Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Review - - The Duke Undone

The Duke Undone
by Joanna Lowell
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: April 6, 2021
Reviewed by Santa



When Royal Academy painting student Lucy Coover trips over a naked man passed out in an East End alley, she does the decent thing. She covers him up and fetches help. Trouble is, she can't banish his muscular form from her dreams as easily. Compelled to capture every detail, she creates a stunning portrait but is forced to sell it when the rent comes due. What could be worse than surrendering the very picture of your desire? Meeting the man himself. 


Anthony Philby, Duke of Weston, is nobody's muse. Upon discovering the scandalous likeness, he springs into action. His infamous family has been torn apart by shame and secrets, and he can't afford more gossip. Even a whisper may jeopardize his inheritance and his chance at independence. His plan is simple: burn the painting, confront the artist. Or rather, it's simple until he meets Lucy and decides to offer the bewitching young artist a devil's bargain.  He'll help save her foreclosed home, if she'll help repair his family’s brutal legacy.

An irresistible passion ignites between them, but when danger strikes, Lucy and Anthony must risk everything... for a love that might destroy them both.

Santa says:

The Duke Undone by Joanna Lowell left me breathless and I give it five out of five stars. I felt for each character from page one, from the desolate, naked drunk our heroine, Lucy Coover, stumbles across in an alleyway to our hero Weston’s long lost sister. Lucy stumbles across this drunk while trying to make it to art classes, covers him up with her shawl and pays an urchin to watch over him. Set in Victorian England, Lucy is part of a group of women at the Royal Academy hoping to make a name for herself in that male dominated institution. She does make it to class in time and at the end of her day commits to paper every last detail of that drunk - every single detail.

Months later, Lucy painted that portrait and sold it to a bored wife of the ton. Her husband recognizes the man’s face in the picture and confronts him. It turns out the man in the alleyway was in fact a duke. Anthony Philby, the 7th Duke of Weston spends his days a sober, somber man and his nights in a drunken haze - more often than not - fully clothed scouring the streets of London looking for his missing sister. He is bound by a codicil in his father’s will that he must prove he is worthy of his inheritance by remaining sober and scandal free until his 30th birthday which is just a short time away.

The fact that his face is recognizable can cost him everything and so he grabs the picture home with him and tracks down the artist based on the signature on the painting and the accompanying letter stating the painter is a visiting artist at the Royal Academy. He is surprised to find that the artist is a woman, one Lucy Coover, and demands any other renderings she may have or he will expose her. She had no idea the drunk she painted was a duke. She only sold it in order to help pay for the house she and her aunt lived in.  

They soon discover their lives are connected in many other ways. Lucy and Anthony begin to work together to try to save where Lucy lives, to discover what happened to his sister and to find what sinister forces are at play in keeping Anthony helpless in commanding his own life.

The Duke Undone will keep you on the edge of your seat. I really didn’t know how Lucy and Anthony would get their HEA or if Anthony and his sister would ever be reunited but it all comes together in spectacular fashion in the end. I really enjoyed this book and look forward to reading more books by Joanna Lowell.


18 comments:

  1. I've not read her but this sounds good - thanks.

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    1. I'm also intrigued by Santa's review. Looking forward to reading this one!

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    2. I am so w=excited to see other folks as excited as I am about this book! I am keeping an eye out for this author.

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  2. This book sounds adorable! Look forward to reading it. Unfortunately, Berkley will NOT approve my requests to read and review books for them. As a prolific reviewer of over 200 books per year, that's such a shame.

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    1. Honestly do not know how they figure out who gets approved and who doesn't. I encourage you to read this one. You will not be disappointed.

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    2. It's tough to not be approved for a book we're eager to read and review but that's something I came to terms with early on in my blogging life and especially now with NetGalley and other online early-copy requesting sites. There are hundreds of bloggers, bookstagrammers, YouTube reviewers, and other readers asking for ARCs every month. There have been plenty of times when I have not been approved for an ARC I requested and there are publishing companies where I'm rarely, if ever, approved. Publishers are making difficult business decisions for each book they publish and they may feel that I'm not the best promotional vehicle for their product. As someone who swam in a corporate pool for my entire career, I understand the process. Sometimes they're looking for a reviewer with years of experience but other times they may want the fresh new voices. I appreciate the books I receive and I don't take the rejections personally. To be honest, I'm not sure where I'd find the extra hours in the day to read them. LOL

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    3. I also sure there are lots of people who agree to leave a review only to get the receive ARC copy and then never write a word pro or con for the book. IMHO, that's cheating and probably has some bearing on who gets the books.

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  3. I thank you for this review. Y'all have provided another new to me author to add to my list. It does sound like a good story with an intriguing premise. I hope everyone is taking care and staying well.

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  4. I really enjoy a romance book with some mystery in it. My library has this on order, so I've put a "hold" on it.

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    1. So glad to hear it's in libraries! Enjoy!

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  5. I've never read this author but this book does sound like one I would enjoy. Need to read a bit more about her and her work before she goes on books-to-buy list

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  6. Oh, I want to read this one! Thanks for the review!

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  7. Thank you for the review. This sounds like just the book to spend a weekend with.

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  8. Thank you for the review. This sounds like just the book to spend a weekend with.

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  9. Thank you for the review. This sounds like just the book to spend a weekend with.

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