have some issues they could work to resolve together). But instead, since it was only halfway, the relationship drama needed to be extended or something, and it felt kinda like two steps forward- one step back. And the second half largely revolved around a side character's debut, and more characters were introduced and some villains added. Their relationship just seemed to backslide from that promising midway point, and take a back seat in the story. They were still prominent of course, but somehow they almost started to feel like side characters in their own story. There were multiple soft spots in the plot as well, nothing disastrous, but multiple points that I didn't 'buy'. Spoiler examples- Viola was at a party specifically to be a chaperone, and had been vigilant, but then just wanders off without even giving a heads up to another responsible adult to pick up that slack. But it's never mentioned as irresponsible or a failure of her one job. / She desperately wishes to dance, and has practiced the female parts, but is too concerned to risk it. When there are simple dances where everyone is pretty much doing the exact same thing, or where you just copy what every other lady on your side of the room is doing and there isn't an opportunity to end up standing with the men or something. Not every dance risks accidentally leading her partner or taking the man's part out of habit. (Not that a mis-step would "out" her anyway, everyone makes occasional mistakes, and I wouldn't think dancing expectations of a lady's companion would be too exact). / She's hoping to be seen as feminine and has practiced dancing and needlepoint but has never poured from a teapot?!? With all the tea she's taken, likely multiple times each day, her sister-in-law never once said 'now you try'? Besides, even men would *sometimes* pour their own tea. At least their second cup while taking a tray in their study or something, they wouldn't have a servant standing there ready or ring for them and have to wait for them to come do it. It’s hard to picture anyone bungling it so badly. Sheesh. / She knows that her charge is incredibly naive, and that one of the other young ladies is 100% not trustworthy, but never warns her charge to be wary of her, or asks about the notes she's giving her. / The girl thinks she's talking to a person who's been sending her salacious notes, but when they tell her they've never encouraged her interest she doesn't say 'um, what about all that steam you wrote me??' but just lets that nonsense slide. / And most of the entire brothel scene seemed far fetched. *le sigh* I did really like the first half. And parts of the second. There was some good writing, and the premise is great and I hadn't read it before, so that counts for something. So I'm rounding up. But I do feel a little let down from that midway point that could have been nearing a satisfactory conclusion in half as many pages. (That could easily be a minority view though). I will say that even during the first half, Viola is sometimes very unfair and I felt like the readers were always just supposed to take her side anyway, but I'm not sure it's the right one. So my sense of fairness was kind of ruffled. And, by the end they finally acknowledged some permanence of person regardless of lived gender, but for the majority of the story Viola acted almost like nothing before her transition actually counted. Saying her best friend hadn't actually known her at all just because he hadn't known of this particular aspect of her. Gender, and societal expectations of it, might impact a lot but the core of who she is, the most important part, surely, was there all along and remained. Anyway, I'm glad I read it but clearly it inspired a lot of mixed feelings. =D ( )
  JorgeousJotts | Jul 2, 2022 |
Excellent narration by Kay Eluvian!

The characters in this book are memorable... the 2 MCs as well as the supporting cast down to the youngest child!

ETA: Also... it's humorous! Not slapstick funny but intelligent, clever wit! ( )
  Bookbee1 | May 26, 2022 |
Viola Carroll, formerly Lord Marleigh and 'killed' at Waterloo, has finally become the woman she was always meant to be but, like Marley's ghost, is weighed down by chains of guilt and fear of discovery. Her best friend, Justin, Duke of Gracewood, has never gotten over his best friend's death. Wounded himself, he uses laudanum and drink to assuage his survivor's guilt. So Viola and her meddling sister-in-law Lady Marleigh set off for Northumberland to rescue Gracewood and Mira, his seventeen-year-old sister.
Viola is a great character, full of remorse for those she's hurt by her 'death' but strong in how she deals with the aftermath of the change and never sorry for what she needed to do. Alexis Hall is an excellent writer and he treads the line carefully here as Viola navigates her new world. Regency England has strong expectations on how each sex should behave and what is expected of them. The scene where Viola must serve tea for the first time is both funny and poignant; in her former life she observed the ritual many times, but actually having to serve the tea in a precise manner- well, let's just say she needed some training.
Gracewood is also a wonderful character. As friends, he was a counterpoint to Viola's adventuresome nature and they both bring out the best in each other. Watching them fall in love is a wonderful gift to the reader as they navigate new feelings and expectations. Gracewood has to deal with his role as a Duke as well as the bothersome leg wound and his duties toward his sister, and he manages it all with decency and respect.
There are a few steamy scenes that the author deftly handles with his usual discrimination. They're more sensual than graphic, but they showcase the true love between Viola and Gracewood.
The plot is fine with abductions and fighting, but it's really the characters that make this book such a good read. Mr. Hall invests all his side characters with emotions and traits (both good and bad) that bring them alive to the reader. Louisa, Badger, and young Bartholomew are all interesting in their own right as well as being Viola's family. Mira, or Miranda, is a dreamy seventeen-year-old, bewildered and resentful at being abandoned by her older brother, but still wants to care for him. As a reader of a lot of Regency romances, I loved how she chooses to navigate the Ton as an original, more interested in magic tricks, dissections, kissing, and Shelley's Frankenstein.
Names have significance in this book (at least, it seemed so to me). Viola is also the heroine of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, the girl who dresses as a boy in the Forest of Arden. Miranda is the gentle daughter of Prospero in The Tempest. Amberglass, the villain of the piece, is possibly a stand-in for the amber glass bottles of laudanam that Gracewood struggles with and ultimately defeats. And then there's Lady Lillimere, an adventurous seducer of women - well, that name I haven't figured out but I suspect some meaning nonetheless.
I didn't mean to but I sat down and read this book in one day. It's a lovely story filled with friendship and love while still providing plenty of angst and some very funny bits. I would say it might be the romance book of the year, but Mr. Hall's Husband Material (the sequel to Boyfriend Material) is coming out later in the summer and I suspect he will be competing with himself for that title. ( )
  N.W.Moors | May 25, 2022 |
The overall tone of this was tender, somewhat sad, big-hearted and very feelings-focused—such that I was pretty surprised when it suddenly led to a midnight chase with an action movie swordfight near the end. Surprised, but not disappointed! A sequel (about other characters) is threatened in the post-story book club Q&A, which I think could be very interesting. ( )
  bibliovermis | May 24, 2022 |
A Lady for a Duke by Alexis Hall
Historical queer romance.
Viola is assumed dead at Waterloo and takes the opportunity to reinvent and restart her life the way she wants to live. When she encounters the Duke of Gracewood years later she’d shocked at his depression and overall hiding from life.
Voila helps Gracewood heal.

Emotional and heavy with powerful society hazards and facing is down.
Viola is so confident in her lifestyle, and even when she’s not, she has the full support and backing of family. Her transition and life is simply accepted. It’s wonderful.
A detailed epilogue adds depth and hope for the future.
Overall great if longer than an average historical romance which was my main complaint. There were at least a couple of threads that seemed to go off on a tangent before circling back.

🎧 I listened to an audiobook which was Narrated by Kay Eluvian. What a wonderful performance. From depression to joy and every emotion in-between, plus young children to adults, the vocalizing is clear, gripping and engulfing. I did speed this up to 1.5 for conversational comfort.
4.5

I received a copy of this from NetGalley and Hachette Audio. ( )
  Madison_Fairbanks | May 23, 2022 |
Es mostren totes 5
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Alexis Hallautor primaritotes les edicionscalculat
Eluvian, KayNarradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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Do not embrace me till each circumstance
Of place, time, fortune, do cohere and jump
That I am Viola
—Twelfth Night
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1818, Devon

"I'm afraid that settles it." Having come to the end of the letter she had been reading, Lady Marleigh brandished it in a rather warlike fashion. "We shall have to intervene."
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A lush, sweeping queer historical romance from the bestselling author of Boyfriend Material--perfect for fans of Netflix's Bridgerton, Evie Dunmore, and Lisa Kleypas! When Viola Carroll was presumed dead at Waterloo she took the opportunity to live, at last, as herself. But freedom does not come without a price, and Viola paid for hers with the loss of her wealth, her title, and her closest companion, Justin de Vere, the Duke of Gracewood. Only when their families reconnect, years after the war, does Viola learn how deep that loss truly was. Shattered without her, Gracewood has retreated so far into grief that Viola barely recognises her old friend in the lonely, brooding man he has become. As Viola strives to bring Gracewood back to himself, fresh desires give new names to old feelings. Feelings that would have been impossible once and may be impossible still, but which Viola cannot deny. Even if they cost her everything, all over again.

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