The Dark Duke, by Margaret Moore

>> Sunday, February 15, 2004

I discovered Margaret Moore when I read her wonderful short story in the Brides of Christmas anthology. After that, I read her Tempt Me With Kisses, and I knew I'd found and author whose backlist I'd be looking for. The Dark Duke is one of her earlier efforts.

Adrian Fizwalter, the Duke of Barroughby, wore the taint of scandal with flair, his very presence charged with the promise of forbidden things. But the gentle Lady Hester knew the rakish pose was only a mask, hiding a desperate and lonely man.

With her knowing eyes and quiet beauty, the spinsterish Lady Hester was a far cry from Adrian's usual amours. Yet though her goodness stirred him beyond imagining, he dared not give in to the longing to seek the comfort of her waiting arms, for his happiness would surely be her ruin....
Unfortunately, it wasn't as remarkable as the other books by her that I've read. Not bad, either, but it just didn't engage me all that much. A C+.

Both Adrian and Hester were nice characters, and I kind of enjoyed their early interactions. However, I felt the transition between the point where Hester and Adrian were interested in each other and feeling a certain attraction and the point where they were "in love" and having no problem in admitting it to themselves was too abrupt. One minute it was one thing, next minute it was the other, and this threw me out of the story.

The other problem was the character of Elliot, Adrian's brother, the person who'd all the while been doing all the horrible things Adrian was being blamed for. Apparently, their father had asked Adrian to keep Elliot's reputation spotless, and that's why he kept saving the bastard. I lost a lot of respect for Adrian for continuing to honour that promise, even if it was obvious that doing it was actually harming Elliot. I mean, come on, it was a bit too obvious, that great insight of Hester, that Adrian was enabling Elliott's behaviour by allowing him to do whatever he wanted without consequences!

Oh, and I really hated the final coda at the end. The author writes a little note at the end, talking about poor "bitter, angry, misunderstood" Elliott. Misunderstood?? Oh, for heaven's sake, the guy seduced a woman, got her pregnant and abandoned her to go crazy alone, while her child died (and that's just one of the very few little pecadillos we find out about), and we're supposed to feel sorry for him?? Thank god he wasn't the hero here, and hell will freeze over before I read the book in which he is!


Post a Comment

Blog template by

Back to TOP