Today, our buddy review is The Lost Duke of Wyndham by Julia Quinn. This book came out in the beginning of the summer and I think it's the perfect time to review it, since the sequel, Mr. Cavendish, I Presume? is coming out later in September.
The Lost Duke of Wyndham by Julia Quinn
published by Avon in May 2008
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...
Genre: historical romance
Series: Duke of Wyndham, book #1
The Story: Years ago, Jack Audley left his family and hometown and fought in the war. However, instead of going back home to his family once the war ended, he becomes a highwayman. Then, on a fateful night, he and his accomplices decide to rob the dowager Duchess of Wyndham's carriage... and the dowager immediately recognizes in him her favorite second son who's been dead for years. If Jack's parents were married and he was legitimate, then Jack should inherite the title of Duke of Wyndham instead of his cousin, Thomas Cavendish... which the dowager is determined to prove.
Ames: Ok, I read The Lost Duke of Wyndham on my roadtrip. I was sitting in the backseat and giggling. My dad and brother kept giving me funny looks. Then I cried. So yeah, I really enjoyed The Lost Duke of Wyndham, which is only my second ever Julia Quinn novel.
Nath: What?!? Only your second Julia Quinn? And I thought I was last to jump on this bandwagon! LOL :) So what did you like about this book?
Ames: I like the humor - Jack didn't try to appease his grandmother, so that was good. And it definitely made for some good laughs. I like how the duke stepped back and the friendship that developed between him and Jack.
Nath: I agree, the humor in this book was great and a lot of it is due to Jack. Such a nonchalent character :) I also thought The Lost Duke of Wyndham had a refreshing storyline - I know, I know, we've seen lost heir being found, but Ms Quinn was able to create a different atmosphere and circumstances. Like you, I liked how the actual Duke Thomas Cavendish didn't go bonkers at the idea of losing his title and actually stepped down.
Another thing I liked is how the characters weren't stereotyped and didn't turn out better than they really are due to some heart-breaking circumstances. For example, the dowager. Man, was she a mean old biddy, LOL, and she stayed mean till the end. Seriously, the way she acted and behaved, it was hard for readers to summon any sympathy for her and that's it, we weren't supposed to feel sympathy for her.
Ames: Jack really made this book for me. I like how he was attracted to Grace and he didn't deny it to himself. He's such a good charming guy.
Nath: I agree with you, Jack really made the book here. He was so charming. I think if he's been different, the whole book would not have been as good and it would just be a plain old: lost heir found to become noble titled storyline. I also liked the fact that there was a lot of depth to his character. There is really more to Jack than being a highwayman, soldier and/or rogue.
What did you think of Grace? Do you think that Thomas actually loved her? I'm glad that Ms Quinn didn't drag out the book by having the: I'm a duke and I can't marry you because you're not a lady storyline.
Ames: Thomas didn't love Grace. He was her friend though. And Amelia, I think Amelia is going to surprise him. Grace was a good character too. I liked her.
I can't wait for the next book though.
Nath: I'm looking forward to it too. I'm interested in Mr. Cavendish, I Presume? because we've all read about Mr. Nobody becoming a noble, but it's rare to read the opposite story, a noble becoming Mr. Nobody :) I agree with you that Amelia is probably going to surprise Thomas. I just can't wait :)
So your grade? This was definitively a B+ for me!
Ames: I'm giving it an A. It freaking made me cry! (For those of you wondering, it was the scene when he finally came home and his aunt was giving him the news. It was very touching.)